De La Hoya says David Benavidez #1 at 168 after beating David Lemieux

By Boxing News - 05/22/2022 - Comments

By Sean Jones: Promoter Oscar De La Hoya is now calling David Benavidez the #1 fighter at 168 following his surgical destruction in stopping David Lemieux (43-5, 36 KOs) in the third round to win the WBC interim super-middleweight title at the Gila River Arena in Glendale, Arizona.

Benavidez looked like 24K gold tonight with the way he destroyed the once-featured Lemieux, taking him apart until his training team had to pull him out in the third.

They saved Lemieux for another day, but Sean Jones says they should have left him out there to go out shield like a warrior.

Canelo used to be De La Hoya’s flagship fighter in his Golde Boy Promotions stable, but now he sees him having been passed over by the younger generation in 25-year-old Benavidez.

The way Benavidez crushed Lemieux tonight, it’s hard to imagine Canelo lasting long if he’d been in the ring with him on Saturday night.

“If they don’t, that puts a lot of pressure on them,” said Benavidez when asked what message his win over Lemieux sends to Plant, Canelo, and Jermall Charlo and does he think any of them will fight him in 2022.

De La Hoya’s rating of Benavidez as the #1 fighter at super middleweight puts him above Canelo Alvarez, and that says a lot.

If you’re Canelo, it would be smart for him to fight Benavidez now so he can prove he’s still the #1 fighter at 168 because it doesn’t mean anything that he’s the undisputed champion in that weight class.

Basically, Canelo beat four paper champions to become undisputed at super middleweight.

Canelo DIDN’T go through this murderer’s row to become undisputed at 168:

  • David Benavidez
  • Demetrius Andrade
  • David Morrell Jr
  • Jermall Charlo

Look at these four killers for a minute, and just imagine what would have happened to Canelo if he’d gone through the whole bunch of them, trying to become undisputed at 168. There wouldn’t have been anything left of Canelo after running that gauntlet.

Instead of going through those four killers to become the undisputed champion at 168, he beat this ragged bunch:

  • Rocky Fielding
  • Callum Smith
  • Billy Joe Saunders
  • Caleb Plant

“They talk this big talk like everyone is scared of them, but I’m right here and trying to get fights against everybody. If I don’t get the fights, I’m going to be trying to get the next best thing.

“If I can’t get those, I’m the interim titleholder now [with WBC]. They’re going to be missing out on a big opportunity. If they believe in their skills, put that on the line. I’m willing to do it.

“I think we’re really close to making these fights happen. I think Caleb Plant and Charlo will be possible by the end of this year. So I’m looking forward to the end of the year,” said Benavidez.

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