By: Sean Crose
Hard hitting super middleweight David Benavidez was supposed to face Jose Uzcategui this weekend at Phoenix’ Footprint Center. Uzcategui, however, tested positive for the banned substance recombinant erythropoietin, and was subsequently removed from the fight. Instead, the undefeated 24-0 Benavidez, who had twice held the WBC super middleweight title, fought the 16-2-1 Kyrone Davis at the Footprint Center in a scheduled 10 rounder at super middleweight.
First, however, Jose Benavidez Jr entered the ring for the first time since losing in the 12th and final round to Terence Crawford back in 2018. The 37-1 Phoenix resident took on the 17-3 Francisco Emanuel Torres in a scheduled super welterweight 10 rounder. Benavidez put his height advantage to work immediately, though Torres gamely tried to fight through his reach. Torres started coming forward with his hands at his sides in the second.
The third was an exciting chapter, with Benevidez attempting to maintain range while Torres moved forward. Each fighter had moments where he fired away. The fourth showcased the fact that Benevidez wasn’t throwing particularly powerful shots. This gave Torres the confidence to keep moving forward…though Benevidez was essentially able to land at will throughout the round. Benevidez was able to control the tempo of the action through most of the fifth.
Benavidez banged away in the sixth, while Torres tirelessly moved forward. The seventh was close. Benavidez tossed off more punches, while Torres landed more effectively. An extremely determined Torres seemed to take the eighth. It was quite a close fight. Benavidez may have won the ninth, but he was having a very hard time keeping Torres at bay. Torres may not have done enough to take the tenth and final round. Needless to say, the judges ruled the fight a draw.
It was time for the main event.
Davis kept his distance in the first while Benavidez went in pursuit of his man. Davis kept away in the second, but Benavidez worked the body. By round’s end, Benavidez was banging away at Davis in the corner. Benavidez was able to land freely in the third. Davis did a good job in the fourth, giving nearly as good as he got. By the fifth, it looked like Benavidez was simply too big for his determined opponent. Davis was brave and game, but he looked to be losing the match. Still, the bout was nothing if not an exciting affair.
In between rounds, Davis’ trainer threatened to stop the fight if the fighter didn’t show some progress in the following chapter. Benavidez thudded away at Davis in the sixth…and still, Davis kept fighting. By the end of the round, however, Benavidez was simply laying on a beating. Davis was unable to escape from Benavidez’ punches, nor could he hit back effectively in the seventh. Fortunately, Davis’ corner tossed in the towel, stopping the fight before their man took more damage.
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