Tag Archives: Benavidez

Caleb Plant Wants David Benavidez Next: “I’m tired of Waiting”


By: Hans Themistode

No one was truly shocked to see current IBF Super Middleweight champion Caleb Plant defend his belt this past Saturday night. After all, Vincent Feigenbutz, the opponent who stood across the ring from him on the night, was a complete unknown who lacked the credentials to give Plant a true fight. 

Upsets in the boxing world happen far more often than many would realize. It was just over 30 years ago that Heavyweight contender James “Buster” Douglass caused arguably the biggest upset of all-time. That was of course when he knocked out then undefeated champion Mike Tyson. It was just last year in 2019 when another monumental upset happened. Anthony Joshua, who was undefeated and in possession of three out of the four major Heavyweight titles, was dropped four times and ultimately stopped against Andy Ruiz Jr. 

Yet, with that being said, none of that came even remotely close to happening for Feigenbutz. He was simply outclassed and outgunned on the night. Plant rolled to an easy stoppage victory and stuck his chest out in the face of the cameras and called out fellow champion, WBC titlist David Benavidez. 

For several years now the two have had a war of words. Plant (20-0, 12 KOs) isn’t too fond of Benavidez and his father for some of the choice words they have made in the past about Plant’s deceased daughter. Benavidez (22-0, 19 KOs) on the other hand, doesn’t like Plant for another reason entirely. 

“That dude just thinks he’s the second coming of Floyd Mayweather,” said Benavidez during a recent interview. “I just want to shut that dude up.”

Never one to disguise his feelings about another fighter, Plant immediately voiced his interest in a fight with Benavidez as well.

“Everyone knows I want that unification fight with David Benavidez,” Plant stated. “You know who the best 168-pounder is. If you want that, you’ve got to come see me. I want that fight; I’ve been asking for it and I’m tired of waiting!”

The war of words between who many believe are the two best fighters in the division, didn’t simply start out of seemingly nowhere. 

Roughly one year ago, Plant was shown on cameras getting into a verbal altercation with Benavidez at a local gym. Punches were immediately seen flying through the air and the disdain for one another reached a new level. 

The issues between these two world class fighters isn’t some sort of gimmick. Nor is it a marketing tool that is being used in order to build up interest in a future showdown. No, it’s far more than just that. 

As previously mentioned, Plant looked sensational against albeit a limited opponent in Vincent Feigenbutz. The Nashville Tennessee crowd at the Bridgestone arena, may have been impressed with the performance of their champion, but Benavidez saw nothing special in his performance.

“It’s easy too look good against a bum,” said Benavidez via his social media account. “I wanna see u try to do that against me sweetheart.”

The tension between these elite boxers has seemingly reached its tipping point. Not only do both men want the fight, but there is apparently no one else in the way of preventing this contest from taking place next.  

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David Benavidez is Out To Get What’s His


By: Hans Themistode

Former Super Middleweight champion David Benavidez (21-0, 18 KOs) has had himself a bumpy and smooth ride all at the same time. He impressively dominated his competition in a short amount of time. At just the age of 20 he officially won a world championship when he defeated Ronald Gavril to win the WBC title.

He was supposed to reign for a long time in the division until cocaine use derailed his career. Benavidez would lose his title in addition to getting put on the shelf for one full year due to a suspension. The former champ returned this past March with a quick knockout win over J’Leon Love. Now that he has gotten some of the rust off, he now has a chance to win the title that he never officially lost in the ring when he takes on current champion Anthony Dirrell (33-1-1, 24 KOs). Benavidez is foaming at the mouth with the chance to get what he believes is his.


Photo Credit: Premier Boxing Champions Twitter Account

“I’m very motivated for this fight,” said Benavidez. “I feel like I have another opportunity to not just get a title, but take it from a champion. I’ve worked very hard for this fight. Dirrell has never been knocked out and I’m taking the challenge to be the man who does it.”

It can be difficult for a fighter to go from inactivity to a championship fight. Sure he faced Love just a few months ago but let’s be honest here, Love has never been a championship level fighter or even a contender for that matter. A few more fights under the belt of the former champion would be the best route but he doesn’t believe that to be the case.

“This is the perfect time for this fight. I’m getting stronger every day. Dirrell feels like he has a lot to prove to the fans. So it’s going to be a war as long as it lasts. This is going to be an amazing card. It’s a stacked card from beginning to end. I want to make a statement and steal the show.”

The two fighters have spent plenty of time going back and forth in terms of what they will do to the other. The respect between the two is mutual but there will be no love lost once they step inside that squared circle.

“Dirrell is a great fighter and we’re both ready for what we’re going to do. There’s a respect between us, but I’m going for the knockout. If I don’t, he’s going to get a beating.”

The Super Middleweight division is one of the very best in all of boxing. A future matchup with IBF belt holder Caleb Plant is every fans dream for Benavidez. Although he would love that future showdown, he can’t, and will not place any thought into it. Dirrell is the best fighter he has ever stepped into the ring with. Benavidez understands that if he overlooks his opponent, even for the slightest second, it could cost him everything he has worked hard to achieve.

“There’s a lot of great fights to be made at super middleweight but as of right now, all of my attention is on Anthony Dirrell. We give him the respect he deserves because he’s a champion at the end of the day. Dirrell has experience, plus some speed and power. He can change from orthodox to southpaw and has a lot of tricks in his book. He’s been in there with some good fighters. But what motivates me the most is that he’s never really been hurt and I want to be the first. I know when I put my hands on somebody, I can hurt them. It’s going to take my best to beat him and we’re looking forward to doing it.”

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Fox Sports PPV Preview: Spence vs. Porter, Dirrell vs. Benavidez


By: William Holmes

On Saturday Night the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California will be the host site for a pay per view offering by Al Haymon’s Premier Boxing Champions.

The main event of the evening will be a highly anticipated welterweight title fight between Errol Spence Jr. and Shawn Porter. The co-main event of the evening will be between Anthony Dirrell and David Bennavidez for Dirrell’s WBC Super Middleweight Title.

The undercard is also stocked, and it is headlined by a WBA Junior Welterweight Title Fight between Mario Barrios and Bartyr Akhmedov. Other fighters on the undercard include Josesito Lopez, John Molina Jr., Robert Guerrero, and Joey Spencer.


Photo Credit: Premier Boxing Champions Twitter Account

The following is a preview of the co-main event and main event of the evening.

Anthony Dirrell (33-1) vs. David Benavidez (21-0); WBC Super Middleweight Title

The co-main event is a title fight between a thirty four year old Anthony Dirrell and a twenty two year old David Benavidez. It’s an intriguing fight in that one fighter appears to be on an upward trajectory in his career while the other fighter may be near his downslide.

Dirrell will have a slight ½ inch height advantage on Benavidez but will be giving up two and a half inches in reach. Dirrell has twenty four stoppages on his resume while Benavidez has eighteen stoppage wins, but Benavidez has less fights than Dirrell.

Both boxers haven’t been very active. Dirrell fought once in 2019, once in 2018, and twice in 2017. Benavidez fought once in 2019, once in 2018, and three times in 2017.

Dirrell does have an edge in amateur experience. He was a PAL champ as an amateur and came in third place in the US Olympic trials. Benavidez only had fifteen fights as an amateur.

Benavidez has beaten the likes of J’Leon Love, Ronald Gavril, Rogelio Medina, Denis Douglin, and Francy Ntet. Dirrell has to be given the edge in defeated opponents as a professional. He has defeated the likes of Avni Yildirim, Abraham Han, Denis Douglin, Caleb Truax, Marco Antonio Rubio, and Sakio Bika. His lone loss was to Badou Jack.

This is an intriguing fight, but Benavidez looked spectacular in his win against J’Leon Love and he has a significant reach and age advantage. Dirrell’s experience may carry him through the day, but Benavidez has to be considered a slight favorite.

Errol Spence Jr. (25-0) vs. Shawn Porter (30-2-1); IBF/WBC Welterweight Titles

Errol “The Truth” Spence Jr. is considered by many to be the best welterweight fighter in the world.

But he will be facing the toughest test of his career on Saturday; a hard charging, relentless, in his prime champion by the name of Shawn Porter.

Both Spence and Porter are still in the middle of their athletic prime, with Spence being twenty nine years old and Porter being thirty one years old. Spence will have about a two and a half inch height advantage and a two and a half inch reach advantage.

Spence also appears to have an edge in power. He has stopped twenty one of his opponents while Porter has only stopped seventeen. Spence fought once in 2019, twice in 2018, and once in 2017. Porter has fought once in 2019, once in 2018, and twice in 2017.

Spence has never tasted defeat as a professional. He thoroughly outclassed Mikey Garcia in his pay per view headlining debut. He has also defeated the likes of Carlos Ocampo, Lamont Peterson, Kell Brook, Leonard Bundu, Chris Algieri, Chris Van Heerden, Phil Lo Greco, Samuel Vargas, and Ronald Cruz.

