By: Hans Themistode
Former Super Middleweight champion David Benavidez (21-0, 18 KOs) has had himself a bumpy and smooth ride all at the same time. He impressively dominated his competition in a short amount of time. At just the age of 20 he officially won a world championship when he defeated Ronald Gavril to win the WBC title.
He was supposed to reign for a long time in the division until cocaine use derailed his career. Benavidez would lose his title in addition to getting put on the shelf for one full year due to a suspension. The former champ returned this past March with a quick knockout win over J’Leon Love. Now that he has gotten some of the rust off, he now has a chance to win the title that he never officially lost in the ring when he takes on current champion Anthony Dirrell (33-1-1, 24 KOs). Benavidez is foaming at the mouth with the chance to get what he believes is his.
Photo Credit: Premier Boxing Champions Twitter Account
“I’m very motivated for this fight,” said Benavidez. “I feel like I have another opportunity to not just get a title, but take it from a champion. I’ve worked very hard for this fight. Dirrell has never been knocked out and I’m taking the challenge to be the man who does it.”
It can be difficult for a fighter to go from inactivity to a championship fight. Sure he faced Love just a few months ago but let’s be honest here, Love has never been a championship level fighter or even a contender for that matter. A few more fights under the belt of the former champion would be the best route but he doesn’t believe that to be the case.
“This is the perfect time for this fight. I’m getting stronger every day. Dirrell feels like he has a lot to prove to the fans. So it’s going to be a war as long as it lasts. This is going to be an amazing card. It’s a stacked card from beginning to end. I want to make a statement and steal the show.”
The two fighters have spent plenty of time going back and forth in terms of what they will do to the other. The respect between the two is mutual but there will be no love lost once they step inside that squared circle.
“Dirrell is a great fighter and we’re both ready for what we’re going to do. There’s a respect between us, but I’m going for the knockout. If I don’t, he’s going to get a beating.”
The Super Middleweight division is one of the very best in all of boxing. A future matchup with IBF belt holder Caleb Plant is every fans dream for Benavidez. Although he would love that future showdown, he can’t, and will not place any thought into it. Dirrell is the best fighter he has ever stepped into the ring with. Benavidez understands that if he overlooks his opponent, even for the slightest second, it could cost him everything he has worked hard to achieve.
“There’s a lot of great fights to be made at super middleweight but as of right now, all of my attention is on Anthony Dirrell. We give him the respect he deserves because he’s a champion at the end of the day. Dirrell has experience, plus some speed and power. He can change from orthodox to southpaw and has a lot of tricks in his book. He’s been in there with some good fighters. But what motivates me the most is that he’s never really been hurt and I want to be the first. I know when I put my hands on somebody, I can hurt them. It’s going to take my best to beat him and we’re looking forward to doing it.”