By Brian Webber: Demetrius Andrade must start fast and NOT lose focus during the second half if he’s to have a shot at defeating the younger and much bigger interim WBC super middleweight champion David Benavidez on November 25th.
We don’t know yet if Benavidez will be as drained for this fight as he was for his last contest against Caleb Plant last March, considering he looked like he was at death’s door at the weigh-in.
Benavidez appeared to have taken off so much weight that he looked like a person who had been at a clinic for the obese and come out a sickly skeleton. He didn’t look healthy and ready for an athletic competition. Benavidez looked like someone who pushed himself to the brink.
You know Benavidez is putting his body through the wringer each fight to artificially stay at 168 long enough to get that life-changing loot from a fight against Canelo Alvarez, which would make him so much money that he could buy one of the biggest houses in Seattle, Washington in the wealthy Broadmoor section.
That’s where the super-rich live in Seattle, and that would be a logical destination for Benavidez if he gets the Canelo fight.
Andrade (32-0, 19 KOs) has a chance in this fight because Benavidez (27-0, 23 KOs) has a habit of starting slowly, giving away rounds in the first half, and then coming on like a steam train to score a knockout in the second half of his fights.
Andrade must build up a sizable lead by boxing and hitting the slow, plodding Benavidez with pinpoint shots early on, then continue to box down the stretch to pull out a decision.
Andrade cannot lose focus
“For me, this is the best fight left in the year. I’m very excited about it. It’s one of those fights that when it was announced, I was like, ‘This was a fight that I didn’t know I needed,’ and now that it’s here, this is a hell of a match-up,” said Chris Algieri to ProBox TV about the David Benavidez vs. Demetrius Andrade fight on November 25th.
Benavidez-Andrade is an excellent fight, but I wouldn’t call it the best fight remaining this year.
The undercard fight between IBF light welterweight champion Subriel Matias and Shohjahon Ergashev (23-1, 20 KOs) is arguably a better one.
Also, the co-feature bout between Jermall Charlo and Jose Benavidez Jr. is a superior fight to the Benavidez-Andrade contest because those guys are evenly matched.
“The implications for both guys are really, really high for what’s next. Everybody wants Canelo, of course, but I like these guys in the lead-up,” said Algieri. “‘We don’t care about Canelo. We’re here to fight each other and look for the best fights.’ They’re giving the right answers.
“I do appreciate that. On top of that, I don’t want to look past this fight. It’s an interesting clash of styles. You’ve got a guy like Benavidez who is big for the weight class, comes forward, has a good snappy jab, builds off everything, and is a momentum fighter that really pushes the pace and pressures as the fight goes on.”
Benavidez is HUGE for the super middleweight division, and that’s where this is kind of interesting. The guy is putting his body through agony to try and stay at 168 long enough for the life-changing money against Canelo.
The only reason Benavidez has been able to get away with draining down from the 200s this long is his youth. If Benavidez were in his 30s, he wouldn’t be able to do this without ending up in a hospital.
Even now, though, it’s risky because if he drains himself too badly, he could shut down his kidneys and be at a health risk.
“Then you have ‘Boo Boo,’ who is one of the physically gifted and talented guys around, who has so much experience. He’s a two-division undefeated world champion. We don’t have a lot of those in our sport, and we got Boo Boo fighting another undefeated talented guy in another exciting weight class,” said Algieri.
“I’m looking forward to this fight as well. This is Boo Boo’s chance,” said Tim Bradley. “This is the name guy that he’s been missing on his resume, although he’s a two-time world champion in two divisions. It’s going to be tough.
“I’ve been looking at interviews, seeing what Benavidez. He’s a killer. He has one mindset of either kill or be killed. Boo Boo, on the other hand, he’s going to have to be focused more than ever. In every other championship fights I’ve seen him in, he tends to lose focus.
“In this fight, he cannot afford to lose focus against Benavidez because he comes on late. He might start slow, but he comes on late, and it’s downhill from there. He’s looking to take you out late. It’s a great style match-up, guys,” said Bradley.
Demetrius needs to start fast
“It’s a typical boxer but from the southpaw stance, and then you have your pressure fighter. Typically, I’ll just tell you. The boxer tends to win these types of fights. They usually do, but on the flip side, this is David Benavidez. He’s a different animal. He can figure it out in there. We shall see,” said Bradley.
Even with Benavidez’s humongous light heavyweight size, Andrade would have an excellent chance of winning this fight if he were younger, but he’s up there in age at 35, fighting in his third weight class. Andrade has great opposition during his professional career, and that’s a big problem for him.
Andrade’s best career wins:
“Look at those records. 27-0 wins with 23 knockouts and 32 wins and 19 knockouts. That alone should get you salivating, and then when you know the background and everything,” said Paulie Malignaggi.
“If you’re a real boxing fan and not one of these, come by me lately. You’re more excited about this fight than any Canelo fight than three, four fights that Canelo has had. Going into this fight, you’re way more excited about it. Just talking about it and everything else. Just automatically, this gets you going,” said Malignaggi.
It doesn’t say much that Benavidez-Andrade is a bigger fight than Canelo’s last four matches. Canelo hasn’t fought anyone good since his loss to Dmitry Bivol, and that wasn’t an entertaining fight due to the way Alvarez gassed out so early.
“The styles are very interesting. Yes, Benavidez is a slow starter, but Andrade isn’t just a boxer,” said Malignaggi. “He’s kind of a physical weird guy, too. He bumps you with the shoulder on the inside and kind of gets dirty in there. He starts really fast.
“So Benavidez startling slow and Andrade starting fast can give us some weird fireworks early on because we’re not used to Benavidez taking a lot of punishment because even when he starts slow, he’s a guy that is always in the command of the fight.
“A guy like Andrade may take command early on before Benavidez has to try and turn it around, and Andrade is a guy that tends to fade late. Like you said, he’s not a guy that stays focused, a guy that tends to fade late. Benavidez, that’s when he comes on strong, just like he did in the Plant fight.
“So, I think it’s a fun fight, a really good fight, and I’m excited for it. When we get more into it, it’ll be more fun,” said Malignaggi.