By: Hans Themistode
While David Benavidez is still in the infancy stages of his career, at 25 years of age, the Arizona native is craving bigger fights and even bigger paydays.
Despite draping his shoulders with super middleweight gold on two separate occasions, Benavidez believes there’s a gaping hole in his current resume. In an effort to lure some of the more well-established names into the ring with him, Benavidez has done his best to antagonize and provoke countless fighters. Up until this point, however, Benavidez’s words have fallen on deaf ears.
At this point, Benavidez has grown apoplectic over the unheralded opponents he continues to face. As the 25-year-old places his thinking cap on, a lightbulb suddenly flickers on. While his preference is to face the top contenders and current champions in his weight division, if he’s unable to do so, Benavidez reveals that he would be willing to move on from the super middleweight division and try his hand as a full-fledged light heavyweight.
“These other fighters that I want to get, Caleb Plant, Charlo, Demetrius Andrade, even if we can get Edgar Berlanga in there, if not, it might be time to go up to 175. I been trying to make all of these fights happen for a long, long time.”
Regardless of his frustrations, Benavidez is willing to hold his tongue just a bit longer. On May 21st, at the Gila River Arena, in Glendale, Arizona, Benavidez will take on former middleweight champion turned super middleweight contender, David Lemieux. Continuing his unbeaten streak was all the motivation Benavidez needed to immerse himself in a grueling eight-week training. However, he’s been given a greater incentive to pick up the victory against Lemieux.
With the winner of their upcoming bout receiving the WBC interim title, Benavidez not only views that golden trinket as a must-have keepsake but also a negotiating chip.
Presently, Canelo Alvarez is holding firm to every major world title at 168 pounds. Nevertheless, should Benavidez snag the WBC interim crown, he’ll become the pound-for-pound star’s mandatory challenger. Doing so, unsurprisingly, leaves Benavidez smiling from ear to ear. However, the heavy-hitting former titlist isn’t convinced that he’ll become the next in line to face Alvarez.
So, with Benavidez having his doubts pertaining to his ability to land the sort of big-name fights that will place him in boxing’s spotlight, he views a move to 175 as not only a realistic option, but his only one.
“When I win the WBC interim title, I’ll have a little more leverage. But if I can’t make them happen, it’s because the fighters don’t want to take the fight with me so it might be time to go up to 175.”