Floyd Mayweather Jr names two fighters Canelo Alvarez should fight next

Canelo Alvarez is set to take on Dmitry Bivol next despite calls for him to take on the likes of unbeaten star David Benavidez and light heavyweight ruler Artur Beterbiev.

Floyd Mayweather Jr wants Canelo Alvarez to provide David Benavidez and Jermall Charlo the opportunity just like he did for the Mexican in 2013.

Former five-division world champion Mayweather inflicted the first and only defeat on Canelo's record when he outpointed him in Las Vegas. While the scorecards handed it to Mayweather via majority decision, it was a masterclass performance by Mayweather on the night.

The four-division titlist is at the peak of his powers and won Ring Magazine's 2021 Fighter of the Year award for becoming the first undisputed super middleweight champion in boxing history.

Canelo was offered deals by DAZN and Showtime and he decided to accept Eddie Hearn's two-fight deal which begins on May 7 against Dmitry Bivol - the WBA regular titleholder at light heavyweight.

The offer he rejected from Showtime was also a two-fight deal with Charlo and Benavidez being the two names on offer. Eddy Reynoso - trainer of Canelo - also linked his fighter to cruiserweight titlist Ilunga Makabu but that fight is now dead in the water following an underwhelming reaction.

Benavidez is the standout fight out of the two due to his size and power at super middleweight. He will instead take on David Lemieux in a WBC super middleweight title eliminator on May 21 at the Gila River Arena in Glendale, Arizona.

A win for Benavidez will see him installed as mandatory challenger for Canelo's 168lb title - a belt Benavidez has previously held.

"He did what made him happy. Sometimes you got to do what makes you happy," said Floyd Mayweather to Fighthype when quizzed about Canelo's decision to fight Bivol instead on Cinco de Mayo weekend.

"I think one of the biggest challenges for Canelo is Benavidez. Benavidez is like Canelo. He's [Benavidez] is different because he throws a lot of combinations, he's young, and he throws a lot of combinations," Mayweather continued.

"They said Canelo is no different. Someone had to give Canelo a shot at the top guy because I was a top guy. Canelo is a top guy. Benavidez, [Jermall] Charlo, or one of those guys deserves a chance. Give at least one of them a chance," said Mayweather.

Bivol a worthy opponent

Dmitry Bivol

Dmitry Bivol will fight Canelo Alvarez next despite calls for the former to be banned due to his nationality.

The undefeated light heavyweight star is from Russia but has not been banned from competing in the sport despite the likes of UEFA and FIFA stopping Russia from playing football at club and international level.

Bivol holds the WBA light heavyweight regular title and is 19-0 although he was pushed to the limit in an unexpected competitive fight against Britain's Craig Richards.

Speaking ahead of the fight, Canelo said: "I like challenges, it makes me feel alive - challenges for me in everything in my life. I like a good challenge and now I have a very good fighter in front of me and I'm excited for this fight.

"Bivol is a really tough fighter and it's going to be a really good fight for Cinco de Mayo weekend with my people in Las Vegas - Mexican weekend.

"I'm really excited and I'm going to prepare really well because this fight is going to be really hard."

Golovkin trilogy for September?

Should Canelo prevail as expected against Dmitry Bivol, there is a good chance he will take on Gennadiy Golovkin next to complete their rivalry.

The pair went toe-to-toe in two epic fights in 2017 and 2018. The first encounter ended in a controversial draw although the majority of those involved in boxing believed Golovkin had won comfortably.

The rematch - delayed due to Canelo failing a drugs test - saw the Mexican edge Golovkin via majority decision. While it was not as controversial, there is an argument it could have been a draw or even a victory to GGG rather than Canelo.

A trilogy fight in 2022 may whet the appetite of fans but at 40, GGG is very much the outsider should the fight come into fruition. Firstly, the Kazakh great will need to beat Ryota Murata in their upcoming middleweight unification on April 9 in Japan.

Gennadiy Golovkin

Speaking about a possible trilogy, Golovkin said: "I don't feel bothered by the results in the first two fights," Golovkin told DAZN. "I don't experience any pressure at all. I look ahead because whatever happened, happened. I honestly can't look at things that way.

"If I'm going to approach the third fight with Canelo, it'll certainly be with different thoughts and not with the idea of righting any wrongs. I'm not in boxing to prove anything to anybody.

"There's no need for me to have a particular win. I continue my career because I feel great."

Golovkin will more than likely be forced to move up from middleweight to face Canelo, who has admitted his days at 160lbs are numbered following a move up to super middleweight and light heavyweight.

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