WBC interim champion David Benavidez (28-0, 24 KOs) made it look easy, beating up previously unbeaten former 154 & 160-lb champion Demetrius Andrade (32-1, 19 KOs) by a sixth round stoppage in their headliner at 168 on Saturday night at the Michelob Ultra Arena in Las Vegas.
The younger, stronger, and much bigger-looking 26-year-old Benavidez started slowly, took a lot of hard shots from the 35-year-old Andrade, but then came on to drop him in the fourth round.
After the fourth, Benavidez continued to pour on the pressure, hurting Andrade in the fifth and sixth rounds with hard shots. The fight was wisely halted after the sixth.
Benavidez wants Canelo Alvarez now, but that doesn’t look like it will happen. As such, Benavidez may need to bite the bullet and face his nightmare, David Morrell, or move up to 175 to fight Dmitry Bivol or Artur Beterbiev.
Those guys are a little smaller than Benavidez, but it would still make for an interesting fight. Moving up to cruiserweight is also an option for Benavidez because he looked like a rehydrated cruiserweight tonight.
The results of the live boxing action of tonight’s fights on Showtime will be shown below.
- In tonight’s chief support bout, Jermall Charlo (33-0, 22 KOs) looked surprisingly good, pounding out a one-sided ten round unanimous decision against the tough steel-chinned Jose Benavidez Jr. (28-3-1, 19 KOs). The judges’ scores were 98-92, 99-91, and 100-90. Coming off a 28-month layoff, Jermall’s power was just as good as always, and his skills looked good. He landed a lot of heavy shots on the 31-year-old Benavidez Jr. In the tenth round, Jermall hurt Benavidez Jr, but didn’t press the issue to get him out. If Charlo had put his foot on the gas, he would have gotten Benavidez Jr. out in the final round or even much earlier, but he was taking it easy, fighting a slower pace than he had in his last fight in 2021. It’ll be interesting to see if Jermall gets a shot at Canelo Alvarez next May or September.
- IBF light welterweight champion Subriel Matías (20-1, 20 KOs) retained his title with a fifth round stoppage of Shohjahon Ergashev (23-1, 20 KOs). Ergashev fought well in the first two rounds, nailing Matias at will with lefts to the head. However, Matias turned up the head starting in the third, and punished Ergashev with huge shots, wearing him down. Ergashev quit after the fifth.
- In a grueling battle, Lamont Roach (24-1-1, 9 KOs) used his strong pressure to defeat WBA super featherweight champion Hector Luis Garcia (16-2, 10 KOs) by twelve round split decision. Roach controlled the later rounds of the contest, knocking down Garcia in the twelfth and having him stunned in the eleventh. The judges scored it 114-113, 116-111 for Roach, and 114-113 for Hector Garcia. The loss for Garcia was his second consecutive. He was stopped in the ninth round last January by WBA ‘regular’ lightweight champion Gervonta Davis.
- Light welterweight Michel Rivera (25-1, 14 KOs) boxed his way to a close ten round unanimous decision over former IBF 140-lb champion Sergey Lipinets (17-3-1, 13 KOs). The 25-year-old Rivera, who was making his debut at light welterweight after moving up from 135, stayed on the move the entire fight, mostly circling to the left, flicking jabs and tying up the 34-year-old Lipinez. Rivera gassed out by the sixth, and fighting on fumes from that point on. Lipinets landed the better shots and was constantly pressing in the last five rounds. He fought well enough to deserve a draw, but the judges gave it to Rivera by the cores 97-93, 97-93, and 96-94. Rivera is going to have to add some punching power to his game for him to be a factor in the 140-lb division because the Muhammad Ali style that he uses won’t work against most of the top ten contenders and definitely not against any of the champions.
- Junior middleweight Vito Mielnicki Jr. (16-1, 11 KOs) destroyed an overmatched Alexis Salazar (25-6, 10 KOs), stopping him in the first round. Mielnicki Jr. knocked Salazar several times before the contest was halted.
Undefeated WBC interim super middleweight champion David Benavidez will try to show that he’s the real thing tonight against the experienced former two-division world champion Demetrius Andrade in the headliner on Showtime pay-per-view. There’s a lot riding on this contest for both fighters, particularly Benavidez (27-0, 23 KOs).
For the ambitious 26-year-old Benavidez, he’s got to prove to the world that he’s not just some big guy who takes advantage of his much smaller opponents.
