LOS ANGELES — If David Benavidez can’t secure the big fights he’s been wanting at 168 pounds featuring the foursome of undisputed champion Canelo Alvarez as well as the likes of David Morrell, Jermall Charlo, and Demetrius Andrade, “The Mexican Monster” has maintained that he will move up to 175 pounds.
But first, Benavidez (26-0, 23 KOs) will have to get through Caleb Plant
Plant (22-1, 13 KOs) in a super middleweight bout on March 25 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas on Showtime pay-per-view.
When discussing his eventual move up to light heavyweight – a division controlled by three-belt holder Artur Beterbiev and titlist Dmitry Bivol – Benavidez’s planned moves are bold ones.
“I've sparred with Bivol a lot. So I know what happens in those sparring sessions. Yeah, I could beat him. I can knock him out,” Benavidez said in an interview with BoxingScene.com and other reporters.
Bivol became a consensus 2022 fighter of the year winner by handily beating Alvarez and Gilberto Ramirez last year. He’s now on track to face Beterbiev for undisputed champion status at 175 pounds.
“Until [Bivol and Beterbiev] fight, you can't really tell [who will win],” said Benavidez. “You can't really say. They're both the champions, so until they fight. I think Bivol could beat Beterbiev, though, to be honest. But I can't really say until it happens. I think Bivol's movement, how he fights and how disciplined he is, I think he has what it takes to beat Beterbiev.”
Beterbiev is coming off an eighth-round stoppage win against Anthony Yarde. All 19 of his pro wins have come via KO.
The brash Benavidez believes he can best the 38-year-old Beterbiev – a fighter 12 years his senior.
“I thought [Beterbiev had] a really good performance but he does leave himself open a lot. I feel that I can have a lot of success with him,” said Benavidez. “I would definitely love to fight him in the future. He leaves his body open a lot. You could really hit him a lot with combinations. It would definitely be an extremely tough risk, or tough task. I would want to go up to 175 and see how it is first before I go to the main guy. I think at 175 I'm going to be even stronger and faster.”
Manouk Akopyan is a sports journalist, writer, and broadcast reporter. He’s also a member of the Boxing Writers Association of America and the MMA Journalists Association. He can be reached on Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and YouTube at @ManoukAkopyan, through email at manouk[dot]akopyan[at]gmail.com, or via www.ManoukAkopyan.com.