LAS VEGAS – David Benavidez felt especially satisfied after battering a previously undefeated two-weight world champion critics contended could beat him Saturday night. (photo by Ryan Hafey)
The relentless, rugged Benavidez (28-0, 24 KOs) stopped skillful southpaw Demetrius Andrade after the sixth round of their Showtime Pay-Per-View main event because Andrade’s handlers watched him take entirely too much punishment. A right hand by Benavidez dropped Andrade with three seconds to go in the fourth round.
Andrade (32-1, 19 KOs) tried to fight out that trouble in the fifth and sixth rounds, but Benavidez’s pressure and power were too much for the courageous challenger to overcome at Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino’s Michelob ULTRA Arena. Benavidez pressed for a stoppage in part because he was disappointed that rival Caleb Plant went the 12-round distance with him in his previous fight March 25 at MGM Grand Garden Arena.
The 26-year-old Benavidez believes this impressive victory proved that he can handle any style against championship-caliber competition.
“I’m not surprised,” Benavidez said during his post-fight press conference. “I know how hard I worked in this camp. And like I’ve been telling everybody for a long time, that the fights are won in the training camp. I didn’t leave any stone unturned in the training camp, I worked my ass off and I think it just shows. I mean, there’s a lotta critics that [said] ‘Boo Boo’ is gonna outbox me, that my defense is not good, I’m gonna get hit.
“They said the same thing with Caleb Plant, and I continue to keep shutting all the critics up. You know, you guys say I can’t do something, but I go in there and I look completely different than what you guys think I’m gonna look like. You know, so it’s better if the critics could keep their mouth shut, because I’m listening to everything you guys are saying.”
Phoenix’s Benavidez beat Plant comfortably on two scorecards eight months ago. Plant boxed effectively during the first half of their bout, before Benavidez’s persistent punches to Plant’s head and body wore down his rival.
Judges Steve Weisfeld (117-111) and Dave Moretti (116-112) scored nine and eight rounds, respectively, for Benavidez. Judge Tim Cheatham (115-113) gave Plant more credit for keeping their fight competitive.
Andrade boxed well during the first three rounds, but the 35-year-old southpaw ultimately lasted only half as long as the right-handed Plant (22-2, 13 KOs), who has been stopped only by undisputed super middleweight champ Canelo Alvarez (60-2-2, 39 KOs).
Benavidez respected Andrade’s experience and ring IQ. He was confident, however, that he would eventually hurt and take out the former WBO middleweight and WBA/WBO 154-pound champion.
The WBC interim super middleweight champ hopes this performance persuades his detractors to realize that there is more to his game than overwhelming opponents with power and volume punching.
“I wanted to start off slow,” Benavidez said. “You know, I know he was tryna set me up for some traps. And, you know, I’m not new to this. As much as you guys try to act like, you know, I’m young and I’m dumb, and I don’t know what’s coming, I been watching boxing for my whole life, been boxing since I was 3 years old. I’m a professional 10 years. I sparred Golovkin when I was 15 years old, Kelly Pavlik [when I was] 15 years old.
“You know, so I know how to switch it up, I know how to, you know, handle every style. So, Demetrius Andrade, he was great. He was fast. He was trying to set me up, but you know, the way you throw off their rhythm is a double jab-right hand. You know, I threw that the first two rounds and then I switched up to the right hook, and that’s what opened up all the openings. I dropped him and then he never recovered after that.”
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.