Benavidez Spars with Dirrell, But Will His Style Work at 175?

By Dan Ambrose - 04/05/2024 - Comments

David Benavidez posted sparring video of him training with 40-year-old former super middleweight champion Andre Dirrell, preparing for his June 22nd WBC light heavyweight title eliminator against Oleksandr Gvozdyk.

Benavidez (28-0, 24 KOs) is still is fighting with the same high volume inside game that he’s always had, and getting hit a lot.

That style might not be effective for him at 175, especially when he gets in with the winner of the June 1st undisputed light heavyweight championship fight between Artur Beterbiev and Dmitry Bivol.

Benavidez’s Weakness:

  • Lacks one-punch power: He’s a volume puncher and gets hit a lot, and that won’t be good for him at 175.
  • Poor defensive skills
  • Too willing to go to war: Against a killer like Beterbiev, Benavidez is going to get chopped apart.

Fighting the way he does against the big gun could be a disaster for Benavidez, who has fought largely soft opposition throughout his 11-year career at 168.

Artur Beterbiev is a Different Beast

For Benavidez to have success at 175, he’s going to have to become more of a boxer because IBF/WBC/WBO champion Beterbiev (20-0, 20 KOs) will do damage to him, and likely knock him out if he tries to go to war with him on the inside. Benavidez doesn’t hit hard enough, and he leaves himself open for shots.

It’s clear from watching Benavidez’s sparring with Dirrell, who last fought in 2021, that he should have been fighting at 175 many years ago, considering he’s way too big for the 168-lb division and has looked sickly, emaciated, making weight.

Title Shot Express Lane

Benavidez wants to get a shot at the undisputed light heavyweight championship against the Beterbiev-Bivol winner and is being given an express route to getting that fight by just facing one fighter, former WBC light heavyweight champion Gvozdyk, in a title eliminator.

It’ll be interesting to see if Benavidez can get away with his fighting style, which involves him being much bigger than his opponents, and just throwing nonstop punches. We’ve seen Benavidez get dropped in the past and hurt due to his reckless style of fighting. It might not end well for him at 175 against the big punchers like Beterbiev.

Sparring Buddy Hype

“I’ve been waiting for that for so long. ‘The Mexican Monster’ sparring with the ‘Matrix.’ I promise you he’s upping his game,” said Andre Dirrell on social media talking about sparring with David Benavidez, who is moving up to light heavyweight for his next fight on June 22nd against Oleksandr Gvozdyk.

“This boy is fast, explosive, precise, and he got a game. He can go as far as he wants as long as he keeps doing what he doing,” said Dirrell about Benavidez.

YouTube video