Canelo Álvarez Defeats Jaime Munguía by Unanimous Decision to Retain Undisputed Super Middleweight Championship

Saúl “Canelo” Álvarez is celebrating Cinco de Mayo with a win…

The 33-year-old Mexican professional boxer, one of the sport’s biggest stars, defeated Jaime Munguía in an all-Mexican battle on Cinco de Mayo weekend before 17,492 at T-Mobile Arena to retain his undisputed super middleweight championship.

Canelo AlvarezThe boisterous, surprising support for Munguia was swiftly extinguished with a patented Alvarez combination, a left hook followed by a right uppercut that planted the challenger on the canvas for the first knockdown of his 44-fight career.

Alvarez’s fourth successful defense of his four 168-pound titles was made official via scores of 115-113, 117-110 and 116-111. This was the third consecutive fight that Alvarez (61-2-2, 39 KOs) scored a knockdown. He also dropped Jermell Charlo and John Ryder in decision wins last year.

“I’m very proud that all the Mexicans are here watching us,” Alvarez, ESPN‘s No. 4 pound-for-pound boxer, said. “… He’s a great fighter. He’s strong, he’s smart. … But he’s a little slow. I can see every punch. Sometimes he got me because I get so confident. … I did really good and I feel proud about it. … I’m the best fighter right now for sure.”

Munguia, the former junior middleweight titleholder, was competing on the elite level of the sport for the first time. And he no doubt acquitted himself well. The 27-year-old from Tijuana fought with passion and showed an improved jab in his second fight with Hall of Fame trainer Freddie Roach.

The pressure and aggression of Munguia was effective over the first two rounds, but Alvarez eventually timed his opponent, as he usually does. “I take my time,” Alvarez said. “That’s why I have a lot of experience. … I have 12 rounds to win the fight and I did.”

Munguia (43-1, 34 KOs) won three rounds unanimously: the opening frame along with Rounds 3 and 9. He boxed well, but his punches never appeared to have enough pop to gain Alvarez’s respect.

Àlvarez has typically turned Cinco de Mayo weekend into a marquee attraction in the boxing world. He’s used the date as the platform for his wins over John Ryder, Billy Joe Saunders and Daniel Jacobs in recent years.

It was also the date for his loss to Dmitry Bivol in 2022.

Another strong performance from Àlvarez is good for the star and it’s good for the sport of boxing. He remains one of the sport’s biggest draws and there are still some big fights to make for him.

Specificially, a rematch with Bivol would be one of the biggest fights the sport could make right now.

However, there could be other matters for him to attend to in his current weight class that would prevent a move up.

The WBA recently named Edgar Berlanga a mandatory challenger.

Berlanga (22-0, 17 KOs) would be a viable candidate to see Canelo next, but there’s more money to be made with a potential matchup against rising star David Benavidez or a rematch with Bivol.

Àlvarez recently noted that he’s open to a fight with Benavidez in an appearance on First Take with ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith.

“We’ll see, why not? If the money is correct, why not? I can fight him Saturday night, too,” Álvarez said in the lead-up to this bout.

Regardless of who winds up being next, it’s clear that Canelo can still be the king of his division right now.

Canelo Alvarez to Fight Jaime Munguia in Las Vegas in May

May the Fourth be wih Canelo Alvarez.

The 33-year-old Mexican boxing superstar has finalized a deal to fight Jaime Munguia on May 4 fight at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas for Alvarez’s undisputed super middleweight championship.

Canelo AlvarezIt’s a one-fight deal for Alvarez and Premier Boxing Champions, sources said, after the sides parted ways last week with two bouts remaining on a three-fight agreement signed last June.

It’s a coup for PBC to welcome Alvarez, boxing’s top star, back into the fold for its second pay-per-view offering as part of its new partnership with Amazon‘s Prime Video.

DAZN, the streaming service that has an exclusive deal with Golden Boy Promotions, will also carry the event.

Munguia’s past 12 fights were streamed by DAZN. The 27-year-old Mexican fighter has been co-promoted by Zanfer and Golden Boy.

“On May 4, I’ll be fighting Jaime Munguia at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas,” Alvarez posted on social media. “Mexico vs. Mexico!”

Munguia (43-0, 34 KOs) is coming off a career-best win, a ninth-round TKO of John Ryder in January. He has steadily improved under the guidance of Hall of Fame trainer Freddie Roach.

