David Benavidez training for early 2021 return at super middleweight
By Kenneth Friedman: David Benavidez will be back inside the ring in early 2021 in returning to the 168-pound division after losing his WBC super-middleweight title on the scales last August.
We’ll see if Benavidez is able to make the 168-lb weight limit for his next fight, as it appears that he’s outgrown the division. The WBC even temporarily gave Benavidez a #1 ranking at 175 with their organization.
If Benavidez comes in heavy again for his next fight at 168, then it would be a good idea for him to accept the reality that he’s too big to be fighting at super-middleweight. Benavidez obviously doesn’t want to move up to 175 because there are many dangerous fighters in that weight class that won’t bring in the same kind of money that he can make at 168.
Moreover, Benavidez won’t have the size advantage over light-heavyweights like Artur Beterbiev and Dmitry Bivol, and that would put him on an even playing field with them.
Benavidez isn’t used to fighting guys his own size, and he might have a hard time making that adjustment.
168-lb division loaded with talent
One can understand completely why Benaivdez wishes to stay at 168, as that division that is loaded with talented fighters that he can make a lot of money fighting.
Canelo Alvarez is one of the guys in the super middleweight division for Benavidez to make good money fighting.
These are some of the other fighters at 168 that make it important for Benavidez to stay in the weight class:
- Billy Joe Saunders
- Daniel Jacobs
- Callum Smith
- Caleb Plant
- David Lemieux
Jermall Charlo and Gennadiy Golovkin are also fighters that are targets for Benavidez if he can lure them into facing him at 168. Benavidez is too big to come down to 160, but those guys would move up in weight potentially for a fight against him in the future.
Even if Benavidez does somehow continue to make weight for the 168lb division, he may be ignored by the other top fighters. None of the top fighters have fought him all these years since he turned pro in 2013, and you’ve got to believe they’ll be less likely to now after his weight problems against Angulo.
Benavidez is rumored to have put on a lot of weight after rehydrating for his match against Angulo, and he looked huge inside the ring during that match. That’s another reason why Benavidez may find it difficult to get fights against the top guys. They’re not going to want to fight a guy that is essentially a light-heavyweight or a cruiserweight.
Benavidez (23-0, 20 KOs) is training to get ready for his next fight, which is still to be determined. It’s likely that he’ll face the best available contender to help get him in a position to challenge for his old WBC title.
Benavidez expected to go after the WBC title
Right now, the WBC belt is vacant, but the sanctioning bodies are attempting to get a new champion soon. Once they do, Benavidez, #1, will be in a position to fight for his old belt as long as the World Boxing Council orders the fight.
The 23-year-old Benavidez weighed in almost three pounds over the 168-lb limit at 170 3/4 lbs for a title defense of his former WBC super-middleweight title against fringe contender Roamer Alexis Angulo (26-2, 22 KOs) on August 15. Benavidez’s WBC’s trap was subsequently stripped from him.
While Benavidez won the fight by a 10th round stoppage of Angulo, he still lost his WBC title because he failed to make weight. The WBC recently voted for Canelo Alvarez to face #1 WBC Avni Yildirim for the vacant168-lb strap, but that fight is still up in the air.
It’s quite possible that Benavidez will continue to have huge difficulties trying to get down to 168 for his fights. He should think about moving to 175, but obviously he’s going to resist that move as long as he can.
The way Benavidez fights, he would be tailormade for the harder punchers at light heavyweight. Artur Beterbiev is more powerful than Benavidez, and he would have a huge advantage over him in terms of talent. Gilberto Ramirez and Dmitry Bivol would also present big problems for Benavidez with their boxing ability at 175.
“Sampson Boxing tells me that Javier Fortuna has a November date (PBC), the Jorge Linares fight has gone to ‘Bolivian’. Also David Benavidez is in training, will return in the beginning of 2021 — as a super middleweight #boxing,” said Steve Kim of ESPN.
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