WHAT now for Canelo Alvarez following his lopsided 12-round points win over Jermell Charlo? The 33-year-old has now won three in a row and exhibited complete control over an unbeaten rival who some in the industry thought might give the old campaigner a decent scrap.

Yet those in Las Vegas to witness Canelo move to 60-2-2 (39) mentioned the lack of excitement surrounding the event. Without question, outside of our boxing bubble, there was not even a whisper being uttered about it. That should be a concern for the supposed biggest attraction in the sport. Another routine outing will surely not come next…

Alvarez dominates Charlo in Las Vegas (Sarah Stier/Getty Images)


5) Jai Opetaia

Fighters as influential as Canelo do whatever they like. When they ‘unify’ belts and become ‘undisputed’ champions it’s because they want to shout about it and not – let’s be clear – because they have to. And now he’s beaten the leader from two divisions below don’t be surprised if he takes aim at the leader from two divisions above.

Though WBC boss Badou Jack is a likelier target should Alvarez set his sights on a fifth divisional strap, Jai Opetaia, 23-0 (18), might be the more marketable option. Though arguably the best in the weight class, he’s not an invincible man nor a terrifying physical presence. The Aussie oozes intensity and charisma and, crucially, it would be deemed winnable for the Mexican superstar.

Opetaia stops Thompson at Wembley Arena (Mark Robinson Matchroom Boxing)


4) Dmitry Bivol

This was once the rematch Canelo craved after Bivol, 21-0 (11), outpointed him in May 2022. It seemed to be in the works for a while too. Yet the nature of the light-heavyweight’s victory was so convincing, one wonders if Alvarez had second thoughts or was advised against pursuing a return.

But don’t question the fiery competitive streak that burns inside the Mexican. He won’t have forgotten the first fight nor be at ease with an active fighter holding such significant bragging rights over him. A comfortable winner in his three subsequent contests, Canelo may now feel that the time is right to put the record straight.

Dmitry Bivol attacks Alvarez at the T-Mobile Arena on May 7, 2022 in Las Vegas (Ethan Miller/Getty Images)


3) Jaime Munguia

This all-Mexico showdown could be huge with the right setting. Though educated fans would rightly name Canelo a healthy favourite, marketeers could spin Munguia’s 42-0 (33) stats to make this an appealing battle between youth and experience.

That his old promoter, Oscar De La Hoya, is behind Munguia’s wheel might be problematic on the surface, but Canelo would no doubt savour the opportunity to get one over his old master. Better still, not only does Munguia have a style that Canelo thrives against, the world super-middleweight champion will be acutely aware that he should win this one at a canter.

Munguia celebrates his victory over Takeshi Inoue (Bob Levey/Getty Images)


2) David Benavidez

The aficionado’s choice, Benavidez is without debate Canelo’s biggest rival at 168lbs. And considering Canelo is the world champion in the weight class, surely he should defend against his leading contender.

A win over Benavidez, 27-0 (23), would leave Alvarez with very little to prove and enhance his legacy. He’d also start as favourite against a boxer who, though young (26) and talented, has not fought at anything like the level Canelo is so accustomed to.

Perhaps the biggest stumbling block for this one is the interest level and therefore the prize money on offer. Benavidez is not exactly a household name and given the flowery storylines that could be manifested with other opponents, the old risk-reward factor might make this a non-starter at this stage of Canelo’s career.

David Benavidez (Getty Images)


1) Terence Crawford

After trouncing Errol Spence to claim welterweight supremacy, the 40-0 (31) Crawford is widely regarded as the best fighter in the entire sport. Which obviously means that he is widely regarded to be a better fighter than Canelo. That alone might bother Alvarez, who takes pride in his superstar status.

There are of course weight classes for good reason, as the victory over Jermell Charlo proved, but a Canelo-Crawford showdown is the biggest fight to be made in boxing today. Consequently, the money on offer would be ginormous and, if ‘Bud’ keeps antagonising his esteemed target, Canelo might just agree to take it for the chance to shut him up.

Crawford enjoys his victory lap after beating Errol Spence Jr. (Getty Images)