Now, Munguia will represent Alvarez’s first Mexican opponent since Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. in 2017. Munguia is rated No. 4 by ESPN at 168 pounds.

Alvarez, ESPN’s No. 4 pound-for-pound boxer, was lined up for a championship defense against Jermall Charlo in May. However, Alvarez and PBC couldn’t agree to terms for the matchup, which contractually allowed him to explore other options.

Alvarez (60-2-2, 39 KOs) discussed a return to DAZN for bouts with Munguia and Edgar Berlanga this year, but when those talks stalled the champion returned to the table with PBC, sources said.

Alvarez plans to fight on Mexican Independence Day weekend in September as well.

Alvarez defeated Jermall’s twin brother, Jermell Charlo, via unanimous decision in September to retain his undisputed super middleweight championship as he kicked off the PBC partnership.

When the deal was signed in June, Jermall Charlo was lined up as the first opponent before he ultimately withdrew because of personal matters. Jermell stepped in, while Jermall and Errol Spence Jr. loomed as possibilities for the second and third bouts of the deal. That was before Spence was TKO’d by Terence Crawford in a one-sided beatdown in July, eliminating one viable opponent for Alvarez.

Then in November, Jermall failed to impress in a decision win against Jose Benavidez Jr. The bout was Charlo’s first in 29 months. It’s a big event any time Alvarez fights, but there was little commercial demand for a matchup with another Charlo after Jermell’s listless performance in September.

With an Alvarez-Charlo fight less appealing for May, the door opened for what promises to be a far more lucrative matchup with Munguia. Alvarez has been the sport’s top attraction since Floyd Mayweather Jr. retired in 2017.

The all-time great’s résumé includes a pair of wins over Gennadiy Golovkin and titles in four weight classes. His win over Charlo was preceded by a decision victory over Ryder in May in Mexico. Alvarez scored knockdowns in both fights.

The biggest potential fight out there for Alvarez remains a matchup against rising star David Benavidez.

“The reason why this fight is not happening is because Alvarez doesn’t want it to happen, plain and simple,” David Benavidez told ESPN last week.

PBC’s stable also includes star boxer Gervonta Davis, who is set to return vs. Frank Martin this summer. PBC’s first event with Prime Video will take place March 30 in Las Vegas, a pay-per-view headlined by Keith Thurman vs. Tim Tszyu.

Canelo Alvarez Parts Ways with Premier Boxing Champions

Canelo Alvarez has made an unexpected departure…

The 33-year-old Mexican professional boxer, one of the sport’s top stars, and Premier Boxing Champions have mutually agreed to part ways with two fights remaining on Alvarez’s three-fight deal signed in June, per ESPN.

Canelo AlvarezAlvarez, ESPN’s No. 4 pound-for-pound boxer, defeated Jermell Charlo via unanimous decision in September to retain his undisputed super middleweight championship. That was the first fight of Alvarez’s PBC partnership.

The pact called for Alvarez to fight Charlo’s twin brother, Jermall, on May 4.

However, Canelo and PBC couldn’t agree to terms for the matchup on Cinco de Mayo weekend sources said, which allowed Alvarez contractually to explore other options going forward.

The third fight of the deal was set to take place against a mutually-agreed-upon opponent, sources said.

An Alvarez-Jermall Charlo event would have struggled to generate the sort of business that Canelo is used to. After all, Jermell put up a listless performance vs. Alvarez and never threatened to win the fight, killing any brotherly revenge angle.

Jermall didn’t help himself, either. In November, he failed to impress against Jose Benavidez Jr., a natural welterweight. The bout was Jermall Charlo’s first in 29 months as he dealt with personal issues.

It’s a big event anytime Alvarez fights, but there’s little commercial demand for a matchup with another Charlo. Jermell Charlo also didn’t appear at his brother’s comeback bout as Jermall said the relationship was fractured.

Alvarez (60-2-2, 39 KOs) will look for a new opponent and promotional partner for May 4 and beyond. Edgar Berlanga‘s manager, Keith Connolly, told ESPN on Sunday that he’s had preliminary talks with Eddie Hearn regarding a Canelo-Berlanga fight in 2024.

Connolly said Berlanga would be ready to fight Canelo as early as May 4 after last night’s sixth-round TKO win over Padraig McCrory in Orlando, Florida.

Another option for Alvarez is fellow Mexican Jaime Munguia, who scored a career-best win last month with a ninth-round stoppage of John Ryder. Alvarez could end up fighting Berlanga in May and Munguia in September.

