David Benavidez finds it laughable that critics—including a certain fighter—still rag on his physique.
The undefeated, former 168-pound champion from Phoenix, Arizona, has had to defend himself from accusations of laziness and gluttony over the years, stemming from circumstances that are partially his own doing.
The 26-year-old Benavidez has the unfortunate distinction of having lost his WBC super middleweight title twice—but both for reasons that had to do with his conduct outside the ring. In 2018, he was stripped of his title the first time for testing positive for cocaine. Benavidez regained his title with a stoppage of Anthony Dirrell in 2019, but he would lose it on the scales ahead of his next fight with Roamer Alexis Angulo August 2020.
Benavidez, who was on the chubby side as a child, says he still frequently gets mocked regarding his weight, including from one Caleb Plant, the former 168-pound titlist from Nashville, Tennessee, who has often lampooned his adversary by calling him “fat boy.”
Benavidez and Plant will face each other in a highly anticipated 168-pound grudge bout March 25 at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.
In the end, Benavidez would be more bothered by, say, having a flabbier midsection than the average elite prizefighter, if it meant he would be unable to dominate and knock out his opponents.
But that clearly hasn’t been the case.
“I mean, I still deal with it to this day (being called fat),” Benavidez said during the first episode of Showtime’s All Access series. “Even Caleb Plant’s talking sh!t, saying ‘fat boy this, fat boy that.’ But, at the end of the day, if all these dudes are cut up, they’re all marked up and they don’t have no f---ing knockouts.
“And then you go to the opposite side and you got someone that’s a fat boy, supposedly. He has 26 fights and he has 23 knockouts. So, you tell me who’s doing it right? I don’t care what people say.”
Plant, 30, has 22 wins and one loss, with 13 of his wins coming by knockout. In a bodybuilding contest, Plant would sweep the board. The boxing ring, of course, is another matter.
“At the end of the day, they say I’m fat, they say I’m this, they say I’m that, they say I’m not dedicated, but at the end of the day I’m doing my f---in’ job,” Benavidez said. “And when I get his ass in that ring on March 25th, I’m gonna break his f---in’ mouth. I’m gonna make him regret everything he said.”
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