Porter has two losses on his record, but they were close losses to Keith Thurman and Kell Brook. He has defeated the likes of Yordenis Ugas, Danny Garcia, Andre Berto, Adrien Broner, Paul Malignaggi, Devon Alexander, Phil Lo Greco, and Alfonso Gomez.

Spence had a decorated amateur career. He was a former US National Champ and a National Golden Gloves Champion as an amateur. He also competed in the 2012 Summer Olympics. Porter also had a decorated amateur career, but not on the level of Spence. He was a US National Silver Medalist in the amateurs and a Golden Gloves Gold Medalist.

If Porter can keep the fight tight he can rough Spence up on the inside. However, Spence’s reach, height, and speed advantage will come into play and Spence will likely be able to keep Porter at bay.

Porter will have his moments, but this writer expects Spence to win rather convincingly on Saturday.

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Anthony Dirrell Isn’t Impressed With David Benavidez


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.

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PBC on Fox PPV Results: Benavidez Stops Love, Spence Cruises Past Garcia


By: William Holmes

AT&T Stadium, the home site of the NFL’s Dallas Cowboys, was the host site of tonight’s PPV offering by Fox Sports and Al Haymon’s Premier Boxing Champions.

This was the first ever boxing pay per view offering by Fox.

The first fight of the pay per view was between Chris Arreola (37-5-1) and Jean Pierre Augustin (17-0-1) in the heavyweight division.

Augustin was seven years younger than Arreola and has never suffered a defeat as a professional, but he has never faced someone on the level of Arreola before.

Arreola started the fight off by coming forward behind his jab, but Augustin was able to land his jabs from the outside and touch Arreola often, but his power didn’t bother Arreola.

Arreola had blood coming from his nose in the second round, but he didn’t appear to be bothered by it. Arreola connected with a stiff jab in the third round that staggered Augustin, and he was backing away and looked wobbly. Arreola followed it with a combination that sent Augustin to the mat and down for a count of nine, but the referee allowed it to continue.

Arreola immediately jumped on the still wobbly Augustin and forced the referee to stop the bout.

Arreola wins by TKO at 2:03 of the third round.

The next bout of the night was between Luis Nery (28-0) and McJoe Arroyo (18-2) in the bantamweight division.

Nery is a talented boxer and is making his US debut. Both boxers were southpaws and Nery was able to keep his distance and land outland his opponent early on.

Nery scored a knockdown in the second round with a short left uppercut, but Arroyo was able to survive the round.

Nery scored another knockdown in the third round after a quick combination that sent Arroyo to the mat. Arroyo had a small laceration by his nose as the third round came to an end.

Nery did not look like he was concerned about the power of Arroyo at all and landed a three punch combination in the fourth round that sent Arroyo down again. Arroyo got back to his feet, but was sent to the mat again in the fourth round after another combination and he got to his feet as the round came to an end.

His corner didn’t wait long to stop the fight in the fifth round, as Nery wins by TKO at 0:10 of the fifth round.

A walkout bout between Lindolfo Delgado (8-0) and James Roach (5-1) in the super lightweight division was shown due to the quick stoppage of the prior two fights.

Delgado looked to be in superior shape, and he has stopped all eight of his opponents that he faced so far.

This bout did not last long. Delgado blasted Roach for nearly the entire round and sent him down for the ten count after a vicious combination that ended with a body shot

Delgado remains undefeated with a knockout at 2:59 of the first round.

The next bout of the night was between David Benavidez (20-0) and J’Leon Love (24-2-1) in the Super Middleweight Division.

Benavidez looked to be a lot taller than Love, and was able to avoid the jabs and body attacks of Love early on. Benavidez was able to land some heavy combinations on Love when his back was against the back of the ropes, and he had Love stumbling back to his corner at the end of the first.

Benavidez continued to pound J’Leon Love when his back was against the ropes in the second round Benavidez landed two hard straight right hands to the chin of J’Leon Love, who covered up and offered nothing in return to stop the onslaught.

The referee jumped in to stop the fight at 1:14 of the second round to give Benavidez the TKO victory.

The main event of the evening was between Errol Spence Jr. (24-0) and Mikey Garcia (39-0) for the IBF Welterweight Title.

The announced attendance for this fight was 47,525.

Spence was active with his jab in the opening round and Garcia was showing good head movement. Spence’s straight left was landing in the first and second rounds, but Garcia kept it close in the second.

Spence’s reach was a major factor in the second round as his jab kept Garcia at bay. Garcia was unable to solve the reach of Spence and took some heavy shots in the third and fourth rounds, as he landed some heavy power shots.

Garcia came out strong in the beginning of the fifth round, but Spence quickly turned the momentum back in his favor with a crisp jab followed by power left hands. By the sixth round Spence looked like he was running away with the fight and was walking Garcia down and in total control.

Spence continued to touch Garcia at will in the seventh and eight rounds and Garcia had no answer for the offense of Spence. Garcia was able to land a few counter shots, but they had little to no effect on Spence.

Spence looked like he was close to stopping the fight in the ninth round as he pounded Garcia from corner to corner, but Garcia was able to stay on his feet and grit his way through the round.

Garcia was warned by his brother/trainer Robert Garcia that he was going to stop the fight before the start of the tenth round if he didn’t’ show him a little more than what he saw in the ninth round. Garcia was able to land some punches, but still got pummeled by Spence through most of the round and didn’t really threaten his opponent.

Garcia needed a knockout in the final two rounds in order to win the bout, but in the eleventh round it appeared it was Spence who was going for the stoppage as he brutalized both the body and head of Garcia.

Even though Spence was comfortably ahead in the final round, his corner told him to go for the stoppage and he did, but Garcia was able to survive the fight.

Errol Spence wins by a wide decision with scores of 120-107, 120-108, and 120-108.

Afterwards, Spence called out Manny Pacquiao for a fight and Pacquiao appeared to willingly accept it.

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PBC on FOX PPV Preview: Garcia vs. Spence, Benavidez vs. Love


By: William Holmes

On Saturday night Al Haymon’s Premier Boxing Champions along with Fox Sports will put on a Pay Per View offering live from Arlington, Texas. This card will take place at the home of the Dallas Cowboys at AT&T Stadium.

The main event of the night will be a bout between two undefeated fighters, Mikey Garcia and Errol Spence Jr. for Spence’s IBF Welterweight title. Garcia looks to make history as he jumps up two weight classes to take on Spence while Spence looks to cement his place as the welterweight division’s top fighter.


Photo Credit: Premier Boxing Champions Twitter Account

The co-main event of the night will be between David Benavidez and J’Leon Love in the super middleweight division. The winner of this bout will put him closer to a future title shot.

Seventeen fights are currently scheduled on the card! The undercard will feature boxers such as Luis Nery, McJoe Arroyo, Chris Arreola, Charles Martin, and Fernando Garcia.

The following is a preview of the co-main event and main event of the evening.

David Benavidez (20-0) vs. J’Leon Love; Super Middleweights (24-2-1)

David Benavidez is known as the youngest boxer to ever hold a Super Middleweight Championship, but he hasn’t been super active in the ring since he had a positive test for Cocaine in September of 2018 and had to serve a four month suspension.

On Saturday he’ll be facing one of the toughest tests of his career in veteran J’Leon Love.

Benavidez will have an inch and a half height advantage as well as an inch and a half reach advantage over Love. He is also nine years younger than Love, though Love is still in his athletic prime.

Benavidez has been fairly active, but only fought once in 2018 due to his suspension and fought three times in 2017. Love fought twice in 2018 but only fought once in 2017.

Benavidez didn’t fight often as an amateur, but has been boxing as a professional since he was a teenager. Love does have an edge in amateur experience as he competed both in the Olympic trials and the Golden Gloves tournament as an amateur.

Benavidez has the edge in power, as he has stopped seventeen of his opponents while Love has only stopped thirteen. In fact, Benavidez has been able to stop eight of his past ten opponents.

Benavidez has defeated the likes of Ronald Gavril, Rogelio Medina, Sherali Mamajonov, Denis Douglin, Francy Ntetu, and Philip Jackson Benson.

Love has defeated the likes of Marcus Upshaw, Scott Sigmon, Marco Antonio Periban, Vladine Biosse, Lajuan Simon, and Derrick Findley. His losses were to Peter Quillin and Rogelio Medina.

Love is a veteran, but he lacks that big named win on his resume to consider him to be a serious threat to Benavidez. The action may be slow in the beginning as Benavidez attempts to figure out Love’s style, but this writer expects him to dominate the middle to later rounds.

Errol Spence Jr. (24-0) vs. Mikey Garcia (39-0); IBF Welterweight Title

Let’s get the obvious out of the way. Mikey Garcia is bumping up to weight classes to face Errol Spence and will have a size disadvantage. He’ll also be giving up three inches in height and about four inches in reach to Spence. Garcia has fought as high as the junior welterweight limit of 140 pounds, but fought his last fight at 135 pounds.

