David Benavidez to defend against Caleb Truax on April 19 on Showtime

By Boxing News - 02/26/2020 - Comments

By Dan Ambrose: David Benavidez will be defending his WBC super-middleweight title against former IBF 168-lb champ Caleb Truax on April 18 on Showtime. @MikeCoppinger is reporting the new opponent for the 23-year-old Benavidez (22-0, 19 KOs). He was previously said to be defending against #14 WBC Lionel Thompson, but now he’s been given an upgrade in #11 WBC Truax (31-4-2, 19 KOs).

Benavidez might have too much size and punching power for Truax to handle, but you never know. Although Anthony Dirrell knocked Truax out in the 1st round in April 2016, that was a situation where he was caught cold. Truax has a good chin, and he can punch. If Benavidez can’t get Truax out of there, he could be in for a tough fight.

Truax was supposed to be facing Peter ‘Kid Chocolate’ Quillin in a rematch last fall, but he injured his Achilles and wasn’t able to take the fight, according to Mike Coppinger. In Traux’s last fight, he defeated David Basajjamivule (16-5-1, 11 KOs) by a 10 round split decision last month on January 25.

Caleb Truax not looking good lately

Truax was fortunate to win that fight, as the 41-year-old little known Basajjamivule gave him all he could handle for 10 rounds. If not for Basajjamivule being docked 2 points for throwing rabbit punches, the fight would have been scored a draw.

Truax has slipped a little from the fighter that defeated James DeGale by a 12 round majority decision in their first fight in December 2017. In fairness to DeGale, he wasn’t at his best. DeGale was coming off shoulder surgery, and an 11-month layoff after his grueling 12 round draw against Badou Jack in January 2017. DeGale was arguably never the same fighter after his war with Jack.

Truax will need to be in top form for him to have a chance of defeating Benavidez because this is going to be a really hard fight for him. It’s winnable if Truax can catch Benavidez with something bit, but the odds of that happening are slim.

Truax lost his IBF title in a controversial decision

While it’s certainly true that Caleb hasn’t looked sharp in his last four fights, he hasn’t lost in the true sense.

In Truax’s rematch with DeGale, he lost a controversial 12 round unanimous decision in April 2018. DeGale did little more than clinch all night.

Every once in a while, DeGale would throw a shot, and immediately grab Truax in a clinch to prevent him from throwing anything back. It was an ugly fight. Truax looked like he deserved the win, but the judges gave the more popular fighter DeGale the nod. DeGale threw almost no punches in the fight, but the judges still gave it to him.

Truax fought Quillin last year in April, but the fight was stopped after the 2nd round due to Caleb suffering a cut from a clash of heads.

The fight was subsequently ruled a no-decision. It would have been interesting to see Truax and Quillin fight a rematch, as both guys would have been throwing bombs. However, Quillin is on the downside of his career and is coming off of a 10 round split decision loss to Alfredo Angulo last September.

This isn’t the Caleb that boxing fans want to Benavidez fight. They’re hoping to see Benavidez battle IBF super middleweight champion¬†Caleb Plant¬†(20-0, 12 KOs), but that’s a match-up that likely won’t take place until 2021 at the earliest. Plant and Benavidez have been talking a lot of trash back and forth. Supposedly, Plant wants the fight with Benavidez.

Benavidez to face Yildirim later in 2020

Assuming Benavidez gets passed Truax, he’ll be defending later this year against his IBF mandatory Avni Yildirim (21-2, 12 KOs), That’s not a great fight either for Benavidez, but one that he needs to get out of the way nonetheless for him to be able to hold onto his WBC 168-lb strap.

The World Boxing Council is giving Yildirim another chance to fight for their title despite the fact that he lost to Anthony Dirrell by a 10 round technical decision a year ago in February 2019. The fight was stopped due to Dirrell suffering a cut from a clash of heads. Dirrell was cut in the 2nd round and cut progressively worsed until the fight needed to be stopped after the 10th. Yildirim was coming on at the time of the stoppage.

One of the downsides of being a world champion is you have to defend the belt against guys that have done very little to earn their title shots. Yildirim is a perfect example of that.