By: Hans Themistode
With all of the attention on IBF Welterweight champion Errol Spence Jr and WBC belt holder Shawn Porter there is another fight on this card that is being overlooked. WBC Super Middleweight champion Anthony Dirrell (33-1-1, 24 KOs) and former champion David Benavidez (21-0, 18 KOs) will be going head to head on the co feature.
Benavidez might be considered a former champion, but he has never officially lost his title in the ring. Since his suspension due to cocaine use, he has had one comeback fight where he knocked out J’Leon Love in the second round. Before his lay off, Benavidez was running through the division. His opponent that will be standing across the ring from him on September 28th, at the Staples Center, current champion Anthony Dirrell is in a precarious situation.
The talent that he possesses is not in question. Even at the age of 34, Dirrell continues to be one of the better fighters in the division. The problem he could be facing in this contest is his passion. Dirrell has gone on the record several times stating that 2019 will be his last year in the sport of boxing. Now that this contest is less than two weeks away he has been mum on the retirement talk as he has placed all of his focus on Benavidez.
“Right now I’m focused on David Benavidez,” said Dirrell. “I’m not focused on retirement or who’s next. My only focus is David Benavidez.”
With Benavidez coming in with a 12 year youth advantage, Dirrell is wise to keep his focus on his opponent. For as good as the former champion has looked in his brief career, he has faced no one of note. Dirrell on the other hand has shared the ring with former champions such as Badou Jack and Caleb Truax.
“He’s young minded. Who has he fought? Everyone that he has fought he was supposed to knockout. He hasn’t seen anybody with the grit, grind and determination that I have. I just don’t think he is everything that everyone is saying. He’s a warrior don’t get me wrong but I have all the tools to beat him.”
The odds aren’t in the favor of Dirrell to say the least but that has no indication on how this contest will go.
“That’s just people’s opinion’s. It doesn’t bother me at all. At the end of the day I know what I’m capable of doing and I’ll show it on fight night.”
The main event of this September 28th, card is sure to give fans their money’s worth, but the co main event could headline any card on its own.
The early signs point to Benavidez getting his hands on the title that was once his but, Dirrell’s nickname is “The Dog” so it’s sure to be a rough and rugged fight all night.