Main Showtime pay-per-view card at 8:00 pm ET
David Benavidez vs. Demetrius Andrade
Jermall Charlo vs. Jose Benavidez Jr.
Subriel Matias vs. Shohjahon Ergashev
Hector Luis Garcia vs. Lamont Roach
Benavidez has got to show that he has real ability, and thus far, his past opposition has been on the ordinary side, making him look better than he is.
The 35-year-old Andrade is a step up from the commonplace guys that ‘Mexican Monster’ Benavidez has faced during his ten-year pro career, but not a huge step up. Benavidez has talent flak by not choosing the dangerous David Morrell, whom his dad, Jose Benavidez Sr., didn’t want him to fight for a variety of reasons.
Preliminary card on YouTube below at 6:00 pm ET
Sergey Lipinets vs. Michel Rivera
Vito Mielnicki Jr vs. Alexis Salazar
Benavidez has tunnel vision
“I believe it will happen because this is probably the biggest fight at super middleweight you can make. Who else is there left for him to fight? I think he’ll face a lot of criticism,” said David Benavidez to Boxing News about Canelo Alvarez needing to face him next if he’s victorious tonight against Demetrius Andrade.
Unfortunately for Benavidez, undisputed super middleweight champion Canelo Alvarez isn’t expected to face him in his next fight in May, as he’s reportedly in negotiations to defend against unbeaten former WBO junior middleweight champion Jaime Munguia.
If Canelo wins that fight, it’s unclear who he’ll face, but it’s probable that he’ll go in the direction of one of these fighters:
- Edgar Berlanga
- Terence Crawford
- David Morrell
- Dmitry Bivol
It would obviously anger Benavidez to no end to see Canelo face Berlanga, Crawford, or Morrell in September 2024, as he would feel that he should get his chance to fight the ‘Face of Boxing‘ ahead of those guys, as he’s been toiling away at super middleweight for the last decade, albeit facing so-so opposition.
“Not only from the people but from the boxing legends, like Juan Manuel Marquez, Barrera, and so many other fighters like Oscar De La Hoya,” said Benavidez about these fighters wanting to see Canelo fight him.
“They want to see this fight. Even Floyd Mayweather said he would like to see this fight,” Benavidez continued about his dreams of facing Canelo next.
It doesn’t matter who these legends want to see Canelo fight. He and his trainer/manager, Eddy Reynoso, will decide who they want, not old guys who are no longer in the game.
Why isn’t Benavidez taking risks by fighting the best?
Benavidez could really help himself if he stopped cherry-picking his opposition after tonight’s fight with 35-year-old Andrade because he’s not helping himself further his goal of getting the Canelo fight by facing this type of opposition.
If Benavidez wants that fight, he’s got to show some real courage and stop being so strategic & calculated in choosing his opponents because it’s so apparent that he’s just trying to stay unbeaten by swerving the dangerous guys like Morrell, Dmitry Bivol & Artur Beterbiev, and targeting lower quality fighters either past it were never that good to begin with.
“In my opinion, it’ll definitely be made soon, probably in the next year and a half,” said Benavidez about a fight with Alvarez. “Me cleaning out this division, fighting all these guys, I have no problems with it. I gain more experience. If we get the fight next year or in two years, I’m going to be extremely ready because I’m going anywhere.”
Three things here:
1. The Canelo fight probably won’t be happening soon for Benavidez.
2. Gaining experience against old guys won’t help him.
3. Benavidez will be forced to move up to 175 or cruiserweight soon because he’s already on borrowed time with the way he’s boiling himself down to fight at 168, a weight class well below his enormous frame.
“I have my plan, I have my vision, and I know I’m going to accomplish it,” said Benavidez. “It wasn’t a solid performance from Charlo’s end. I expected a lot more. You can’t really discredit Canelo or Charlo by that performance.”
It sounds like Benavidez is obsessed with Canelo, believing that if he beats him, it means he’s the s***, when in fact, it would translate to a fighter/weight bully, who should be campaigning at light heavyweight or cruiserweight against guys his own size, is using his mammoth frame to defeat an older, smaller guy that started his career at 147.
“Charlo is a really good fighter. If he wasn’t doing anything in that fight it’s probably because Canelo is just that good,” said Benavidez. “But we want to see Canelo fight a true super middleweight, not someone that is coming up from 154,” said Benavidez.