There’s significant public demand for Alvarez, 33, to fight David Benavidez, who’s with PBC, or even Terence Crawford, but so far Canelo hasn’t shown interest. Regardless, his legacy is secure.

The all-time great’s résumé includes a pair of wins over Gennadiy Golovkin and titles in five weight classes.

His win over Charlo was preceded by a decision victory over Ryder in May in Mexico. Alvarez scored knockdowns in both fights.

PBC’s stable is led by star boxer Gervonta Davis, who is set to return vs. Frank Martin this summer. PBC’s first event with Amazon‘s Prime Video will take place March 30 in Las Vegas, a PPV headlined by rising star Tim Tszyu against Keith Thurman.

Crawford signed a one-fight deal with PBC to meet Errol Spence last July, and after “Bud” won the undisputed welterweight championship, Spence exercised the rematch clause.

However, Spence underwent cataract surgery in January and the scheduling window provided by the rematch clause has since expired, meaning Crawford, like Canelo, is also a network and promotional free agent.

Gabriela Fundora to Defend IBF Flyweight Title Against Christina Cruz Next Month

Gabriela Fundora is going on the defensive….

The 21-year-old Mexican American professional boxer has agreed to fight Christina Cruz for Fundora’s IBF flyweight title on January 27 at the Footprint Center in Phoenix, Arizona, according to ESPN.

Gabriela FundoraThe fight will be on the undercard of the Jaime MunguiaJohn Ryder super middleweight bout.

Fundora (12-0, 5 KOs) won the title by defeating Arely Mucino by fifth-round KO in October. Fundora, ESPN‘s No. 2 flyweight, scored two knockdowns in that fight, showcasing power and great technique.

The fighter from Coachella, California, also earned decision victories over Tania Garcia and Maria Micheo Santizo in 2023, after fighting five times in 2022. Fundora was expected to face WBC, WBO and WBA flyweight champion Marlen Esparza to crown an undisputed champion, but that fight will have to wait.

Fundora is trained by her father, Freddy Fundora, and is the younger sister of former junior middleweight interim champion Sebastian Fundora.

Cruz (6-0), of New York, is the IBF No. 5 ranked fighter in the division. She competed three times in 2023, all one-sided decision victories over Josefina Vega, Nancy Franco and Amy Salinas. She turned professional in 2021 after a long amateur career of more than 130 fights.

This is a big step up for Cruz on her first title fight. She’s never fought more than eight rounds, and her opponents have a combined record of 38 wins and 31 losses.

Jaime Munguia to Fight John Ryder in a Super Middleweight Bout in January

Jaime Munguia has secured his next opponent…

The 27-year-old Mexican professional boxer, who held the WBO junior middleweight title from 2018 to 2019, will meet John Ryder in a super middleweight bout on January 27 in Phoenix.

Jaime MunguiaMunguia (42-0, 33 KOs), a native of Mexico, is coming off a career-best victory, a unanimous-decision win over Sergiy Derevyanchenko in June. Munguia scored a 12th-round knockdown to pull out the decision in a leading candidate for ESPN‘s Fight of the Year.

Now, Munguia will enter what shapes up as another slugfest.

England’s Ryder is coming off the biggest bout of his career, a spirited unanimous-decision loss to Canelo Alvarez in May.

Ryder (32-6, 18 KOs) was floored in Round 5 and suffered a broken nose against boxing’s top star but was able to land some effective blows down the stretch in Alvarez’s homecoming bout in Guadalajara, Mexico.

Munguia, ESPN‘s No. 6 boxer at 168 pounds, was a titleholder at 154 pounds and is hoping for his own crack at Alvarez next year.

Ryder, ESPN’s No. 4 super middleweight, defeated former champion Daniel Jacobs in 2022 in a career-best win.

Canelo Alvarez Remains Undisputed Super Middleweight Champion with Trouncing of Jermell Charlo

Canelo Alvarez has defended his undisputed super middleweight championship title once again.

The 33-year-old Mexican boxing superstar defeated Jermell Charlo on Saturday night at T-Mobile Arena in a lopsided unanimous-decision victory, leading to his third title defense.

Canelo AlvarezAlvarez floored Charlo in Round 7 with an overhand right, the second knockdown of the challenger’s career, but there weren’t many more opportunities for a knockout.

Charlo wasn’t willing to engage and rarely threw a punch. He moved away from Alvarez’s power shots all night but never attempted to make him pay.

