Canelo’s next fight? The top 3 options for the undisputed champ

Canelo Alvarez during his open workouts for Jermell Charlo fight | Credit: IMAGO/USA Today, by Tom Hogan.

Last night Mexico’s very own Canelo Alvarez dominated Jermell Charlo in an undisputed versus undisputed matchup. The former pound-for-pound king nearly swept the scorecards and, after the fight, remained non-committal to a future fight with a potential matchup with WBC Interim Super Middleweight champion, David Benavidez. Let’s take a few minutes and look at some of the best options for Canelo going forward.

As a disclaimer, boxing is a bit different when it comes to matchmaking. The fights mentioned here are the top contenders. But between tune ups and mandatories, there’s really no telling who could be next.

The obvious choice: Canelo versus David Benavidez (or Demetrius Andrade)

David Benavidez has long been the fighter fans want for an all-Mexican showdown. Benavidez is 27-0 with 23 huge knockouts to his name. Benavidez is all but booked against Demetrius Andrade for a November 25th bout.

Benavidez is seen as a big favorite in that fight and that win would put him over the top for Canelo’s next contender despite holding the WBC interim title and assumed to be Canelo’s next mandatory. But this is boxing and anything can happen.

Alvarez can take on the winner of this fight and “unify” the interim belt and add another big name to his resume. A win over Benavidez would also future-proof Canelo’s resume as Benavidez will be around for a long time and beating him would retroactively make Canelo’s résumé better.

The built in story: Jermall Charlo

After beating the smaller, but better twin, Canelo Alvarez could go after Jermall Charlo, the other twin and the WBC Middleweight champion. Jermall was originally scheduled to be the opponent Canelo faced last night but decided against it due to his inactivity.

Jermall Charlo is undefeated at 32-0 with 22 knockouts. His best wins include the tough Sergiy Derevyanchenko, Austin Trout, and Corneilus Brundage. The problem with Jermall Charlo is that he has not fought since June of 2021, a unanimous decision over Juan Macias Montiel.

Jermall Charlo is rumored to fight as the co-main event on the Benavidez-Andrade undercard but those rumors are much more unsubstantiated. That opponent is supposed to be Joseph Benavidez Jr., the younger brother of David Benavidez.

Canelo stated he wanted Jermell, Jermall, then Benavidez in that order upon the announcement of his previous fight. Picking up a bout with Jermall Charlo would be the next step in that plan for Canelo.

The sleeper: Jaime Munguia

Ranked sixth by ESPN, Jaime Munguia could be a dark horse for Canelo Alvarez. Munguia is 42-0 with 33 knockouts. If Canelo does decide to fight on Cinco de Mayo next, an all-Mexican showdown would be massive in Guadalajara, Mexico.

Munguia would be more of that future-proofing mentioned in the Benavidez section. He will be champion one day, just so long as Canelo isn’t around.

The only issue with Jaime Munguia is his résumé. His last win was his best, a unanimous decision win over Sergiy Derevyanchenko. Outside of that, there’s not much going for him. He’s got wins over Kamil Szeremeta and Liam Smith and that’s it. Canelo isn’t in the business of fighting the non-tested.

Munguia is rumored to be in talks to fight John Ryder, Canelo’s previous opponent before Charlo. A win over Ryder in January would provide a chance for Munguia. With a definitive win, he could leapfrog the list as one of the top contenders.

Other options for Alvarez would include middleweight champion Janibek Alimkhanuly, Demetrius Andrade, a Caleb Plant rematch, or Edgar Berlanga.

Who is not next?

There are some names notably absent that are always brought up when matchmaking for Canelo Alvarez. Terence Crawford called out Alvarez on The Joe Rogan Experience. Crawford recently beat Errol Spence Jr. to become undisputed at welterweight. But Crawford is a full twenty pounds under Canelo. This fight is all talk and should not be made under any circumstances. There are weight classes for a reason.

Another name missing is Dmitrii Bivol. The Russian famously beat Alvarez in May of 2022, handing him his first loss since Floyd Mayweather in 2013. Once again, there are weight classes for a reason and Bivol is the WBA Light Heavyweight champion. Instead of rematching canelo at 174 or going down to 178, Bivol should continue to campaign for an undisputed fight with Artur Beterbiev.

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