Tim Bradley says he wants David Benavidez to move up to 175 to take on WBA light heavyweight champion Dmitry Bivol in his next fight. Considering how big the 26-year-old Benavidez is, he wouldn’t be undersized if he moved up to 175 to take on Bivol for his title.
Bradley maintains that Canelo Alvarez doesn’t want that smoke with Benavidez and has no intention of giving him a fight, no matter how much public pressure he puts on him.
He figures that Canelo only has three fights left in his career, and he will pick whoever he wants. That could be Jaime Munguia in May; after that, it’s unclear who he’ll fight in September.
Bivol (21-0, 11 KOs) is the ideal opponent for Benavidez (28-0, 24 KOs) to face to continue to increase his popularity. Benavidez has talked about having sparred with Bivol, and it’s believed that he got the better of him.
The main obstacle that could get in the way of Benavidez fighting Bivol is the Russian fighter has a title defense next month against Lyndon Arthur, and if he wins that, he’s going to want to fight IBF/WBC/WBO light heavyweight champion Artur Beterbiev next.
Benavidez obviously won’t have anything to offer Bivol other than the money the fight would make. Perhaps if PBC can make a big offer, they could lure Bivol into fighting Benavidez rather than Beterbiev after his December 23rd defense against Arthur.
Benavidez should fight Bivol next
“I wouldn’t mind seeing him go up to 175 and facing Bivol. He’s another dangerous guy,” said Tim Bradley to ProBox TV about what he thinks David Benavidez should do next.
“Sparring is sparring, I get it. I heard about their sparring. Believe it or not, I heard that David Benavidez hurt Bivol during their sparring. As you guys know, sparring is sparring. Sometimes, you may not have a good day that day. You’re dieting.”
Benavidez shouldn’t get overconfident about his success in sparring with Bivol because it’ll be a much different story in a real fight. Without the tremendous size advantage that Benavidez is accustomed to having, it would be interesting to see how well he does against Bivol.
Benavidez has been kind of a weight bully his entire career, and for those types of fighters, they often fall apart when they’re forced to move up in weight to face guys their own size. Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. is a good example of that.
When he would melt down to 160, he was a terror due to his huge size for the weight class. But once Chavez Jr. could no longer drain down to middleweight, he proved to be poor at 168 & 175. Could Benavidez suffer the same fate?
“When they sparred, they say he [Benavidez] got the best of him. So, he’s going in there with that kind of confidence, feeling he can take out Bivol, and I wouldn’t mind seeing it. I wouldn’t mind seeing that match at all,” said Bradley.
“If Benavidez is unwilling to let go of the Canelo fight, and I don’t think he should. I don’t think he should move up yet. Eventually, he’s going to end up at 175,” said Chris Algieri. “He’ll tangle & tussle with all those guys probably just as well as he does at 168.”
Benavidez is kind of a freak in some ways, with his ability to drain down so much weight and still fight well at 168 without it impacting him negatively.
He is young at 26, and Chavez Jr. was still able to drain down in weight when he was that age. But if Benavidez can somehow make 168 his entire career. he’ll enjoy a great deal of success just because of his huge size.
How Benavidez can put pressure on Canelo: Beat Morrell & Ryder
“If he really wants to chase Canelo, he can fight David Morrell or John Ryder. You pick a guy like [35-year-old] John Ryder, and you bust him up, and you get him out of there in a similar situation as you did Demetrius Andrade,” said Algieri.
John Ryder is 35, the same age as Andrade, so it will look obvious that Benavidez is selecting older fighters if he picks out another fighter in his mid-30s. Ideally, Benavidez should fight someone in their late 20s.
“It’s like, ‘Hey, I’m taking your scraps and doing a better job than you.’ Or you face David Morrell, who is another guy that nobody wants to fight, and you go out there and beat that guy, and you do what you’ve been doing. Like, what else is next?”
Jose Benavidez Sr. has continually nixed the idea of David fighting Morrell, so you got to assume that he doesn’t like that match-up.
Ryder would likely meet Jose Sr’s approval because he’s an easy mark like Demetrius Andrade was, and the same age. Another gold guy for Benavidez.
“‘I’ve beaten everybody. The guys that you won’t mention, I beat up. What’s up? What’s next?’ Sometimes, you’ve got to talk your way into a fight,” said Algieri.
“Canelo doesn’t have to fight him. If he doesn’t want to fight him,” said Bradley. “Canelo doesn’t need belts to sell fights.”
“If he [Canelo] fights Munguia next and then doesn’t fight and doesn’t fight Benavidez after that, that’s a problem,” said Algieri.
“I don’t think Canelo wants that smoke. I really don’t,” said Bradley. “I think he wants to sail off, do what he wants to do. Control this business, make his business, and get the hell out of the game in the next few fights. That’s it.”