GLENDALE, Arizona – David Benavidez spent all of fight week bearing the look of a fighter who never again has to stress over making weight.
The proof was in his trip to the scale, with the former two-time WBC super middleweight checking in comfortably within the 168-pound divisional limit for his scheduled 12-round interim WBC title fight with Montreal’s David Lemieux.
Phoenix’s Benavidez (25-0, 22KOs) clocked in at 166.4 pounds during Friday’s weigh-in held outdoors at the plaza outside Gila River Arena in Glendale, Arizona, which will host the Showtime-televised tripleheader Saturday evening. Lemieux (43-4, 36KOs) weighed a fleshy 166.2 pounds for his fourth straight bout above middleweight, where he previously held the IBF middleweight title.
The weight is the lightest in more than five years for Benavidez, who put in long hours during training camp to ensure a short night at the office on Saturday.
”It’s going to be explosive and it’s going to end in knockout,” Benavidez vowed to BoxingScene.com. “I’m sending [Lemieux] home early and I’m leaving with the title.”
The fight is the second in a row at home for Benavidez, who enjoyed a local showcase in a seventh-round knockout of Kyrone Davis last November 13 at Footprint Center in Phoenix. A win on Saturday will place the unbeaten 25-year-old as the WBC mandatory challenger to undisputed super middleweight champion Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez (57-2-2, 39KOs).
In the co-feature, prodigious Cuban talent Yoelvis Gomez (5-0, 5KOs) steps up in class to face Mexico’s Jorge Cota (30-5, 27KOs) in a scheduled ten-round junior middleweight bout. Gomez—who has fought just seven combined rounds and never past the third round in any pro fight—weighed 156.6 pounds. Cota hit the scale at a fight-ready 156.8 pounds.
Opening the telecast, Dominican Republic’s Luis Nunez (16-0, 12KOs) weighed pounds for a dangerous ten-round featherweight heat with unbeaten Guadalajara native Jonathan Javier Fierro (13-0, 12KOs) who weighed pounds.
Below are the weights for the full non-televised undercard preceding the Showtime telecast.
Victor Ortiz (32-7-3, 25KOs), Ventura, California, 151.8 pounds vs. Todd Manuel (20-19-1, 6KOs), Rayne, Louisiana, 158.8 pounds—10 rounds, junior middleweight
Richardson Hitchins (13-0, 5KOs), Brooklyn, 143 pounds vs. Angel Sarinana Rodriguez (12-10-3, 5KOs), Durango, Mexico, 142.8 pounds—10 rounds, junior welterweight
Estevan Villalobos (15-1-1, 11KOs), Mount Vernon, Washington, 147 pounds vs. Christon Edwards (13-3, 6KOs), Houston, 146.6 pounds—8 rounds, welterweight
Elijah Lorenzo Garcia (10-0, 9KOs), Phoenix, 159.6 pounds vs. Rowdy Legend Montgomery (7-3-1, 5KOs), Victorville, California, 158.8 pounds—6 rounds, middleweight
Jesus Abel Ibarra (13-0, 6KOs), Apache Junction, Arizona, 128.8 pounds vs. Ernesto Guerrero (33-33, 23KOs), Agua Prieta, Mexico [weigh-in pendin medical clearance]—6 rounds, featherweight
Chavon Davis (pro debut), Ambridge, Pennsylvania, 165.4 pounds vs. Brent Oren (4-8, 1KO), Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, 168.4 pounds—6 rounds, super middleweight
Micky Scala (5-0, 3KOs), Mesa, Arizona, 153.4 pounds vs. Mike Plazola (2-1, 1KOs), Waterloo, Iowa, 154.2 pounds—6 rounds, junior middleweight
Julio Ocampo Hernandez (1-0, 1KO), Kent, Washington, 138.8 pounds vs. Gibran Perez (pro debut), San Marcos, California, 137.6 pounds—4 rounds, junior welterweight
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox