By Dan Ambrose: Demetrius Andrade says David Benavidez is the true #1 at 168, not Canelo Alvarez, and he plans on taking the top spot from him next month on November 25th on Showtime PPV.
Andrade (32-0, 19 KOs) feels that Canelo was an opportunist, picking up the vacant WBC super middleweight title in December 2020 against Callum Smith after Benavidez (27-0, 23 KOs) lost the belt on the scales in August of that year when he failed to make weight for his defense against Roamer Alexis Angulo.
If Benavidez hadn’t lost his WBC title on the scales, Canelo would have never fought him and wouldn’t have become the undisputed champion by beating three soft guys in Callum, Billy Joe Saunders & Caleb Plant.
Knowledgable boxing fans see the 26-year-old Benavidez as the #1 fighter at 168, but the ones who are loyal to Canelo still view him as the top dog.
It’s clear that Canelo has been taking easier fights since his loss to Dmitry Bivol. He is expected to continue this pattern by facing Jermall Charlo in May.
Canelo (60-2-2, 39 KOs) likely won’t face the Benavidez-Andrade fight winner because both have elements to their game that would be all wrong for him, and he doesn’t want to lose again.
Andrade fighting the #1 guy at 168
“I think my finesse. I think you’re going to see Demetrius Andrade at his best finesse game. This is like weathering the storm and my movement, my ability, my body mechanics versus his body mechanics,” said Demetrius Andrade to Fight Hub TV about why he thinks he can beat David Benavidez on November 25th.
For Andrade to defeat Benavidez, he’ll need to do more than weather the storm because he’s not going to tire out in the later rounds and stop applying pressure. If Andrade is hoping that’ll happen, he’s deluded because it’s not going to.
The way to defeat Benavidez is to follow the Plant blueprint by hitting & moving and not staying still because he’s a classic plodding pressure fighter who never stops coming but has slow feet.
“He’s going to bring the pressure, and I’m going to be sitting there looking to pick him apart. A lot of those other fights aren’t the same motivation as this fight,” said Andrade when told that some fans think he’s getting older.
“It’s better now at this age, 36 or 37, because it wouldn’t happen then. So, I feel this is the time for this fight to be made if it was ever going to be made. I’ve only had one fight at 168 to get the rust off, and now I’m fighting the best guy in the world at 168 lbs.”
Whether you want to admit it or not, Benavidez is the best at 168, and Canelo is #3 or #4.
The best at 168:
1. David Benavidez
2. David Morrell Jr.
3. Canelo Alvarez
4. Caleb Plant
5. Diego Pacheco
6. Jaime Munguia
7. Jermall Charlo
8. Edgar Berlanga
Benavidez & Morrell Jr. are essentially tied for the top spot, and it’s one of those things where we don’t know who the true #1 is until they fight.
Unfortunately, with the way Benavidez is growing, he won’t stay around at 168 for much longer for them to fight. If Benavidez does stay at 168 for much longer, he’ll lose to somebody due to him being weight-drained. He’s practically a cruiserweight, and 175 might be too hard for him to make as well.
“David Benavidez is a real fighter, and this is a real fight. I think me and him know that, and I think this is going to make whoever wins, it will be the best at 168 lbs,” said Andrade.
“Canelo is fighting undisputed at 154. That makes you the best because I guarantee you that nobody at 154 is looking to go fight David Benavidez. Nobody at 154 is looking to fight Demetrius Andrade. I get the stake, ‘I’ll go fight Canelo, yeah.’”
Since his loss to Dmitry Bivol last year, Canelo has become ultra-careful with his matchmaking, not taking any chances by facing guys that could potentially beat him. Canelo chose not to try and avenge his loss to Bivol, saying he couldn’t because he was taking for too many things. We know the real reason.
“Canelo’s like, ‘I’ll get the smaller guy,’ but why hasn’t he made happen with me at 154, 160, and now 168, and also David when he was champion?” said Andrade. “He lost it [WBC 168-lb title] on the scale, and Canelo seized the opportunity, and that’s what makes him undisputed.
“He didn’t beat the man that I’m about to go toe-to-toe with, so therefore, he [Benavidez] is considered the best 168-pounder.”
Andrade is putting it lightly by saying that Canelo didn’t beat “the man” to become the best at 168, and I don’t think he cares. When you’re making the kind of money that Canelo is by fighting guys like Jermell Charlo, John Ryder, and washed-up 41-year-old Gennadiy Golovkin, why would you want to spoil things by fighting Benavidez and losing?
“I can’t be slick because people aren’t coming forward, bringing it on. That’s the only way you can be slick by someone opening up,” said Demetrius in reacting to being told that some boxing fans think he’s not as slick as he once was.”
Andrade is going to have to be slick against Benavidez because if he fights the way he’s been doing lately against the likes of Demond Nicholson, Jason Quigley & Liam Williams, he’ll lose because he can’t brawl with him.
“So, David is going to open up. He’s going to throw a lot of punches. That’s what he’s known for. So, therefore, I’m going to be able to get slick,” said Andrade.
Demetrius expects Benavidez to use high-volume punching
“David, I think he’s going to throw a lot of shots. You’re definitely going to see the best Andrade. He said David Benavidez vs. Andrade is a 50-50 fight, and so he knows the caliber fighter I am and the caliber fighter David Benavidez is,” said Andrade, reacting to Canelo saying that he’s a “horrible fighter.”
If Andrade stands still for any length of time, he’s going be forced into a firefight and will take a lot of shots from Benavidez.
We don’t know if the 35-year-old Andrade can move for three minutes of every round for twelve rounds without tiring and getting beaten up by Benavidez.
We also don’t know if the judges will give Andrade the decision if he moves constantly for twelve rounds because he’s the B-side in this fight, going up against the younger guy with the bigger fan base and more of a future ahead of him.
“I can’t dictate what Canelo does. He has the luxury of having so much power, so it doesn’t matter what I think if I can get the fight after [Benavidez],” said Andrade. “Does he really want it? Does he announce it? When he went on his undisputed streak and said, ‘I want to fight Billy Joe, I want to fight this person and that person,’ and they all waited for him to make the fight happen.”
Andrade should put Canelo out of his mind and forget about him permanently because if he hasn’t faced him by now, he never will. That’s the cold reality of it.
Canelo obviously doesn’t like the southpaw Andrade’s slick style, and that’s not going to change if he’s victorious against ‘The Mexican Monster’ Benavidez. If anything, it’ll be even more so.
“In this case, why hasn’t he done that? Why hasn’t he said, ‘David Benavidez or Demetrius Andrade?’ You’re going to get the best fighting the best. Showtime and PBC have been making that happen the whole entire year,” said Andrade.
“I’m grateful that I’m one of the matchups that are being made. This is the Super Bowl here. Thank you and tune in, and there’s not really much for me to say for you guys to buy,” said Andrade.
We’ll see how successful this fight is on Showtime PPV next month. Benavidez’s brother, Jose Benavidez Jr. is supposed to be fighting Jermall Charlo in the co-feature spot on the card.