Spence is also two years younger than Garcia, but both fighters are still in their athletic prime.

Both boxers are known for their power and their ability to stop their opponents. Spence has stopped twenty one of his opponents while Garcia has stopped thirty. However, Spence is currently riding an eleven fight stoppage streak while Garcia has only stopped two of his past five opponents. The power has not follow him as he has jumped weight classes.

Spence has never been defeated and has defeated an impressive list of fighters. He has beaten the likes of Carlos Ocampo, Lamont Petereson, Kell Brook, Leonard Bundu, Chris Algieri, Chris Van Herrden, Phil Lo Greco, Samuel Vargas, and Ronald Cruz.

He also had a successful amateur career and was a former US National Champion as well as a Olympic Participant for the United States in the 2012 Summer Olympics.

Garcia has defeated the likes of Robert Easter Jr., Sergey Lipinets, Adrien Broner, Dejan Zlaticanin, Juan Carlos Burgos, Roman Martinez, Juan Manuel Lopez, and Orlando Salido. As an amateur Garcia was a Police Athletic League Silver Medalist as well as a Bronze Medalist in the National Golden Gloves Championship.

Garcia is an excellent fighter, but he’s facing a man who’s bigger, longer, and more powerful. The size advantage will likely be too much for Garcia to overcome, but he should still have his moments in this fight.

This writer expects Spence to win a closer than expected decision victory.

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Crawford-Benavidez Jr. ESPN-Headlined Telecast Most Watched Boxing Event of 2018


By Jake Donovan

While critics of unbeaten pound-for-pound king Terence Crawford continue to demand better opposition, his fans continue to relish his every move in the ring.

Apparently, both sides are tuning in whenever he fights.

Crawford’s latest in-ring conquest—a 12th round stoppage of previously unbeaten Jose Benavidez Jr. last Saturday—produced a massive ratings win for ESPN, with the two-hour broadcast as a whole averaging 2.245 million viewers, according to Nielsen Media Research.


Photo Credit: Top Rank Boxing Twitter Account

The event—which aired live in front of a sold out crowd of more than 13,300 at CHI Health Center in Crawford’s hometown of Omaha, Nebraska—produced the second-most watched telecast of Top Rank’s boxing series on ESPN since returning to the network last July. Its debut—Jeff Horn’s controversial upset win over Manny Pacquiao—is the only show to outperform Saturday’s edition.

Even more impressive was the fact that it came on a crowded sports night that saw college football on ABC—a primetime matchup between Top 15 teams Wisconsin and Michigan (6.038 million viewers)—improve by more than 150% over the same slotted event one year ago. Crawford-Benavidez Jr. also competed against live coverage of Major League Baseball playoffs, which at 5.821 million viewers was within 10% of its lofty rating exactly 52 weeks ago.

The positioning of Saturday’s main event came with a strong college football lead-in of its own. Top-rated and defending champion Alabama’s rout of Missouri drew 3.758 million viewers in a game that ended early enough for ESPN to enjoy a rare on-time start for a primetime boxing event.

For Crawford, it’s more than a 230% increase from his previous ESPN primetime appearance, ironically in a far more significant bout. The undefeated switch hitter’s 3rd round knockout of Julius Indongo last August—which made him the first-ever four-belt champion in the history of the super lightweight division—averaged 965,000 viewers over the course of the telecast, with the bout itself averaging nearly 1.3 million viewers.

Specific ratings for each of Saturday’s two-bout telecast were not immediately available. The show also featured unbeaten featherweight Shakur Stevenson—a 2016 U.S. Olympian who earned the silver medal in the Rio Olympics—in a career-best 1st round knockout of Viorel Simion, who’d previously never been dropped or stopped.

According to an ESPN press release over the weekend, overnight ratings landed both legs of the doubleheader as the most watched boxing bouts of 2018. Crawford-Benavidez pulled in a healthy 1.8 overnight rating, slightly more than 80% above that of his pound-for-pound rival and promotional stablemate Vasyl Lomachenko, whose historic off-the-canvas knockout win over Jorge Linares this past May pulled a 1.0 overnight and just over 1 million viewers overall.

Saturday’s win marked the first successful defense of the welterweight title for Crawford (34-0, 25KOs), who won the belt in a 9th round stoppage of Horn this past June. That bout aired exclusively on ESPN+, a decision mandated by the ESPN brass that never seemed to sit well with Crawford and his team.

Ever the soldier, Crawford accepted the terms and ran through Horn in collecting a major title in his third weight class. His run as undisputed super lightweight champion was preceded by a 2014 Fighter of the Year-level campaign that bookended his stay as lightweight champion before moving up in weight.

The first defense of his welterweight title came with harsh pre-fight criticism, and for good reason. The 147-pound division is overflowing with top level talent, but Top Rank’s desire to keep the title defense in-house saw Crawford as high as a 33-1 favorite over Benavidez, a gifted amateur back in his day but who has managed to squander any positive momentum in the pro ranks.

Still, the previously unbeaten boxer from Phoenix, Ariz.—who held an interim title at 140 pounds—was praised for his brave return to the sport after being shot in his left leg in 2016. The 26-year old—whose younger brother David is a currently unbeaten super middleweight titlist—made his comeback earlier this year, a pre-Super Bowl event on ESPN in Corpus Christi, Texas for which Crawford was in attendance. Benavidez Jr. planted the seeds for a budding rivalry, getting into a heated exchange with Crawford and continuing the verbal onslaught throughout the year.

Benavidez Jr. appeared on the undercard of Crawford’s aforementioned win over Horn in Las Vegas this past June, scoring an 84-second knockout of previously unbeaten Frank Rojas. From there, the trash talk only increased, reaching a boiling point when the two landed in a brief violent eruption during Friday’s weigh-in.

To his credit, Benavidez Jr. gave a decent account of himself at least through the first half of Saturday’s main event, but was limited to taunting and absorbing over the final six rounds. Crawford finally decked his heated rival in the final minute of the fight, with an ensuing onslaught prompting referee Celestino Ruiz to stop the contest with just 18 seconds left.

The end result sparked a boisterous response from the partisan crowd on hand, which served as the largest attendance for any of Crawford’s five main events in this building and six overall title fights in his home state of Nebraska.

A hard-line stance is being taken by media members for Crawford’s 2019 campaign to include a mouthwatering showdown with fellow unbeaten welterweight titlist Errol Spence. Momentum for such a fight will only continue to build—much like Crawford’s fan base, as evidenced the numbers produced at the box office and in the ratings this past weekend.

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Jose Benavidez Jr. Has No Intentions To Lose


By: Rich Mancuso

Jose Benavidez Jr. has seen adversity out of the ring and the challenge to take the WBO Welterweight title from Terence Crawford will not be easy. Perhaps to those that take rankings serious the top pound-for-pound fighter in the business is Terence Crawford.

Benavidez Jr. is focused on changing that thinking about Crawford. Top three fighter or number one, the challenger does not care. Saturday night at the CHI Health Center in Omaha Nebraska, regardless of rankings, Benavidez Jr. has no intentions of leaving Crawford’s hometown without the title.


Photo Credit: Top Rank Twitter Account

Bob Arum of Top Rank, the promoter with rights to Crawford, always says the best fights are being delivered to fans on the ESPN televised platform. There is no debate about what is being delivered here and this is one of those fights, and partly because Jose Benavidez presents the challenge.

There is the height and reach advantage of Benavidez. There is also the anticipation of Terence Crawford and facing the toughest challenge of his title reign in this elite division of welterweight champions.

Insiders at Top Rank, and when asked, well they are skeptical because they are aware that Benavidez Jr. will not be easy. Basically it has nothing to do with their champion. This is a fight that will present the biggest challenge to date for Terence Crawford.

“Now he has grown into a man,” Arum said about Benavidez Jr. The often troubled and talented fighter has grown with Top Rank and Arum took him in at the age of 16.

There have been ups and downs with a fighter that never looks for attention. But those at Top Rank knew about the troubled past and they took a chance. Saturday night two of the best will put their differences aside and for Top Rank it means good business. This fight will be the center of attention from all perspectives.

“Things happen in life, good and bad,” Benavidez Jr. said Thursday afternoon. “I don’t try to use that as an excuse or anything. I know what I have to do.”

A leg with stitches above his right knee, that still bothers him. He survived and fought back from a bullet wound two years ago and that incident is still not clear. The question is, will Jose Benavidez Jr. survive 12-rounds with Terence Crawford?

“The leg, I block it out,” he said. “I just focus 110 percent. I know what we have to do. We train to win, and that’s what I am going to keep doing.”

There is no talk about looking ahead. This is a determined and hungry fighter and just looking at Terence Crawford, though a win would change the scope of this welterweight division. In fact, Arum would not discuss the options for both fighters and the focus is all about Saturday night.

