By: Hans Themistode
David Benavidez has admitted to his mistakes and vowed to never commit them again.
After watching both of his super middleweight title reigns come to an end due to external circumstances, Benavidez believes he’s learned his lesson. Shortly after winning the WBC 168 pound title against Ronald Gavril in 2017 and defending his crown against him the following year, Benavidez was stripped of his title due to a positive drug test for cocaine.
While Benavidez would effectively work his way back up the ranks and reign as champion once again in 2019, he was stripped of his championship status on the scales as he failed to make the 168 pound limit against Roamer Alexis Angulo. Since then, Canelo Alvarez has gone on to win Benavidez’s world title, along with every other title at 168 pounds.
Although the now 25-year-old has urged Alvarez to face him, he’ll be forced to take another route. With Alvarez set to take on the winner between Ilunga Makabu and Thabiso Mchunu for the WBC cruiserweight crown, the WBC sanctioning body will pit their two highest-ranked contenders against one another for the interim title.
“The WBC granted Saul Alvarez a special permission to challenge the WBC champion in the cruiserweight division in 2022,” said the WBC in a written statement. “Reason for which, the Board of Governors approved a WBC interim championship in the division which will be contested by #1 David Benavidez and #2 David Lemieux.”
Benavidez, a Phoenix, Arizona native, has reeled off two straight knockout victories since he was stripped of his title. 2021 has been particularly kind to the 25-year-old, as he made things look incredibly easy against both Ronald Ellis and Kyrone Davis.
As for Lemieux, the former 160-pound belt holder has found a ton of success since moving up in weight in 2019. The 32-year-old has looked right at home in his new weight class, stopping his two most recent opponents, including David Zegarra, a fringe contender Lemieux easily knocked out in the second round earlier this year.
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