The Mexican Monster Demoted? Benavidez’s Undercard Stint

By Dan Ambrose - 03/25/2024 - Comments

David Benavidez’s move to second fiddle spot on the Gervonta Davis vs. Frank Martin card on June 15th on PPV is viewed as a demotion for the ‘Mexican Monster.’ Why is this? This writer views three reasons for Benavidez’s being relegated to a warm-up act for Tank:

1. Dismal PPV numbers
2. The David Morrell duck
3. Cruiserweight cop-out

From Headliner to Warm-Up Act

Going from headliner to undercard is a big drop-off for the 27-year-old Benavidez on this PPV card, and it’s obviously not a good signal. It’s a major ego-bruse for Benavidez to be demoted to the undercard, but it paints a picture of where things are with him.

Fans don’t want to pay their hard-earned money to watch Benavidez fight hand-picked opponents against older guys to inflate his resume. For example, Benavidez’s next opponent, 36-year-old Oleksandr Gvozdyk, just recently came out of a four-year retirement after being knocked out by Artur Beterbiev. What does that tell you/

Choosing to Fight Gvozyk is not the move that fans wanted to see from Benavidez for him to have a shot at the main event. If he had stayed at 168 and fought David Morrell Jr, the talented Cuban who has been calling him out nonstop, that would have been a fight that fans would have been interested in paying to watch.

Another alternative would have been for Benavidez to move up to cruiserweight to take on the killer Jai Opetaia, who would jump at the chance to fight him.

Benavidez is moving up to light heavyweight to fight Oleksandr Gvozyk in a WBC 175-lb title eliminator. He is attempting to become mandatory for champion Artur Beterbiev, who is facing WBA champ Dmitry Bivol for the undisputed championship on June 1st.

The unbeaten super middleweight contender Benavidez (28-0, 24 KOs), who has been chasing Canelo Alvarez in an obsessive-seeming way, brought in poor pay-per-view sales for his last fight on Showtime PPV against Demetrius Andrade on November 25th in Las Vegas.

Does Benavidez deserve credit for agreeing to fight on the undercard of Tank vs. Martin, or is this a signal that he’s not a draw and that fans aren’t interested in seeing him continue to wipe out smaller, older fighters at 168?

It doesn’t look good that Benafvidez won’t fight WBA ‘regular’ super middleweight champion David Morrell Jr, preferring to fight older guys like Andrade, David Lemieux, Anthony Dirrell, and Caleb Plant.