But there is that concern of animosity as Benavidez Jr. made this personal. There were harsh words exchanged the day before at final workouts, and of course there is that call for the challenge to Terence Crawford.

“I don’t think Crawford is as good as people say,” said Benavidez Jr. “He is decent and not great. I came here to knock him out in his hometown. He is in a bigger weight division now and we have a lot more firepower than we ever had.”

And the firepower was evident. Those in the gym, in and out of the Benavidez Jr. camp, they saw that aggression and power. It was something they have never seen from the undefeated challenger but in boxing believe what you hear because the fighter has to convince the believers in the ring.

Yes, Benavidez Jr. is undefeated, But the opponent is Terence Crawford who can also come with that firepower and slowly get what he wants.

“Terence is the best fighter in the world,” says Brian McIntyre the trainer and manager of Crawford. He also said about Benavidez Jr. “He came here to fight hard which is okay with us.”

So there was never that disrespect from Terence Crawford or his team. This is all about a championship and one of prestige with that welterweight division always the talk in boxing circles. But hearing words from Benavidez Jr. and you wonder is there respect on the other end?

Or is this another way to promote a fight that has caught the interest of many? Sounds like a confident fighter and with the aggression, but this all about a championship and determination to get it Saturday night.

“Everyone is sleeping and soon they’re going to wake up and I’m going to beat his ass Saturday night,” Benavidez Jr. said. The reality can be a win and more of the elite will be in line to unify the titles.

This has always been the goal for Jose Benavidez Jr. to be in the ring with the best and the opportunity awaits. That troubled past will always be there and all he has to do is look and feel the pain from that wound to the leg.

Now it is close to reality. One punch or a decision in his favor and the pain will briefly go away. The troubled past is personal but being a champion leads to more opportunity.

Comment: [email protected] [email protected] Facebook.com/Rich Mancuso

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Top Rank Boxing on ESPN Preview: Stevenson vs. Simion, Benavidez vs. Crawford


By: William Holmes

Top Rank Promotions will promote a card featuring arguably their best pound for pound fighter, Terence Crawford, in his hometown of Omaha, Nebraska in the main event of an ESPN televised card.

Crawford will face fellow undefeated welterweight Jose Benavidez for Crawford’s WBO Welterweight title.

The co-main event of the night will be between former Olympian and high level prospect Shakur Stevenson and Viorel Simion in a junior lightweight bout.


Photo Credit: Top Rank Boxing Twitter Account

The undercard will feature several intriguing fights, including a junior middleweight bout between Carlos Adames and Josh Conley, ad junior welterweight bout between Mike Alvarado and Robbie Cannon, and a female junior lightweight bout between Mikaela Mayer and Vanessa Bradford.

The following is a preview of the co-main event and main event of the evening.

Shakur Stevenson (8-0) vs. Viorel Simion (21-2); Junior Lightweights

Shakur Stevenson is one of Top Rank’s most coveted prospects, and he was a silver medalist in the 2016 Summer Olympic Games. On paper he’ll be facing the toughest test of his career, Viorel Simion, a former Olympic participant in the 2004 Summer games.

Stevenson is still very young and will be sixteen years younger than his 37 year old opponent. He will also have a two inch height advantage.

Stevenson, a Newark, New Jersey native, has won three of his past five fights by stoppage and has never faced anyone with a losing record. He only has four stoppage wins on his resume, but has been very active since turning pro. He fought four times in 2017 and has already fought four times in 2018.

Simion, from Romania, has nine KO wins on his resume and isn’t known for his power. This Romanian boxer lost the two fights where he stepped up in competition, to Scott Quigg and Lee Selby. Simion has fought mainly in Eurpe and fought once in 2017 and twice in 2016.

Stevenson has defeated the likes of Carlos Ruiz, Aelio Mesquita, Roxberg Patrick Riley, and Juan Tapia. He also went 2-0 n the World Series of Boxing.

Simion has defeated the likes of Andoni Gago, Alexander Miskirtchian, and Ryan Sermona. The few times he stepped up his level of competition he was soundly beat.

This is a bout that Stevenson should win comfortably, but Simion is a good experienced boxer to gauge where Stevenson currently is in his professional development.

Terence Crawford (33-0) vs. Jose Benavidez Jr.(27-0); WBO Welterweight Title

Terence Crawford will be stepping into the ring with a younger, taller, and longer undefeated challenger on Saturday.

Crawford is still in his prime, but Benavidez is five years younger than him. Benavidez will also have about a six inch height advantage and a three inch reach advantage.

Crawford does appear to have an edge in power. He has stopped twenty four of his opponents, and seven of his past eight fights were stoppage victories. Benavidez only has eighteen stoppage victories, and three of his past five fights were by way of stoppage.

Both boxers had relatively successful amateur careers. Crawford was a former PAL National Champion while Benavidez was a former US National Golden Gloves Champion.

Both boxers have been fairly active in 2018 but Crawford has been the more active fighter of the two since 2016. Crawford fought once in 2018, twice in 2017, and three times in 2016. Benavidez fought twice in 2018 and only once 2016.

Benavidez was also shot in 2016 and missed all of 2017 as a result.

Crawford has soundly beaten every man he has faced so far. He has beaten the likes of Jeff Horn, Julius Indongo, Felix Diaz, John Molina Jr., Viktor Postol, Hank Lundy, Dierry jean, Thomas Dulrome, Raymundo Beltran, Yoriorkis Gamboa, and Ricky Burns.

Benavidez does not have the professional resume of Crawford, but he has beaten some decent boxers. He has defeated the likes of Frank Rojas, Matthew Strode, Francisco Santana, Jorge Paez Jr., Mauricio Herrera, and Pavel Miranda.

However, his win against Herrera is disputed by many who thought Herrera deserved the decision in that bout.

This is a major, major step up in competition for Benavidez. Unfortunately for him, he has never faced anyone near the level of Terrance Crawford and it is this writer’s opinion that he will be in over his head on Saturday night.

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Terence Crawford Readies for Homecoming Bout Against Jose Benavidez Jr.


Terence Crawford is excited to be back in Omaha, his beloved hometown and the site of many of his greatest fistic moments. The man nicknamed “Bud” will defend his WBO welterweight world title Saturday evening against Jose Benavidez Jr. at the CHI Health Center Omaha (formerly the CenturyLink Center), live on ESPN and ESPN Deportes beginning at 10:30 p.m. ET. His four CHI Health Center outings have drawn nearly 45,000 fans, and another packed house is expected.

The long-simmering animosity between Crawford and Benavidez spilled over into Wednesday’s media day, with the pair and their respective teams exchanging verbal haymakers.


Photo Credit: Mikey Williams/Top Rank

The ESPN broadcast will also include 2016 U.S. Olympic silver medalist and top featherweight prospect Shakur Stevenson (8-0, 4 KOs) in a 10-rounder against the battle-tested Viorel Simion (21-2, 9 KOs).

The action begins on ESPN+ at 7 p.m. ET and features female boxing sensation Mikaela Mayer (7-0, 4 KOs) versus Vanessa Bradford (4-0-2, 0 KOs) for the vacant NABF super featherweight title, former 140-pound world champion Mike Alvarado (39-4, 27 KOs) against Robbie Cannon (16-13-3, 7 KOs), Omaha-born light heavyweight prospect Steve Nelson (11-0, 9 KOs) taking on Oscar Riojas (17-10-1, 6 KOs), and Carlos Adames (14-0, 11 KOs) battling Joshua Conley (14-2-1, 9 KOs) for the vacant NABF super welterweight title.

Terence “Bud” Crawford

On the beef between him and Benavidez

“It’s been real since day one, since the fight has been announced. It ain’t been nothing but real.”

“I’m just going to go out there and shut him up. That’s it. That’s all.”

On whether Benavidez deserves the title shot

“No. Not at all. But that ain’t the point. The point is we’re here now, and we’re fighting on Saturday. Come Saturday, all the talking will be out the window.”

On people asking about future opponents and not Benavidez

“I’m just gonna keep doing what I’ve been doing, and that’s winning the fights and looking spectacular each and every fight. Everything else will fall into place.”

“It’s part of the game, but I’m not worried about that. They do their thing, and I’ll do mine on Saturday.”

“Once he feels them punches going upside his head, I don’t even know if he’s going to want to stand there next to me.”

Jose Benavidez Jr.

“It’s time to show the world what I can do. I’ve been waiting for this my whole life.”

“I am here. I am going to take over this city, and I am going to take his belt. I’m not scared.”

“I don’t see anything special in him. I don’t know why everyone hypes him up so much.”

Shakur Stevenson

On whether it’s a challenge to fight a late-notice opponent in Simion

“Honestly, no, because I come from the amateurs where I went into tournaments and didn’t know who I was fighting. I was fighting randoms, never seen them fight before, and then I get in the ring. I saw them across the ring, and I won. I don’t think it made a difference.”

