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Canelo Indirectly Rules Out Munguia As Opponent For May 4 Fight In Azteca TV Announcement

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Canelo Alvarez didn’t announce his next opponent Tuesday, but he indirectly ruled out one of his much-discussed options.

The Mexican superstar stated during an interview with TV Azteca, with which he announced the renewal of their broadcast partnership in his home country, that he will return to the ring May 4 in Las Vegas. The date and city for Alvarez’s next fight were well known, but the four-division champion also noted that he will face an American opponent that night, not a fellow Mexican.

That revelation eliminated Jaime Munguia from his list of potential foes for that pay-per-view fight. Representatives for Guadalajara’s Alvarez (60-2-2, 39 KOs) and Tijuana’s Munguia (43-0, 34 KOs) discussed them finally fighting May 4 in what would’ve been an all-Mexican showdown, but Alvarez apparently will defend his IBF, WBA, WBC and WBO super middleweight titles against someone else.

Jermall Charlo is considered the frontrunner to secure a shot at Alvarez’s 168-pound crowns May 4, despite that WBC interim super middleweight champ David Benavidez is the opponent most boxing fans want Alvarez to face next. Benavidez is a Mexican American, but he was born in Phoenix and resides in the Seattle area.

Like Benavidez (28-0, 24 KOs), Houston’s Charlo (33-0, 22 KOs) is affiliated with Al Haymon’s Premier Boxing Champions, with which the 33-year-old Alvarez is in the middle of a three-fight agreement.

Choosing Charlo as his next opponent would surely cause backlash among boxing fans. The 33-year-old Charlo, while undefeated and a long-reigning WBC middleweight champion, has fought only once since June 2021 and is the twin brother of an opponent Alvarez dominated during his last fight September 30 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.

Jermell Charlo (35-2-1, 19 KOs), then boxing’s undisputed junior middleweight champion, moved up two weight classes – from 154 pounds to 168 – to challenge Alvarez for his four titles in a Showtime Pay-Per-View main event. Alvarez dropped Jermell Charlo during the seventh round and won their 12-round bout by big margins on all three scorecards (119-108, 118-109, 118-109).

Jermall Charlo was initially believed to be the opponent for Alvarez’s return to PBC, but his smaller brother accepted the challenge once it became clear that Jermall Charlo would need more time to prepare for a fight of that magnitude.

Jermall Charlo’s long layoff was caused in part by mental health issues that the former IBF junior middleweight champion has openly discussed.

His 29-month hiatus ended November 25, when he out-pointed Jose Benavidez Jr. (28-3-1, 19 KOs) in a 10-round super middleweight match at Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino’s Michelob ULTRA Arena in Las Vegas. Charlo came in 3½ pounds overweight the day before his victory over Benavidez and apparently is done competing at the middleweight limit of 160 pounds.

Munguia most recently dropped British southpaw John Ryder four times and stopped him in the ninth round of their January 27 bout at Footprint Center in Phoenix. The 27-year-old Munguia’s performance against Ryder increased interest in a long-discussed showdown with Alvarez because London’s Ryder (32-7, 18 KOs) took Alvarez the distance in his previous fight – a 12-rounder last May 6 at Akron Stadium in Zapopan, Mexico.

Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.

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