Two judges scored the fight 118-109, with the other tally 119-108.

“Nobody can compete with this Canelo,” said Alvarez, ESPN‘s No. 4 pound-for-pound boxer. “Two months in the mountains [training near Lake Tahoe] without my family. I still love boxing. I love boxing so f—ing much. Boxing is my life. Boxing made me the person I am today.”

Charlo (35-2-1, 19 KOs) entered the ring the undisputed junior middleweight champion and had never competed above 154 pounds before. He was stripped of his WBO title once the fight started and said he would return to 154 pounds, where he still holds three titles. Australian star Tim Tszyu will defend the WBO belt October 14 against Brian Mendoza.

“I feel like it wasn’t me in there,” said Charlo, 33, who fights out of Houston. “I don’t make excuses. You win some, you lose some. I’m undisputed in my weight; I was daring to be great. I’m proud of myself. He didn’t knock me out; he knocked all the other guys out.”

It was clear by the way Charlo competed that he was looking to hear the final bell. Every time Alvarez closed the distance, Charlo slid over, but he wasn’t interested in engaging.

Alvarez (60-2-2, 39 KOs) appeared frustrated as he looked for Charlo to open up and afford him some counterpunching opportunities. It never happened.

Instead, Alvarez piled up points on the scorecards by expertly cutting off the ring with effective aggression and clean body punching, the hallmarks of his legendary career.

Alvarez acknowledged in the lead-up to Saturday’s bout that he wasn’t at his best in his three most recent fights and vowed to return to top form. He did just that. His movement, conditioning and punching combinations all appeared to be peak Canelo, though Charlo never presented much adversity.

Alvarez’s last inside-the-distance win came in November 2021, when he scored an 11th-round TKO of Caleb Plant to capture the undisputed super middleweight championship.

He moved up to 175 pounds for a fight with Dmitry Bivol in May 2022 and suffered his first loss since 2013, when he was outpointed by Floyd Mayweather. Four months later, Alvarez returned to 168 pounds to conclude his trilogy with Gennadiy Golovkin with a victory but faded down the stretch.

Alvarez revealed afterward that he fought Bivol and Golovkin with a serious left wrist injury and underwent surgery in October. His first post-surgery competition came in May when he returned home to Mexico for a decision win over John Ryder.

Canelo broke Ryder’s nose and scored a knockdown but didn’t finish him in a grueling fight. Alvarez conceded this week that his hand wasn’t 100% then and that he was not fully confident in his lead weapon.

After the win over Charlo, he reaffirmed that he is back to form.

“Whoever,” Alvarez said when asked whom he would face when he returns for his next fight on Cinco De Mayo weekend. “I don’t f—ing care.”

This victory was the first of Alvarez’s three-fight deal with PBC, but it was originally slated to come against Charlo’s twin brother, Jermall, the WBC middleweight titleholder. Jermall Charlo didn’t proceed with the planned fight as he dealt with a personal matter, and Alvarez quickly accepted the smaller Charlo as the new opponent.

“They look the same,” Alvarez told ESPN on Wednesday. “Same size, same everything. I don’t really care which Charlo brother it is.”

Charlo called out undisputed welterweight champion Terence Crawford afterward and said he was also open to a fight against the winner of Tszyu-Mendoza. Charlo was set to fight Tszyu in January before he broke his left hand in two places.

Saturday’s fight was Charlo’s first since May 2022, when he scored a 10th-round knockout of Brian Castano in a rematch to win the undisputed junior middleweight championship.

Alvarez, meanwhile, remains the face of boxing and proved without a doubt that he is still on top, quieting the critics who said he was on the decline at age 33 after more than 60 fights.

Canelo Alvarez to Fight Jermell Charlo in Las Vegas This September

Canelo Alvarez has lined up his next opponent, but it’s not the person most expected it to be.

The 32-year-old Mexican professional boxer, the sport’s top star at the moment, has announced on social media that he’ll fight Jermell Charlo rather than his twin brother, Jermall, on September 30 in Las Vegas, the first meeting of undisputed champions in the four-belt era.

Canelo AlvarezAlvarez holds all four super middleweight titles while Charlo owns all four belts at 154 pounds. The bout, which is expected to be a Showtime PPV event, will be contested at 168 pounds for Alvarez’s undisputed championship, per ESPN sources.

