By: Sean Crose
Twenty two wins. No losses. All but two fights concluding by knockout. WBC super middleweight champion David Benavidez has much to be pleased with. Yet, being a young man, the twenty-three year old has plans for the future. One of those plans is to best the 26-1-0 Alexis Angulo this Saturday at the Mohegan Sun in Uncasville Connecticut. The bout, which is to be aired live on Showtime courtesy of PBC, is one where the Phoenix native is expected win. Still, Benavidez wants to make it clear that he’s ready for anything. “I’m not underestimating him at all,” Benavidez told FightHype.com of his opponent.
Like many belt holders, however, Benavidez hopes to move on to face fighters who are seen as more on his level. “I feel like my next step is fighting other champions,” he told FightHype, “and fighting the best of the best.” IBF super middleweight champ Caleb Plant is certainly one of those “other champions,” on Benavidez’ radar. “I definitely don’t like him,” Benavidez told FightHype when the issue of the 20-0 Plant came up. Personal dislike has always led to drama in the sport of boxing. Should Benavidez win as expected against Angulo this weekend, a unification battle with fellow PBC fighter Plant might well be in order.
Tall and lean, Benavidez exudes lanky power. Yet he also exudes the kind of confidence that can intimidate another fighter. Watch the man’s eyes when the referee give instructions before a bout and you will see a ferocity behind them. Not a showy kind of ferocity, but a natural fierceness that probably comes rather easily. Standing tall and upright during combat, Benavidez is patient and cool under fire. Once he starts punching, however, it can be a sight to behold. The sudden ferocity with which he took out J’Leon love in 2019, for instance, was as abrupt as it was devastating.
Not that Angulo plans to be a walk in the figurative park. Angulo is a fighter, after all, whose sole loss came at the gloved hands of the highly regarded Gilberto Ramirez. What’s more, Angulo can be a brawler and a tough guy. That kind of aggressiveness can throw anyone off their game on a given night. Furthermore, like Benavidez, Angulo stands over six feet tall, so Benavidez won’t be walking in with a significant advantage in height. Still, this is the kind of “stay busy” fight – at least on paper – that will keep fans interested until the bigger fights come along for the defending champion. Many a “stay busy” fight, has come to a surprising end, though. That’s something the confident Benavidez is determined to avoid.