On Simion as a fighter

“This is my toughest opponent as a pro. I never fought an opponent with this type of record. I’m coming here, as always, to put on a show.”

On fighting as ESPN co-feature

“I love fighting on ESPN. I love the fact that I get to fight on Bud’s undercard, and he’s the main event and I’m the co-main event. I’m ready to open the show.”

Mikaela Mayer

On moving down to 130 pounds

“I’m a lot stronger than ever while fighting at a lower weight. I’m coming into my own as an athlete.”

On adjusting to the pro game

“From my first fight to now, I see such a huge difference. There’s such a big difference between the amateurs and the pros. For each opponent, my team and I look at what they do best and how we can counter it.”

“I don’t feel any added pressure because this is what I wanted. I’m going to go in there and get the job done.”

Mike Alvarado

On returning after less than four months removed from his last fight

“Fighting {in Nebraska} the last time in 2017, I had a good knockout. I’m ready to do it again. From that point until now, I got a new trainer. I’ve been doing new things in training. For me to apply what I’ve been working on, I didn’t really have a chance before the last fight. It’s good. I needed some rounds. I had some inactivity.”

On fighting in front a raucous crowd Omaha

“It gives you more motivation, and I like the intensity. I’m happy to be on this stage again.”

Carlos Adames

“I am 100 percent recovered from my foot injury and ready to show the fans that I am the future of the 154-pound division. It’s a big honor to fight on this card, and I want to give the fans in Omaha and watching on ESPN+ an incredible show.”

“Conley is a tough guy, but I am 100 percent prepared. I feel comfortable at 154 pounds. My power is going to be too much for him.”

Crawford-Benavidez and Stevenson-Simion will air live and exclusively on ESPN and ESPN Deportes at 10:30 p.m. ET with undercards streaming live in the United States at 7 p.m. ET on ESPN+ — the new multi-sport, direct-to-consumer subscription streaming service from The Walt Disney Company’s Direct-to-Consumer & International segment in conjunction with ESPN.

Remaining tickets to this world championship event, priced at $178, $103, $63, and $38, not including applicable fees, can be purchased at the CHI Health Center Omaha box office, all Ticketmaster outlets, by phone at 800-745-3000, or online at ticketmaster.com.

Use the hashtag #CrawfordBenavidez to join the conversation on social media.

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PBC on Showtime Results: Danny Garcia Knocks Out Rios, Benavidez and Ugas Victorious


By: Ken Hissner

Saturday February 17th USA Showtime featured three bouts all worthy of main event status with former champions Garcia and Rios in the main event. The event was held at the Mandalay Bay Hotel & Casino Event Center in Las Vegas, NV.

Former 2-Division Champion Philadelphia’s Danny “Swift” Garcia, 34-1 (20), stopped former WBA World Lightweight Champion Brandon “Bam Bam” Rios, 34-4-1 (24), of Oxnard, CA, at 2:25 of the ninth round in an exciting fight from start to finish. Garcia’s stoppage was the highlight of the night of three great fights!

In the first round Garcia had his way for the most part with the quicker punches and foot work with Rios coming forward as always. In the second round it was Rios pressing and landing more than Garcia through the first half of the round. Garcia started using his jab and throwing combinations to offset the fast start by Rios. In the third round Garcia landed a double left hook to the body of Rios. As Rios pushed Garcia to the ropes Garcia landed half a dozen punches. Rios came back driving Garcia to the ropes with Garcia jabbing his way out of trouble. Rios landed a hard right hand to the chin of Garcia. Just under a minute Rios landed a hard overhand right to the side of the head of Garcia. Garcia came back with a hard right to the chin of Rios. The fans really got into the action.

In the fourth round the boxer-puncher Garcia countered well but the aggressive Rios was backing Garcia up. Garcia landed a good right uppercut to the body but Rios came back with a good right to the chin. With last than half a minute left Garcia rocked Rios. In the final 20 seconds Garcia hurt Rios with a right to the chin. The action was fast and furious. In the fifth round Garcia rocked Rios with a right hand only to have Rios come back with a right uppercut to the chin of Garcia. Garcia landed a 3-punch combination to the head of Rios. In the final minute of the round Garcia gave Rios a wicked body beating. Garcia rocked Rios with a left uppercut to the chin at the bell.

In the sixth round Rios landed a solid short right to the chin of Garcia. At the halfway point Rios had Garcia on the defense. Rios countered a Garcia right with a right to the chin of his own. It was a big round for Rios. At the halfway point of the fight it looked even. In the seventh round Rios was driving Garcia around the ring with Garcia doing his best to keep him off with a jab and landed a good right to the chin with a minute left in the round. With half a minute left in the round Garcia was moving well and landing well. Garcia may have stolen the round at the end.

In the eighth round Garcia landed a 3-punch combination. Rios came back with good body work. At the halfway mark Garcia landed quick left hooks to the body of Rios. Rios pinned Garcia to the ropes but was countered well by Garcia. There was action right up to the end of the round. In the ninth round Garcia boxed well and at the halfway point Garcia rocked Rios with right hands. Out of nowhere came a powerful right cross by Garcia dropping Rios hard to the canvas. As Rios beat the count he was asked by referee Kenny Bayless to step forward and it was obvious Rios was finished making Bayless to wisely call a halt.

“I first want to thank God and Al Haymon and my dad when of the best trainers in the world. I want to thank my family. I noticed he was open in the middle of the ring when I landed that punch to drop him. I would like to have a rematch with Keith Thurman but that’s up to him (has a fight in May),” said Garcia. Unfortunately Shawn Porter got into the ring while Garcia was being interviewed by Jim Gray causing a shouting match back and forth. Garcia got the best of that shouting match.

The judges had Garcia in front 78-74 from Dave Moretti and 77-73 by Steve Weisfeld and Glenn Trowbridge. This writer had Garcia in front 77-75 taking the last two rounds big. Garcia’s power proved to be the difference. He and Thurman are on a collision course for a rematch in what is possibly the most talented division in boxing today.

Philadelphia southpaw “The New” Ray Robinson, 24-3 (12), was knocked down twice losing in an upset to Cuban Yordenis Ugas, 21-3 (10), out of Miami, FL, at 1:05 of the seventh round with Ugas becoming No. 2 in the IBF rankings.

In the first round Robinson’s jab keeps Ugas on the defense though coming forward. A right from Ugas to the chin of Robinson drops him. Whether he stepped on Robinson’s foot it wasn’t clear. Both boxers landed solid exchanges bringing the fans cheering. In the second round Ugas kept stalking Robinson landing a lead right to the chin of Robinson. Robinson came back using a good jab keeping Ugas honest. In the third round Robinson missed with a right hook and got countered to the body by Ugas. Ugas landed an overhand right followed by a left jab keeping Robinson from countering.

In the fourth round Ugas lands right leads to the head of Robinson. Ugas landed a combination to the mid-section of Robinson. Ugas landed at the bell with a right while Robinson landed a punch after losing a point after dropping Ugas. In the fifth round Robinson is not doing well with the left hand keeping the jab on the most part to score points. Ugas is landing well with the rights to the head of Robinson.

In the sixth round Robinson started landing the left more but Ugas seemed to get the better with his right hand. Just prior to the bell Ugas landed a hard right to the chin of Robinson causing Robinson to complain to referee Robert Byrd. In the seventh round a powerful wide right hand to the chin dropped Robinson. He got up but on shaky legs. Ugas jumped on him landing a flurry of punches causing referee Byrd to stop the fight with Robinson throwing the last two punches. Robinson complained to the stoppage by Byrd. Ugas was ahead at the end on all the judges scorecards.

In the co-feature WBC World Super Middleweight Champion David “El Bandera Roja” Benavidez, 20-0 (17), of Phoenix, AZ, in a rematch with Romanian Ronald Gavril, 18-3-1 (14), out of Las Vegas, NV, pitched a shut out in what was an exciting brawl over 12 rounds.

In the opening round it only took Benavidez 10 seconds to land a right after a jab to the head of Gavril. This was a rematch from Benavidez winning a split decision over Gavril. Benavidez was landing right hands to the head of Gavril. With a minute left in the round Gavril landed a 3-punch combination to the head of Benavidez. Benavidez using a good jab and a follow-up right had a good round. In the second round Benavidez controlled with his jab. It took Gavril a minute into the round to land a solid right to the head of Benavidez. Gavril was pressing forward but getting countered well by Benavidez. Benavidez is landing a hard right almost at will in the last 20 seconds of the round.

In the third round it took 20 seconds when Benavidez hurt Gavril with a powerful right hand to the chin. Benavidez landed a good left uppercut to the chin of Gavril. Gavril out of frustration pushed Benavidez back without warning from referee Russell Mora. Benavidez landed a 3-punch combination having his way with Gavril. In the fourth round Gavril came out aggressively and got caught with a right hand and left hook that had him almost out on his feet as he was driven into the ropes. Gavril at the halfway point of the round fought back but Benavidez answered with rights to the head. Benavidez landed half a dozen punches without return from Gavril. Benavidez ended the round bouncing right hands off the head of Gavril.

