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What’s next for Canelo? Benavidez minus Jaime Munguia equals Jermall Charlo

On Saturday, Jaime Munguia turned in arguably a career-best performance when he scored a TKO 9 victory over British lefty John Ryder in Phoenix, Arizona. The Mexican super middleweight star scored four knockdowns and forced Ryder’s corner to throw in the towel.

Munguia (43-0, 34 KOs) also one-upped countryman Canelo Alvarez, who failed to get Ryder off his feet in a 12-round unanimous decision win over the Londoner last May. Admittedly, Canelo was dominant, but he didn’t look anywhere near as destructive as Munguia.

While Canelo would still be the favorite over Munguia regardless of their respective performances against Ryder, this is still a terrific fight. It’s also the perfect matchup for Cinco de Mayo weekend and fans are now clamoring for it. It makes all the sense in the world for Canelo to defend his undisputed championship against Munguia next.

MORE: Jaime Munguia vs. John Ryder full card results

Is it going to happen? Not a chance.

Canelo is one fight into a three-fight deal with Premier Boxing Champions, having outboxed Jermell Charlo on Showtime PPV in September. However, with Showtime administering the final 10-count on their boxing programming at the end of the year, PBC sought a new broadcast provider. They settled on a landmark deal with streaming giant Amazon Prime.

Ryan Hafey/ Premier Boxing Champions

Now, it’s not below the belt to say that PBC are known for enjoying an in-house fight. Company founder Al Haymon frequently does business with Hall of Famer Floyd Mayweather, who has boasted about keeping shows “in-house”. With this type of ethos, can we expect PBC to let another promoter in on the Canelo business when they’ve just signed on with Amazon Prime?

And if that’s not enough, the other promoter is Golden Boy Promotions. While PBC did work with Oscar De La Hoya’s firm last year to make the Gervonta Davis vs. Ryan Garcia superfight, the dynamic in a bout involving Canelo is completely different.

It was Golden Boy who built Canelo from the ground up after signing him as a novice professional 15 years ago. The Mexican star fought on the undercards of high-profile events, built up a massive fanbase, and eventually broke through at the top level.

However, despite Canelo winning a plethora of world title belts and reaching pound-for-pound supremacy, the business relationship with De La Hoya soured around 2019. It got to the stage where fighter and promoter wouldn’t exchange a word at press conferences and the atmosphere was positively hostile.

When Canelo managed to break free from his deal with Golden Boy and DAZN, rival promoter Eddie Hearn from Matchroom swooped in to secure the Mexican hero’s services in 2020. Five fights and more world titles followed, but sandwiched between those assignments was one PBC fight with Caleb Plant, which saw Canelo win the undisputed super middleweight championship. Haymon had entered the Canelo sweepstakes and secured the three-fight deal less than two years later.

While a lot of water has gone under the bridge, the hostility between De La Hoya and Canelo still exists. The former has played the role of diplomat in the ensuing years, wishing Canelo luck before fights and praising him every so often. Those good graces have never been returned.

Canelo will be extremely confident of beating Munguia, but will he want to work with De La Hoya again in any capacity? Maybe enough time has elapsed to where the Mexican star will put a huge fight over professional enmity, but there are no guarantees.

For whatever reason, a bout between Canelo and WBC interim titleholder David Benavidez appears snake-bitten. That’s the one the fans really want. However, the undisputed champ comes across as positively aloof whenever the Mexican Monster’s name is mentioned, so hopes aren’t high of that fight coming off, either.

The name that keeps coming up for Canelo is Jermall Charlo, who is the reigning WBC middleweight titleholder. Despite being woefully inactive and having struggled with mental health problems in recent years, the Texas-based boxer-puncher remains the front-runner for May.

Given the fact that Canelo is coming off a dominant and thoroughly unexciting win over Charlo’s twin brother, fans could scarcely be less excited about that fight. But what might supersede fan rapport is business sense. Isn’t that always the way in this sport? Jermall Charlo is a PBC fighter and that might be all he needs to secure himself a multi-million-dollar payday.

Munguia will have to wait… and wait… and wait.

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