David Benavidez vs. Anthony Dirrell possible for Sept.8
By Tim Royner: Unbeaten WBC super middleweight champion David Benavidez (20-0, 17 KOs) is being talked about defending against former World Boxing Council 168 lb. champion Anthony Dirrell (32-1-1, 24 KOs) on September 8 on Showtime, according to RingTV.
Benavidez vs. Dirrell will be on the undercard of the welterweight fight between Shawn Porter and Danny Garcia in Brooklyn, New York. Porter and Garcia are fighting for the vacant WBC welterweight title that Keith ‘One Time’ Thurman vacated.
This will be a tough fight for Benavidez. Dirrell is a former world champion with a lot of punching power, as well as better than average hand speed. Benavidez had problems with Ronald Gavril, who isn’t the same kind of puncher that Dirrell is. The 6’2” Benavidez might fall apart potentially against Dirrell if he isn’t in the best shape possible for the fight.
This is a change of opponent for the 21-year-old Benavidez, who had previously been scheduled to defend against #13 WBC Matt Korobov on July 28 on the Mikey Garcia vs. Robert Easter Jr. card. Benavidez recently inked a contract with Top Rank. However, days later, Benavidez decided to go back with his former promoter Sampson Lewkowicz of Sampson Boxing, who has him under contract for the next three years.
Benavidez looked great in making his first defense of his WBC title last February in beating Ronald Gavril by a one-sided 12 round unanimous decision in their rematch. Benavidez had struggled to beat Gavril in their first fight in winning a12 round last September. Benavidez appeared weight drained in that fight. For the rematch, Benavidez’s weight was on point, and he was able to take the fight to Gavril for 12 rounds in winning an easy fight.
Dirrell, 33, likes to stand and slug with his opposition. However, sometimes he struggles when he faces guys that have the power to stand up to him. Dirrell lost to Badou Jack by a 12 round majority decision three years ago in 2015. Last year, Dirrell defeated Denis Douglin by a 6th round technical decision. The fight was controversial though, as Douglin appeared to do enough to deserve the victory. Dirrell has won his last five fights since losing to Jack. Dirrell’s opposition has been less than outstanding, however. The World Boxing has Dirrell rated #2. However, he hasn’t looked good in a long, long time, and he hasn’t beaten anyone that you can consider a good fighter since his victory over Sakio Bika in 2014. Dirrell defeated Caleb Truax by a 12 round decision in April 2016.
Had Benavidez stayed with Top Rank, he likely would have been matched against their fighters Jessie Hart, Gilberto ‘Zurdo’ Ramirez and Oleksandr Gvozdyk. The Top Rank promotional company likes to make a lot of fights, including many rematches, between their fighters. Whether that would have helped Benavidez become a star is hard to say. Without Benavidez facing the other top guys in the division, he likely wouldn’t have become a star with Top Rank. The way things are now, Benavidez has the chance to eventually face the winner of the World Boxing Super Series super middleweight tournament finals between George Groves and Callum Smith.
Also on the Benavidez vs. Dirrell card, former IBF heavyweight champion Charles Martin will be facing Adam Kownack.
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