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David Benavidez

David Benavidez sees Gvozdyk as another test

David Benavidez jumps to light heavyweight division

During his reign in the super middleweight division, David Benavidez made it perfectly clear he wanted to beat Canelo Alvarez. Both fighters have traded insults whenever they have had an opportunity, but the taunts haven’t garnered Benavidez a bout against the face of boxing. 

Benavidez and Canelo even exchanged glaring looks after Alvarez’s most recent fight against Jaime Munguia, yet a fight against each other has never worked out. Instead of waiting for a Canelo fight, which is unlikely to happen, Benavidez will move up a weight class and make his light heavyweight debut Saturday night.

The Phoenix native will meet former champion Oleksander Gvozdyk for the interim WBC light heavyweight championship at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.

David Benavidez steps up

The fight is the co-main event with the championship bout between Gervonta Davis and Frank Martin. For Benavidez the bout with Gvozdyk is a stepping stone to prove his worth. Benavidez, 27, has been adamant that he has deserved an opportunity for Canelo’s undisputed championship belts. 

“I have a lot to prove to the world,” said Benavidez, who is nicknamed El Monstruo. “I really want to be the best of my generation. And until I am, I’m going to keep working hard.”

Canelo also tried contending in the light heavyweight division as well, yet he faltered against Dmitry Bivol. Canelo looked undersized against Bivol and couldn’t control the fight. That shouldn’t be a problem for Benavidez. The 6-foot-2 orthodox boxer is the same height as Gvozdyk. They have a similar reach.

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“Even though he’s moving up in weight, he’s still a big guy,” Gvozdyk said of Benavidez.  “So I’m not thinking about that. I’m expecting him to be in the best shape of his career, just like I am.”

El Monstruo, which means The Monster in English, is 28-0 with 24 knockouts. After making his debut at age 16, Benavidez beat Ronald Gavril and became the youngest world champion in super middleweight history. 

Steady climb

He last defeated the then-unbeaten Demetrius Andrade in dominant fashion. Andrade’s corner didn’t let him come out for a seventh round, giving David Benavidez a sixth round TKO. Caleb Plant wasn’t immune to Benavidez’s power punches. He gave Plant his second career loss by unanimous decision. 

The PBC pay-per-view fight, which will also be shown on Amazon, is the 100th Championship Fight Night from the MGM Grand Garden. Davis (29-0)  and Martin (18-0) will put their undefeated records on the line. Gervonta “Tank” Davis will defend his WBA Lightweight World Championship title. 

Davis recently completed his 90 days of house arrest. 

“We’re back in business,” Davis’ trainer Calvin Ford said. “We’ve been waiting for this for a while, so we’re really excited to put on a great performance for the fans. That’s who we do it for.”

For Martin though, he hopes to leave Davis in the past. 

“I’m feeling great. I’m locked in, and I’m focused,” Martin said. “The goal is to go in there and beat Gervonta Davis. I’m here to take his spot; I’m here for a reason. I’m here to take over.”

While the much anticipated fights are expected to deliver two high offensive bouts, the fighters have much to prove.

“My plan is to conquer the light heavyweight and super middleweight divisions,” David Benavidez said.  “Whoever comes to the plate, they can get it. I’m ready to fight whoever and beat whoever.”

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