Former super middleweight titleholder David Benavidez says he was emboldened by Juan Montiel’s surprisingly effective performance against Jermall Charlo in their middleweight title fight in June.
The underdog Montiel ended up losing a wide decision, but the fight was more competitive than the scorecards indicated. At times, Montiel, who pressed forward all night, was able to land surprisingly clean combinations on WBC middleweight titlist Charlo.
Watching Montiel go to work had Benavidez (24-0, 21 KOs) licking his chops.
“I thought, honestly, that Charlo was going to knock him out early in the fight,” Benavidez said on The SI Boxing Podcast. “Just seeing him make it to the 12th round was really surprising, but honestly I wouldn’t doubt if he overlooked him and didn’t train as hard. Montiel, he’s a warrior, too. He had two losses…but his wins were all knockouts.”
Benavidez, 24, is scheduled to face Venezuela’s Jose Uzcategui (31-4, 26 KOs) on November 13 at Phoenix Arena in Benavidez’s hometown of Phoenix.
Although Charlo (32-0, 22 KOs) campaigns at middleweight, Benavidez has expressed interest in facing the Houstonian, going so far as to say recently that he would drop down to 160. Both fighters are backed by Premier Boxing Champions, so it is not inconceivable that they could swap punches down the line.
Should that fight materialize, Benavidez sees plenty of holes in Charlo’s defense that he can exploit.
“[Montiel] was really landing on Charlo,” Benavidez said. “The type of stuff that he likes to do, the punches that he throws, are what I like to throw, too.
“Charlo, I think he’s not as good a fighter as he thinks he is. He’s still a great fighter, and it would be a great fight, but I feel like I can stop Charlo.”
Benavidez is coming off a 11th-round stoppage of Ronald Ellis in March.