Benavidez to consider challenging Dmitry Bivol next at 175 if Canelo match-up not available at 168

By Robbie Bannatyne - 11/26/2023 - Comments

WBC interim super middleweight champion David Benavidez says he’ll consider going up to light heavyweight to take on WBA 175-b champion Dmitry Bivol if he can’t get the title shot against Canelo Alvarez next at 168.

Benavidez maintains that he knows what he’s capable of doing against Bivol (21-0, 11 KOs) from the sparring they did in the past. It’s unclear how many years ago the sparring took place, but Benavidez seems confident that he can defeat the talented Russian fighter.

The mentioning of Bivol plays well for Benavidez for clout-chasing purposes to implant ideas into the heads of impressionable fans that he’s on the same level as the talented WBA 175-lb champion and could face him. Realistically, the chances of that happening are virtually zero.

Is Benavidez serious about fighting Bivol?

Fighting Bivol would be very risky for Benavidez because it’s likely that he’d lose, and his management wouldn’t want him to permanently miss out on the Canelo payday money that he’s been chasing for many, many years. If Benavidez fights Bivol, that payday goes away forever, and his handlers obviously are aware of that.

It was smart for Benavidez to name-drop Bivol’s name last night with the spotlight on him to show fans that he’s willing to face Canelo’s conqueror, but it was likely just a cunning, pre-planned move to get a little more attention on himself by putting himself.

If Benavidez were serious about fighting Bivol, he wouldn’t have picked out the 35-year-old inactive former 154-lb champion Andrade. Benavidez wouldn’t even fight David Morrell, the young gun at 168, which shows you that he has no intention of taking ANY risky fights that could mess up the Canelo payday that he and his management are angling for.

It’s unclear whether Benavidez is the one who calls the shots in terms of who he faces, as he has management who pick & choose the opposition he faces.

Will they give him the green light to move up to 175 to challenge Bivol if Canelo chooses not to fight him next May? It’s highly doubtful. The way Benavidez looked last night against an old, shot-looking Demetrius Andrade, he would be easy pickings for Bivol and would lose badly to him.

Dmitry all wrong for Benavidez

Benavidez is still pretty much a plodder type who gets over on fighting guys smaller than him and standing in front of him the way Andrade foolishly did last night. When you’re a smaller fighter, you don’t stand in front of a bigger guy who is a volume puncher like Benavidez.

It’s fair to say that if you put a slow, lead-footed fighter like Benavidez in with a pure boxer like Bivol, bad things would happen for the ‘Mexican Monster.’

You could tell by how slow on his feet Benavidez was last night against Andrade that he would be utterly out of his league against Bivol and would likely lose to him worse than Canelo.

It wasn’t an accident that Benavidez was matched against the 35-year-old Andrade rather than David Morrell or Bivol last night. We saw that Andrade was picked out by Benavdiez’s match-makers instead of Morrell.

Like any fighter, Benavidez is being carefully matched by his handlers to avoid him getting beat, which is why it doesn’t matter that he name-dropped WBA 175-lb champion Dmitry Bivol’s name at the post-fight press conference last Saturday night.

Andrade was clearly a fighter well-vetted by Benavidez’s handlers before they pulled the trigger on the fight. If they hadn’t thought he could beat Demetrius, that match-up would have never happened. It’s likely the same with Bivol. It doesn’t matter what Benavidez says. If his management doesn’t believe he can beat him or David Morrell, those fights won’t happen.

Interestingly, Benavidez 28-0, 24 KOs) fails to mention the 175-lb champion with most of the belts, Artur Beterbiev (19-0, 19 KOs), who he hasn’t sparred before. Is that perhaps a bridge too far for Benavidez in his mind?

What does that tell you about Benavidez? Does he only want to fight Bivol because he had success sparring with him many years ago?

“I feel that once I move up to 175, I’ll have to see how I feel, but I’ll definitely come back down,” said David Benavidez at the post-fight press conference last night after his victory over Demetrius Andrade.

“The Dmitry Bivol fight is a great fight because I sparred him before. I’m not trying to discredit Dmitry Bivol, but I know what can be done in that fight. He’s a great, great fighter. These are the types of chances I want to take in my career. I just want to be the best, and I know I’m going to accomplish that,” said Benavidez.

If Benavidez really believed he could fight Bivol, surely he would have fought him last year after his victory over Canelo. Benavidez had the chance to call Bivol out in 2022, but he was quiet and didn’t say a peep.

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