Alvarez (59-2-2, 39 KOs) was lined up for a fight with Jermall Charlo, the WBC champion at 160 pounds, after he met with PBC founder Al Haymon in the Cleveland area earlier in June.

But earlier this week, Alvarez’s team was informed that Jermall wouldn’t be available to fight in September, sources said. The sides pivoted to Jermell, who sits just outside ESPN’s pound-for-pound list but has never competed above 154 pounds, and the matchup was finalized on Friday, sources said.

ESPN Deportes reported earlier Friday that Jermall needed more time to get in shape because he has not fought since June 2021, when he scored a unanimous decision win over Juan Macias Montiel. WBC president Mauricio Sulaiman said last month that Jermall’s inactivity is due to mental health.

Alvarez, a future Hall of Famer from Mexico, struck a three-fight deal with PBC earlier in June, with the other two fights expected to take place on Cinco De Mayo Weekend and Mexican Independence Day Weekend in 2024, sources said.

Alvarez’s preferred September 16 date wasn’t available in Las Vegas due to a UFC event on the same night at T-Mobile Arena.

Canelo is coming off a unanimous-decision victory over John Ryder in May in a Mexico homecoming in Guadalajara. The win was Alvarez’s first fight since he underwent left wrist surgery in October.

In May 2022, Canelo moved up to light heavyweight but was routed by Dmitry Bivol in his first loss since he faced Floyd Mayweather in 2013. He returned in September to defeat his rival, Gennaidy Golovkin, in a trilogy fight.

Alvarez is ESPN’s No. 5 pound-for-pound boxer and has captured titles in four weight classes.

Last month, Alvarez was No. 5 on Forbes’ Highest-Paid Athletes list at estimated earnings of $110 million in 2022.

Jermall Charlo was one of two finalists for the Alvarez bout when Canelo ultimately selected Bivol last May. He could land his shot next May if Alvarez defeats his brother.

Jermell Charlo, a 33-year-old who fights out of the Houston area, captured the undisputed 154-pound championship last May when he knocked out Brian Castano in the 10th round of a rematch. The two fighters had previously battled to a highly controversial draw in July 2021 after Castano appeared to do enough to earn the decision.

The only defeat of Jermell’s career came in December 2018, a disputed decision loss to Tony Harrison. Jermell (35-1-1, 19 KOs) also avenged that blemish on his record, scoring an 11th-round knockout of Harrson one year later.

Jermell was set to defend his four titles against Tim Tszyu, the son of Hall of Famer Kostya Tszyu, in January before he suffered a broken left hand.

Canelo Alvarez Retains Undisputed Super Middleweight Championship Title with Unanimous Decision Victory

It’s a homecoming to remember for Canelo Alvarez

Against the backdrop of 51,000-plus fans who waited nearly 12 years for their hero to return, the 32-year-old Mexican professional boxer retained his undisputed super middleweight championship with a unanimous decision victory over England’s John Ryder on Saturday at Akron Stadium.

Canelo AlvarezAlvarez, boxing’s top star, battered and bloodied Ryder and floored him in Round 5, but he couldn’t put the challenger away. Instead, Alvarez settled for the points win via scores of 120-107, 118-109 and 118-109.

Alvarez fired home run right-hand shots down the stretch, but Ryder, who said he suffered a broken nose in Round 2 that bled profusely for most of the fight, showed immense courage to hear the final bell.

“It’s a historic moment for me,” said Alvarez, ESPN’s No. 5 pound-for-pound boxer. “I’m glad to be here with my people who supported me from the beginning. I’m very thankful to be here and very thankful with my people.

“He’s a very strong fighter, man. And when he’s going for everything, they turn it on. [The opponents] are more difficult than usual, but I knew that. I’m in this position a long time … and I respect my opponents because I know they’re coming for everything.”

The fight was Alvarez’s first since he underwent surgery on his left wrist in October. He admitted afterward that he “needed a couple of rounds to start punching and knowing I’m good with the hand.”

Alvarez (59-2-2, 39 KOs) said his surgically repaired hand feels “very good” and that he’s now “ready for everything.” If it’s up to him, that next fight will come against a familiar foe.

Throughout the lead-up, Alvarez said his goal remained a rematch with Russia’s Dmitry Bivol, who routed him via decision when they met last May at 175 pounds. The rejuvenated lead hand gives Alvarez confidence he can exact revenge, but he insists the encore encounter must take place at 175 pounds for Bivol’s title.

