By: Hans Themistode
Just because David Benavidez is currently beltless, that doesn’t mean he shouldn’t be considered the best super middleweight in the world.
For the most part, that distinction goes to either unified champion Canelo Alvarez, or, to a lesser degree, IBF titlist Caleb Plant and WBO belt holder Billy Joe Saunders. Even with those aforementioned names possessing something he doesn’t, he still believes the question of who is the best in his weight class is an unambiguous one.
“If I’m not the best super middleweight, I’m the number contender,” said Benavidez during a recent virtual press conference.”
While Benavidez doesn’t have any world titles in his control, the former champion was never defeated in the ring. On two separate occasions, Benavidez lost his title due to outside circumstances. In early 2018, the Phoenix Arizona native was stripped of his WBC title due to a positive drug test for cocaine. Following his subsequent suspension, Benavidez returned to the ring and immediately won his world title back by defeating Anthony Dirrell.
Despite feeling appreciative for regaining his championship status, Benavidez was stripped of his title once again. This time, due to his failure to make the 168-pound weight limit in his most recent contest against Roamer Alexis Angulo in August of 2020.
In roughly 24 hours, Benavidez (23-0, 20 KOs) is set to return to the ring to take on fringe contender Ronald Ellis. But while he’s fully focused on the task at hand, Benavidez is aware that fights between Alvarez and WBC middleweight champion Jermall Charlo are what fans are clamoring to see.
Although he is only 24-years-old, Benavidez believes he doesn’t need more experience under his belt before he takes on those challenges. In fact, if Ellis were replaced with any of those aforementioned fighters tomorrow, Benavidez is under the belief that he’ll be more than ready.
“I’m ready to fight whoever, whenever. I can beat Canelo tomorrow and I can beat Charlo tomorrow too. I’m ready to fight them whenever.”
For the hard-hitting former champion, his desire to face Alvarez mostly stems from wanting to be the best. In the case of WBC middleweight titlist Jermall Charlo on the other hand, Benavidez simply wants to punish him. The two have lambasted one another over social media recently over the past several months.
All of the nonstop back and forth trash talk, however, has annoyed Benavidez. At this point, he’s ready to fight. But according to the apoplectic knockout artist, he doesn’t believe the feeling is mutual.
“The people are going to start demanding these fights. If I’m ready to fight these dudes and I’m 24-years-old and these dudes are 29, 30-years-old, what does that say about them?”