In the fifth round halfway through the first minute of the round Benavidez landed a solid right to the head of Gavril. Not only was Benavidez quicker but punched harder. With 20 seconds left in the round it was Gavril landing a combination with the right to the head of Benavidez rocking him. In the sixth round Benavidez continued to dominate Gavril up to the final minute before Gavril came back on solid punches of his own. Benavidez came back near the end of the round as the fight started to heat up even more.

In the seventh round it turned into a battle with Benavidez still getting the best of it though Gavril got in some right hands to the head. In the eighth round Gavril comes out throwing more punches through the first minute of the round but got caught with several uppercuts from Benavidez. It turned into a war in this round. For the first time in the fight Benavidez backed into the ropes allowing Gavril to throw punches. Benavidez smiled and started punching Gavril backwards with solid combinations highlighted by a left uppercut to the chin. The fans loved the action.

In the ninth round Benavidez came out with triple jabs followed by a right to the head of Gavril. Gavril’s corner is yelling “show us something Ron.” He has been taking a beating in this round from Benavidez. With less than a minute left in the round Gavril tries landing punches but Benavidez answers with more fire power. Gavril’s nose was bleeding at the end of the round. In the tenth round Benavidez was having his way up until the halfway point when a game Gavril flurried until a solid right from Benavidez to the chin stopped Gavril’s offense. It looked like Benavidez was wondering how Gavril is still standing at the end of the round. The ring physician checked Gavril between rounds.

In the eleventh round Gavril continues to come forward looking for that one punch knowing he is way behind on points. Benavidez has kept his hands to his side the entire fight but his quickness of hand he still beats Gavril to the punch. He ends the final 20 seconds painting the face of Gavril with his jab. In the twelfth and final round Benavidez keeps ahead backing up landing his jab. At the halfway point it was Gavril rocking Benavidez with a solid right to the head. Just under a minute left in the fight Gavril backs up Benavidez into the ropes with a flurry of punches. Gavril knows he needs a knockout and he is doing his best to land that punch. The fans loved this one with both fighters giving them their monies worth. Gavril was marked up at the end but what a gallant effort on his part taking twice as many punches than he landed.

Judge Julie Lederman had it 119-109 while Robert Hoyle and Glenn Feldman had it 120-108 as did this writer.

“I kept punching (questioned about hand injuries) for I am a warrior. I want to thank Al Haymon and my team (then went into Spanish thanking the Mexican fans for their support),” said Benavidez.

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Benavidez Outpoints Gravil For WBC Strap


By: Sean Crose

Twenty year old David Benavidez aimed to make history Friday evening in Las Vegas as he battled to become the youngest fighter to ever attain a super middleweight championship. The talented, exceedingly hard hitting Phoenix native was putting his 18-0 record on the line against 18-1 Floyd Mayweather protege Ronald Gavril. The bout was the main event of a Showtime Special Edition boxing broadcast and was aired live from the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino.


Photo Credit: Showtime Sports

Before the Benavidez-Gavril bout, however, two other fights aired live. First, a pair of super middleweights faced off in a ten rounder. Up and comer Caleb Plant, 15-0, started off crisp against Andrew Hernandez, 19-6-1, employing his jab and effectively closing the distance. Plant kept up the momentum throughout the early portion of the bout, yet remained patient so as not to get caught unawares by his opponent.

By the middle rounds it had become clear that Hernandez, brave and game as he was, simply wasn’t as sharp and strong as his foe. Still, the Phoenix native was game. Bleeding from a cut and determined to show he could last, Hernandez did indeed make it to the final bell. The decision, however, went to Plant. While he certainly didn’t look bad, Plant didn’t particularly impress, especially when one considered the fact that Hernandez took the fight on short notice.

Next up, J’Leon Love, 23-1, fought Abie Han, 26-3, in another 10 round super middleweight affair. The early portion of the bout proved to be entertaining. Love’s shots and high guard were proficient enough, but Han’s off-beat style seemed to give Love some trouble, as did some of Han’s shots. To his credit, Love remained patient as the fight carried into the middle rounds. Han was very effective in his own right, though, making for a relatively fan friendly affair.

Then, in the eighth, a serious accidental headbutt impacted Love and sent Han to the ground in serious physical pain. So serious was the clash that ringside physicians had to attend to Han before a decision was read. Sure enough, the poor man – although conscious – had to be wheeled out on a stretcher. Needless to say, the judges ruled it a draw, though one judge had the score insanely biased in Love’s favor.

It was then time for the main event. With the WBC world title at stake, Benavidez and Vegas fighter (by way of Romania) Gavril had twelve rounds before them to prove who was the better man. The first round saw Benavidez trying to land clean while Gavril attempted to work the body. Gravil was excellent in the third – at least until the end, when Benavidez came on strong and started going powerfully to the body himself. The fourth was almost too close to call. Gravil regularly went to the body, but Benavidez had powerful moments.

By the time the middle rounds arrived, the fight had fallen into a pattern: Benevidez would throw the faster, flashier shots while Gravil kept his sights on Benavidez’ torso. It now seemed to be a question of whether or not Gravil’s body blows would eventually pay off. The sixth was largely a Gravil round. Was Benavidez taking a round off – or tiring?

As the fight rolled into the later rounds, Benavidez did indeed seem tired. “You took his best shot,” said Gravil’s trainer, former great Eddie Mustafa Mohammad, “he ain’t got nothing left.” And there was truth to be found in that statement, for Benavidez’ power seemed to have left him, at least to some degree. Yet the man found enough strength to hurt Gravil at the end of the tenth. There was no doubt, however, that Benavidez was taking a lot of punishment himself.

Still, Benavidez came back strong – very strong – in the eleventh. Sure enough, it looked like Gravil might actually hit the mat. The man survived, though. He even got some strong shots in of his own. The round, however, clearly belonged to the rejuvenated Benavidez. The twelfth and last round opened with Benavidez landing strong. Gravil managed to hold on, though. Then, stunningly enough, Benavidez went down from a Gravil shot. The fighter got up and survived the round, but it was some kind of fight.

When all was said and done, Benavidez walked away with the split decision win…and the WBC title belt.

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Unbeaten Benavidez Brothers Take Different Routes to Success


By: Ken Hissner

In talking to the father and trainer Jose Benavidez, Sr. from their Big Bear, CA, training camp about his sons Jose, Jr. and David Benavidez they have taken different routes from their amateur experiences to their unbeaten professional careers.

Jose Benavidez, Jr., 25-0 (16), at 25 had a 120-5 amateur career and had a fast start in 2010 winning 9 fights that year.

He has had an up and down career but still maintained his unbeaten record. In his last bout in July of 2016 he defeated Francisco Santana, 24-4-1, in Las Vegas, NV. Santana had a draw with recent title challenger Julian Williams of Philadelphia to his credit.

In 2014 Jose, Jr., won the interim WBA World super lightweight title defeating Mauricio Herrera, 21-4, of Mexico, who in a previous fight that year lost a disputed decision to then WBA Super world and WBC super lightweight champion Danny Garcia of Philadelphia, in Puerto Rico.

In his first defense he stopped Jorge Paez, Jr., 38-5-2, of Mexico in the twelfth and final round. He is co-managed by David A. Garcia and promoted by Top Rank.

The younger brother David “El Bandera Roja”, 18-0 (17), only had a 15-0 amateur record but has made the most of it since turning professional in 2013 and in his last bout stopped Rogelio Medina, 37-7, in May to earn a world title fight September 8th for the vacant WBC Super middleweight title against Romanian Ronald Gavril, 18-1 (14), out of NV, in Las Vegas. The latter is filling in for former champion Anthony Dirrell who was injured in training. Benavidez is promoted by Sampson Lewkowicz of Sampson Boxing and also co-managed by David A. Garcia. With a victory on September 8th David would be the youngest boxer not only to be the current youngest but the youngest ever to win the super middleweight championship of all time. His advisor is Al Haymon.

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Boxing Insider Notebook: Broner, Garcia, Shields, Cintron, Benavidez, and more…


Boxing Insider Notebook: Broner, Garcia, Shields, Cintron, Benavidez, and more…
Compiled By: William Holmes

The following is the Boxing Insider notebook for the week of June 6th to June 13th, covering the comings and goings in the sport of boxing that you might have missed.

Garcia_Lopez_130615_002a


Barclays Center to Host Matchup Between Adrien Broner and Mikey Garcia

Four-division world champion Adrien “The Problem” Broner and three-division world champion Mikey Garcia square off in a blockbuster matchup in the main event of SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING®, Saturday, July 29, live on SHOWTIME, presented by Premier Boxing Champions at Barclays Center, the home of BROOKLYN BOXING™.