“I want the same terms, the same everything as the last fight,” said Alvarez, who plans to fight again on Sept. 16, Mexican Independence Day weekend. “… I think I’m better than him — that’s it. If you see the first five rounds, six rounds, I dominate the fight. But then I get tired, of course, because I don’t train at my 100%.”

Alvarez said he pushed through the pain in his three previous bouts — most recently a decision victory over Gennadiy Golovkin in September to close out their trilogy — and that it hurt to even glove up in the locker room.

Boxers usually look to gain every competitive advantage available, but Bivol insists the rematch must take place at 168 pounds for Alvarez’s four titles.

“Why should I even do the rematch at 175,” Bivol asked ESPN on Thursday. “What is the challenge or what is the motivation for me if I’ve already beaten him at that weight class? … He might have a better chance at 168 because he said that that’s his weight class.”

Alvarez, though, doesn’t want to hear any excuses that he weight-drained his foe. Eddie Hearn, who promotes both Alvarez and Bivol, said he’ll start negotiations for the rematch next week.

Hearn is also the promoter of Ryder, who entered the ring rated No. 4 by ESPN at super middleweight. Ryder (32-6, 18 KOs) earned the opportunity at boxing’s highest-paid athlete (No. 5 on Forbes’ list at $110 million in 2022) with a career year.

“The Gorilla” scored the biggest win of his career in February 2022 when he outpointed former champion Daniel Jacobs and followed up with a victory over Zach Parker in November when Parker suffered a broken hand.

But against Alvarez, Ryder was no match — Canelo landed 189 punches, more than double Ryder’s output. What the 34-year-old was able to do was absorb a beating and keep on coming back for more. He displayed tremendous heart round after round, and even connected on a few good counter shots of his own, particularly an uppercut.

Ryder’s best moments of the fight came in Round 8 — three rounds after he gutted out a knockdown from a sharp right hand — and in the closing seconds, he was on the canvas again. However, it was ruled a slip.

“I think I got him, but you know, he put the head in front and the elbows,” Alvarez said. “… I worked and I’m happy that the people got a great fight.”

Canelo almost ended the fight again in Round 9. He connected on two massive right hands that rocked Ryder before a third punch sent him tumbling into the ropes. Ryder somehow fired back — and then another flurry put him on shaky legs him again, but he never touched the canvas. Instead, the southpaw landed some stinging shots of his own.

The fight was entertaining indeed, even if it was one-sided. But it was clear Alvarez was frustrated the KO never materialized — he slapped his gloves together twice in the final round after throwing the right hand.

Ryder, with a bandage wrapped around his beet-red nose, said at the postfight news conference that he believes Alvarez is past his best days.

“He couldn’t get me out of there,” Ryder said. “His plan was to stop me. He didn’t.”

But Alvarez did score the victory in convincing fashion and remains the face of boxing. If he’s past his prime at 32, that won’t become clear until another day. He entered the ring wearing a green-and-gold poncho, accompanied by a display of fireworks and a 50-plus member mariachi band.

There was a crown atop his head, too — the king returned home, nearly 12 years after he left as a world-class boxer, but far from the Mexican legend he would later become.

Regis Prograis Signs Three-Fight Deal with Eddie Hearn’s Matchroom Boxing

Regis Prograis has a new deal…

The 34-year-old half-Hispanic American boxer, a junior welterweight champion Regis Prograis, has signed a three-fight deal with Eddie Hearn‘s Matchroom Boxing.

Regis Prograis Prograis (28-1, 24 KOs) accepted the offer over a more lucrative offer from Top Rank, sources said.

Prograis’ first fight with Matchroom will take place on June 17 in Prograis’ native New Orleans against Australia’s Liam Paro (23-0, 14 KOs), Prograis told ESPN. Sources said it is a headline bout on DAZN.

“Over the last few weeks, I’ve been contemplating which move I should make next,” Prograis said. “I had a lot of good offers on the table. But I feel like Matchroom is the best for me. I just feel like it’s the right fit. From the beginning I had that gut feeling and it never left. I can’t wait to start this chapter in my career.”

Prograis, who fights out of Houston, was ringside with Hearn for the Canelo AlvarezJohn Ryder undisputed super middleweight championship fight, Canelo’s first fight in Mexico in nearly 12 years.

ESPN’s No. 3 boxer at 140 pounds, Prograis became a two-time champion when he scored an 11th-round KO of Jose Zepeda in November. Prograis’ lone professional defeat came against Josh Taylor in 2019 via majority decision.

