David Benavidez was not amazed when he noticed 1 of the greatest boxing upsets in new yrs.
He had considered for decades that even a primary variation of Canelo Alvarez could be overwhelmed, and it came to fruition on May well 7 when Alvarez, pushing himself into a new pounds course, unsuccessful to seize Dmitry Bivol’s WBA light-weight heavyweight belt. Bivol picked up a signature win and obtained the career enhance that arrives with a matchup towards the sport’s moneymaker.
Nevertheless, that won’t improve the fact for Benavidez and other fighters in the tier below Alvarez. Whilst the opportunity for intriguing matchups exists, Benavidez and other folks have not been ready to generate adequate momentum to secure lucrative bouts — in particular 1 in opposition to Alvarez.
Benavidez (25-, 22 KOs) is hoping to manufacture far more of a drive this Saturday in Glendale, Arizona, when he faces previous middleweight winner David Lemieux (Showtime, 10 p.m. ET).
“The only detail I can do is keep beating the folks they set in entrance of me, continue to keep being remarkable,” Benavidez told ESPN. “Which is just the type of fighter I am. I do not believe it is going to run out anytime before long.”
Many believe Benavidez is a person of the finest 168-pounders in the earth. Only a few of his specialist bouts have absent the length. ESPN ranks Benavidez No. 2 at tremendous middleweight, right guiding Canelo. If Benavidez beats Lemieux (43-4, 36 KOs), he’ll win the WBC’s interim super middleweight title, which would theoretically drive a required showdown for Canelo’s WBC belt.
It truly is a rational and methodical way for a fighter to construct momentum. It is really why Benavidez made the decision to deal with the unknown Ronald Ellis final March in a WBC title eliminator that must have place him in line to face Alvarez. But this path assumes that logic is widespread in boxing.
Even if Benavidez beats Lemieux, who hasn’t confronted a prime-level fighter due to the fact 2017, he is aware that’s no assure of getting the fight he has preferred for several years.
“I really feel like [the WBC is] building this a title fight just so I shut up, mainly,” Benavidez said.
The 25-12 months-aged is perfectly informed that Alvarez potentially will get promoted to WBC “franchise” winner, which is a fancy way of allowing for Alvarez to retain his title without owning to make the required defense.
What compounds Benavidez’s disappointment is the fact that he has squandered the extremely momentum he is seeking for. He has lost the WBC’s 168-bout belt two times — when in 2018 for screening positive for cocaine and once again in 2020 when he failed to make excess weight for a title protection from Roamer Alexis Angulo.
“He is on my s— listing and I will get to him, but right up until then he is gonna have to wait around off to the aspect like a good minor boy mainly because he failed to do what he was meant to do again,” former super middleweight champion Caleb Plant, speaking to FightHype in January 2021, explained of Benavidez.
Had Benavidez not missing the belt in ’20, he probably would have experienced a shot at Alvarez, who concluded his 11-thirty day period journey of turning into an undisputed super middleweight winner by plucking Plant’s belt very last 12 months. That created Alvarez the to start with Mexican fighter to become undisputed in the 4-belt era.
Benavidez and Jermall Charlo are amid the most intriguing long run alternatives for Alvarez, but as his the latest foray into the mild heavyweight division confirmed, Alvarez is in lookup of glory that Benavidez and Charlo cannot at the moment give.
“I just want to be a single of the very best fighters in the record of boxing,” Alvarez explained to ESPN in April. “That’s why I need to have to lengthen my legacy. To be there, correct?”
But there’s another way to create momentum — a additional impactful way: massive wins from significant-identify opponents. Benavidez does have a victory in excess of Anthony Dirrell, ESPN’s eighth-rated fighter in the division. A scheduled 2021 showdown with Jose Uzcategui by no means materialized because of a positive COVID-19 test by Benavidez and then Uzcategui’s positive exam for overall performance-maximizing drugs.
Benavidez said he attempted to negotiate for fights with Charlo, the WBC’s middleweight champion, and Plant, a rival who fought Canelo in ’21 mainly because he held a person of the 168-pound belts. All 3 combat beneath the Leading Boxing Champions umbrella. Benavidez explained he contacted Luis DeCubas, Plant’s manager, and PBC head government Al Haymon, but these attempts were to no avail.
“It can make perception and it’d be a pretty worthwhile battle for both [Charlo and Plant],” stated Benavidez, who extra that every single matchup would have presented even odds for all events involved. “We can both make a whole lot of cash. But these men, they’re not confident as they say they are, as they feel they are.”
Benavidez is not lacking self-confidence. Right after past slip-ups, he has amplified his perseverance to staying in major issue, which indicates cutting back again on some of his favorites — rapidly food, Mountain Dew and cookie dough ice product.
Repairing a diet is less complicated than the difficulty that restrictions the ceiling for Benavidez and other talented fighters who want their prospect to be among boxing’s top draws. Benavidez hopes a earn more than Lemieux this weekend allows him clear up the dilemma so a lot of are inquiring.