Tickets to the event, which is promoted by Mayweather Promotions and DiBella Entertainment, are priced at $950, $750, $350, $300, $250, $150, $75, and $50 (not including applicable fees), and will go on sale on Thursday, June 15 at 10 a.m. ET, and can be purchased at ticketmaster.com, barclayscenter.com or by calling 800-745-3000. Tickets can also be purchased at the American Express Box Office at Barclays Center starting Friday, June 16 at noon (if tickets are still available). Group discounts are available by calling 844-BKLYN-GP.

“Broner vs. Garcia is one of the year’s biggest matchups in boxing and we anticipate an electric atmosphere at Barclays Center,” said Brett Yormark, CEO of Brooklyn Sports & Entertainment. “This will be our fourth major card in 2017 as BROOKLYN BOXING continues to deliver dramatic moments, competitive fights, and many of the sport’s biggest names to fight fans.”

Broner and Garcia, two world-class fighters in their prime, meet at a critical time in their respective careers in one of the most intriguing matches in boxing. Both Broner and Garcia have had spectacular victories at Barclays Center in Brooklyn during their careers. Broner successfully defended his welterweight title against Paulie Malignaggi at Barclays Center on June 22, 2013, and Garcia, coming off a lengthy layoff, defeated Elio Rojas via fifth-round TKO at the arena on July 30, 2016.

Broner, a three-division world champion by the age of 23, and one of the youngest four-division world champions in boxing history, remains one of the most accomplished and popular athletes in the sport today. Among the top 140-pounders in the world, Broner is undefeated at or below 140 pounds with his only two losses coming against welterweight world champions Marcos Maidana and Shawn Porter. At just 27 years old, Broner (33-2, 24 KOs) still believes he is the future of the sport and looks to prove it against Garcia on Saturday, July 29.

Hailing from Cincinnati, Ohio, Broner has achieved more in his young career than most fighters can hope for in a lifetime. After earning world titles at 130, 135 and 147 pounds, Broner won a belt in a fourth weight division – 140 pounds – in October 2015 when he defeated Khabib
Allakhverdiev via 12th round stoppage to become the second youngest four-division champion in boxing history at 26 (behind Oscar De La Hoya, 24). Broner will turn 28 years old on July 28, the day before his bout with Garcia.

Garcia, 29 years old and undefeated (36-0, 30 KOs), is a recently crowned lightweight champion and one of the best pound-for-pound boxers in the sport. He will move up in weight for the second time in just three fights to challenge Broner. Garcia is a member of a renowned boxing family, and is noted for his sportsmanship and his commanding presence in the ring, honed by his brother and acclaimed trainer Robert Garcia. He has held world titles at 126, 130 and 135 pounds, but has never fought above 138.

Garcia, of Moreno Valley by way of Oxnard, Calif., returned to the ring after a two-and-half-year layoff in July 2016 without missing a beat. After defeating Rojas, Garcia became a three-division champion by beating previously undefeated lightweight world champion Dejan Zlaticanin with a vicious third-round knockout this January. Garcia has stopped 19 of his last 21 opponents including Roman “Rocky” Martinez, Juan Manuel Lopez, Orlando Salido and Bernabe Concepcion.

Top Golden Boy Promotions Talent Set to Showcase their Skills Saturday Night

Top Texas contenders and prospects from across the state will come together this Saturday night, June 17 for an action-packed evening of fights from the Ford Center at the Star in Frisco.

As part of the Golden Boy Boxing on ESPN telecast, Championship hardware will be on the line in the all-Texas, eight-round co-main event as standout Golden Boy Prospect Joshua “The Professor” Franco (10-0, 6 KOs) of San Antonio faces off against Oscar Mojica (10-2, 1 KO) of Dallas for the WBC Youth Silver Flyweight title.

In the six-round TV opener, highly decorated amateur and super lightweight prospect Vergil Ortiz, Jr. (5-0, 5 KOs) from Dallas will search for his sixth consecutive knockout victory against Ricardo Fernandez (3-5-4) of Ciudad Juarez, Mexico.

Hoping to make TV, red-hot super featherweight prospect and Dallas native Javier Martinez (1-0, 1 KO) will appear in a four-round fight against Daniel Gutierrez (2-5, 2 KOs) of San Diego, CA.

Those three fights are in support of the main event in which heavy-handed super lightweights Pablo “El Demoledor” Cesar Cano (30-5-1, 21 KOs) and Fidel “The Atrisco Kid” Maldonado Jr. (23-3-1, 19 KOs) will battle over 10 rounds for the vacant WBC Fecarbox super lightweight title.

Off TV, a quarter of Texas prospects will fight to take their next step to stardom. San Antonio native Hector “El Finito” Tanajara, Jr. (9-0, 4 KOs), a super featherweight, will fight Eduardo Reyes (7-9, 5 KOs) of Reynosa, Mexico for six rounds. Austin’s own Travell “Black Magic” Mazion (11-0, 11 KOs) will look to make a dozen straight knockout victories to begin his middleweight career in a six-round fight against Fort Worth’s Even Torres (6-3, 5 KOs).

Dallas’ own Alex Rincon (1-0, 1 KO), a super welterweight, will step into a four-round fight against Austin-based Zachary Briones (1-3). Opening up the card will be two Texas fighters making their professional debuts, as Fort Worth’s David Fabela takes on San Antonio’s Zachary Lee in a four-round lightweight affair.

Cano vs. Maldonado, Jr., a 10-round super lightweight fight for the vacant WBC Fecarbox super lightweight title, is promoted by Golden Boy Promotions. The event is sponsored by Tecate, BORN BOLD and Hennessy, never stop, never settle. The bout will take place outside on Saturday, June 17 at Tostitos Championship Plaza at The Star in Frisco, Texas on ESPN 2 and ESPN Deportes starting at 11:00 p.m. EST/10:00 p.m. CST/9:00 p.m. PST.

The ESPN3 and WatchESPN App coverage will begin at 9:00 p.m. EST/8:00 p.m. CST/7:00 p.m. PST.

Tickets for Fight Night at The Star are on sale and priced at $90, $50, and $20, not including applicable service charges. To charge by phone with a major credit card, call Ticketmaster at (800) 745-3000. Tickets will be available for purchase online at www.ticketmaster.com. Additionally, walk up purchases are available at the AT&T Stadium Box Office (Monday-Friday 9:00 a.m. CT to 5:00 p.m. CT) or on day of the event at the Ford Center Box Office beginning at 3:00 p.m.

Super Middleweight Contender David Benavidez Does Admirable Job Behind Fox Sports 1 Mic for Brandon Rios’ Comeback Victory Last Sunday

Phoenix, Arizona-based super middleweight phenom David “El Bandera Roja” Benavidez spent some time behind the microphone last Sunday, while waiting eagerly for his potentially record-breaking world championship challenge.

Undefeated Benavidez (18-0, 17 KOs) did an admirable job serving as a Fox Sports 1 guest commentator for former champion Brand Rios’ exciting comeback victory over Aaron Herrera at the Pioneer Event Center in Lancaster, California.

Benavidez is coming off a star-making eight-punch combination KO 8 of fellow contender “Porky” Medina at the Laredo Energy Arena in Laredo, Texas.

The 20-year-old now waits for word on who he will face for the WBC Championship in his try to become the youngest super middleweight world champion in boxing history. Darrin Van Horn, who was 22 years, 8 months and 11 days old when he beat Lindell Holmes for the IBF super middleweight championship on May 18, 1991.

Meanwhile, highlights of Benavidez’s sensational victory over Medina continue to rack up views on YouTube. (Click HERE). At last count, the victory had garnered nearly 350,000 views. On the Premier Boxing Champions Facebook page, a similar video has 1.1 million viewers and on other pages, over 3.8 million.

“David is a talent at everything he does,” said his promoter, Sampson Lewkowicz. “Thank you to the PBC and Fox Sports for allowing him to reach a dream and work as a commentator while he awaits his ultimate dream: to become the youngest champion in history at 168 lbs.”

Sydney LeBlanc Steps in to Face Two-Time Gold Medalist Claressa Shields

Sydney “Ginger the Ninja” LeBlanc is stepping in on three days’ notice to face Women’s NABF Middleweight Champion, Claressa “T-Rex” Shields of Flint, Michigan, in the eight-round main event of Salita Promotions’ “Detroit Brawl” this Friday, June 16, 2017, at the Masonic Temple in Detroit.

33-year-old LeBlanc (4-1-1) from Gretna, Louisiana, represents a step up in competition from original opponent Mery Rancier, who was unable to participate due to visa issues. A six-year pro who was already in training for a fight on June 10, LeBlanc says she’s eager for the chance to upset the two-time Olympian and budding women’s superstar Shields.

“I’ve been pro boxing for nine years, since before the Olympics had a women’s division and I’ve taken a lot of time off because of a lack of available opponents,” explained LeBlanc. “These Olympians are reopening the gates for all female fighters. Everybody was on the shelf for years.

This is the first time female boxing has been popular since the Ann Wolfe days, so I’m very appreciative of the opportunities they are bringing.

I’ve never watched any of my opponents before a fight, but I know about Claressa Shields and I want to fight her. I’m looking at this fight as a good chance to see where I’m at, skill-wise and I’ll be ready.”

Shields vs. LeBlanc will be contested for the WBC Silver Super Middleweight Championship.

Once again sponsored by the Greektown Casino Hotel, tickets for “Detroit Brawl” are priced at VIP $200, Box Seats are $100 and $55, Seating is $40, and are available at all Ticketmaster outlets and Ticketmaster.com.

Kermit Cintron to Face Tyrone Brunson for Pennsylvania State Junior Middleweight Title

The stakes have been raised for the much anticipated showdown between former two-time world champion Kermit Cintron & Tyrone Brunson, that will take place on Saturday, June 24 at the 2300 Arena in Philadelphia.

The Pennsylvania State Junior Middleweight title will be on the line when those two combatants meet in a bout scheduled for 10-rounds.
The show is promoted by King’s Promotions.

“This was already a tremendous event, and now even more is on the line with the addition of the state title bout. This fight has the makings of an explosive fight, with the winner being in line for a major opportunity, said Marshall Kauffman, CEO of King’s Promotions.

That bout will headline an eleven bout card with some of the best fighters in the area being on display.

In the six-round co-feature, Anthony Burgin (10-3, 2 KO’s) of Philadelphia will take on Victor Vazquez (7-3, 3 KO’s) of Yonkers, NY in a super lightweight bout.

Also in six-round bouts:

Undefeated Steven Ortiz (6-0, 2 KO’s) of Philadelphia will take on an opponent to be named in a lightweight contest.

Jerome Conquest (7-2, 1 KO) of Philadelphia will fight Jae Ho Kim (6-3-1, 2 KO’s) of Philadelphia in a lightweight battle.

Daryl Bunting (3-1-1, 1 KO) of Asbury Park, NJ will square off with Gregory Clark (2-1-1, 1 KO) of Washington, DC in a super middleweight fight.

Marcus Bates (6-0-1, 6 KO’s) of Washington, DC will take on Roberto Pucheta (10-11-1, 6 KO’s) of Jalisco, Mexico in a bantamweight fight.

Nate Rivas (5-2, 2 KO’s) of Berlin, NJ will fight James Robinson (4-7-4, 1 KO) of York, PA in a junior middleweight affair.

In four-round bouts:

Chaise Nelson (5-1, 3 KO’s) of Dayton, OH will take on Jordan Peters (2-0-1, 2 KO’s) of Washington, DC in a super bantamweight tussle.

Nick Valliere (5-2, 2 KO’s) of Forked River, NJ will battle Randy Hedderick (2-7-1, 1 KO) of Gulfport, MS in a junior middleweight bout.

Colby Madison (4-0, 3 KO’s) of Baltimore, MD will take on an opponent to be named in heavyweight fight.

Brandon Robinson (3-1, 2 KO’s) of Philadelphia boxes Rafael Valencia (3-7-1, 2 KO’s) of Medford, OR in a super middleweight bout.

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PBC on ESPN Results: Benavidez and Luna Batter their Opponents to Remain Undefeated


PBC on ESPN Results: Benavidez and Luna Batter their Opponents to Remain Undefeated
By: William Holmes

The 2300 Arena in South Philadelphia was the host site for tonight’s telecast of the Premier Boxing Champions (PBC) on ESPN telecast.

Two highly touted prospects on the PBC roster fought on the televised portion of the card. Undefeated David Benavidez faced off against Denis Douglin in the main event of the night in the super middleweight division, and the co-main event was between undefeated Alejandro Luna and last minute replacement Naim Nelson in the lightweight division.

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Credit: Premier Boxing Champions/Ryan Hafey

Naim Nelson (13-1) and Alejandro Luna (20-0) was the first bout of the night in the junior welterweight division. Stephen Ormond was originally scheduled to face Luna, but he badly missed weight and Nelson, a local Philadelphia fighter, stepped up as a last minute replacement.

Both men started off fighting out of an orthodox stance and Nelson attacked to the body early. It was obvious that Luna had more snap to his punches in the opening stanza, but Nelson was willing to stay in the pocket and exchange with Luna despite the fact he only has one stoppage victory.

Nelson continued to stay in the pocket with Luna in the second round and even caused Luna’s left eye to swell. However, Luna was connecting with good combinations to the body with short uppercuts to the jaw.

Luna had Nelson backing up to the ropes in the third round, but both boxers were exchanging and landing good shots. Luna started off the fourth round focusing more of his attacks to the head out of a southpaw stance, and had some success when fighting from a distance.

Nelson was able to tag Luna with a couple of hard right crosses in the fifth round, but Luna’s pressure was relentless and the volume of his punches showed no signs of slowing down.

Luna came back out in an orthodox stance in the sixth round and attacked Nelson with a little more urgency than previous rounds. Luna seemed unafraid of Nelson’s power despite the swelling in his left eye. Even though Nelson was able to land a few decent shots, he was unable to slow down the work rate of Luna.

Luna’s stalking continued into the seventh round as he continued to measure his body shots while chasing Nelson around the ring.

Nelson fought valiantly and with great heart in the final three rounds of the bout and may have stolen the ninth round, but he just couldn’t keep up with the pace of Luna nor match his power. Luna came close to scoring a knockdown in the final round and had Nelson bleeding from his forehead, but Nelson was able to stay on his feet.

Luna wins the hard fought decision with scores of 99-91, 98-92, and 97-93.

Afterwards Luna stated, “Nelson was a tough guy and could bang a little bit. Obviously we prepared for another opponent, but I felt I had a solid performance against him.”

The main event of the night was between the hard hitting David Benavidez (15-0) and Denis Douglin (20-4) in the super middleweight division.

Three of Douglin’s four losses have come by knockout, while fourteen of Benavidez’s fifteen wins have come by stoppage.

Benavidez was significantly taller than Douglin and used his jab and reach to his advantage with sharp jabs and crisp crosses. Douglin, however, was able to do good work to the body and stunned Benavidez with a left hook near the end of the round and finished strong.

The second round was a close one to call. Benavidez was able to land a few hard uppercuts, but also had to hold the back of Douglin’s head in order to land some body shots. This round featured some good exchanges with both boxers landing their fair share of good shots.

Benavidez looked he was starting to wear Doughlin down in the third round. He staggered Doughlin at one point in the fourth round with a straight right hand and Doughlin was forced to hold on.

Benavidez looked like he was in complete control in the fourth and fifth rounds, and he was able to snake his punches around the tight guard of Douglin from a variety of angles and did it well.

Benavidez opened up the sith round with a hard right cross right uppercut combination, and had Douglin reeling on the ropes while he delivered withering body blows and hard shots to the head. Douglin looked like he was close to hitting the mat, but his mouthpiece fell out and he was granted a short break and recovered.

Benavidez opened up the seventh round by backing Douglin to a corner and continuing the damage he inflicted upon him in the previous round. At one point Douglin had Benavidez’s back towards the ropes, but the ring ropes fell down and the fight had to be stopped in order to fix the ring.

Douglin attacked Benavidez immediately when the fight restarted and did some good work to the body when Benavidez had his back to the ropes and may have stolen the round.

Benavidez appeared to win the eighth round after giving away the seventh by sticking to his jab and landing clean shots from the outside.

Douglin needed a knockout in the final two rounds to win the fight, but Benavidez landed several crowd pleasing shots in the ninth round including a combination of uppercuts that finally sent Douglin to the mat at the end of the ninth.

Douglin took several hard shots from Benavidez at the start of the tenth round and looked like he was just trying to survive. Benavidez landed another blistering combination with Douglin’s back towards the ropes before the referee jumped in and stopped the bout.

David Benavidez wins by TKO at 0:45 of the tenth round.

Afterwards Benavidez states, “I knew it was going to be a tough fight. I knew he wasn’t going to go out without a fight. So I came in here and started slower than I usually do, just using my jab a little bit more. I hurt him a lot of times, but I kept my cool. I knew I was going to get him out of here sooner or later and that’s exactly what I did tonight.

Undercard Quick Results:

Jeffrey Torres (1-0) defeated Mariano Rolon (0-1) by KO at 2:23 of the first round in the lightweight division.

Kieran Hooks (1-0) defeated Miguel Martinez (2-2) by decision in the junior middleweight division with scores of 38-37 on all three scorecards.

Darryl Bunting (2-0-2) and Edward Jeramie Ortiz (1-0-1) fought to a draw in the super middleweight division with scores of 39-37 for Bunting, and 38-38 on the other two scorecards.

Tyrone Brunson (23-6-1) defeated Carlos Garcia (10-17-1) by knockout at 0:25 of the fourth round in the junior middleweight division.

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