Now that he’s aligned with Matchroom, Prograis could be matched with Jack Catterall, ESPN’s No. 1 junior welterweight. Catterall, who signed with Hearn last month, dropped a controversial decision to Taylor last February in his lone pro defeat.

David Benavidez Beats Caleb Plant by Unanimous Decision

David Benavidez is celebrating the biggest win of his career…

The 26-year-old Mexican, Ecuadorian & Dominican American professional boxer logged a unanimous decision victory over Caleb Plant on Saturday at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.

David BenavidezPlant jumped out to an early lead on the strength of his jab and movement in the large, 22-by-22 ring, but Benavidez was able to hurt his opponent on several occasions.

Benavidez’s nonstop pressure wore down Plant over the second half of the super middleweight fight, and Benavidez prevailed by scores of 115-113, 116-112 and 117-111.

“I want to give a big shout to Caleb Plant,” said Benavidez, ESPN’s No. 2 super middleweight. “We fought like warriors in the ring, and this guy’s a f—ing helluva fighter. … I showed defense, head movement … and cut the ring really good. I hit him with a lot of hard shots.”

Benavidez also called out Canelo Alvarez, the undisputed champion at 168 pounds.

Alvarez, boxing’s top star, is set to defend his four super middleweight titles against John Ryder on May 6 in Mexico — but Alvarez always fights on Mexican Independence Day weekend in September too.

Alvarez has been calling for a rematch with Dmitry Bivol, who defeated Alvarez in May, but Benavidez has now made his case too.

“I have a lot of respect for Canelo Alvarez, but he has to give me that shot now,” he said. “That’s what everybody wants to see in September. … I don’t think he’s trying to avoid me; I just believe he has a lot of options.”

Plant, who lost his title to Alvarez via 11th-round stoppage in November 2021 for his lone previous defeat, showed off his impressive jab and footwork from the opening bell. The 30-year-old Tennessee native who fights out of Las Vegas was able to keep the larger, longer Benavidez at bay with the lead hand.

Every time Benavidez (27-0, 23 KOs) was able to pin Plant (22-2, 13 KOs) on the ropes, Plant was wise to spin off to evade danger. When Benavidez worked his way onto the inside, Plant held each and every time.

The tactic was smartly deployed, and veteran referee Kenny Bayless surprisingly allowed Plant to clinch without much warning. Hall of Fame boxer Oscar De La Hoya quipped on Twitter afterward that Benavidez was fighting two men in the ring.

“Kenny Bayless is a helluva referee, but he didn’t give Plant any warnings,” Benavidez said.

“I had to find a way to work around it,” he added.

Plant, ESPN’s No. 3 super middleweight, continued to pile up rounds during the first half on the strength of his jab and distance control, but eventually, Benavidez’s pressure broke through.

Benavidez, a Phoenix native who fights out of Seattle, appeared to sweep the second half of the fight. He buckled Plant with a chopping right hand in Round 8 that sent the former champion stumbling. However, Bayless quickly halted the action after a clash of heads left Plant with a vertical gash in the middle of his forehead that bled for the remainder of the fight.

Benavidez, who is nicknamed “Mexican Monster,” started to mix in body shots and a jab to go along with his best punch, the left hook. Under duress from Benavidez’s pressure and thudding shots, Plant’s jab mostly disappeared.

And again in Round 10, Benavidez had Plant in trouble, this time from a series of left hooks that forced Plant to desperately hold on.

Benavidez continued to push for the stoppage of his rival in the penultimate round — a bundle of left hands and chopping rights wobbled Plant’s legs — but Plant never tasted the canvas. He showed tremendous heart throughout the bout, just as he did against Alvarez, and made it to the final bell while still exchanging.

“David’s a helluva fighter,” said Plant, who scored a spectacular KO of former titleholder Anthony Dirrell in October. “It’s a big rivalry, but we got in here and settled it like men. … I’ve got in there and I’ve rumbled with the best in the world; I haven’t ducked anybody.”

“There’s no excuse,” Plant added. “David was the better man tonight.”

Now, Benavidez will wait to see what happens between Alvarez and Ryder in May while hoping for his own shot against boxing’s most bankable fighter.

Benavidez has twice held a super middleweight title and both times lost it outside the ring.

He was stripped by the WBC in 2018 following a positive test for cocaine. After he regained the title, Benavidez was forced to relinquish it in 2020 after he failed to make 168 pounds.