LAS VEGAS – David Benavidez was content with his performance moving up in weight to defeat Oleksandr Gvozdyk, but now could face a frustrating period on the sidelines.

The 27-year-old admitted there had been a chance that he might not have made it into the ring in Las Vegas last night.

“I’m just so happy for this moment. About a month ago I had a torn ligament here my hand, it was injured and I got a cut on my eye, but I said, ‘Fuck it, I’m going to keep pushing through. I can’t cancel this event’. That’s the reason I wasn’t throwing so much in this fight, because my hand is messed up, but we still dominated. 

“We still won every single round against a great ex-champion and I’m just happy for this victory and just happy to keep pushing forward and keep dominating this light heavyweight division.”

Gvozdyk was game throughout, and could have made a case for winning several of the later sessions but Benavidez said he would not rule out dropping back to 168lbs in search of championship gold.

“I definitely want to invoke my mandatory right,” he added. “It’s something that for the past three years is rightfully mine, so like I said, this was the perfect opportunity for me to come up and win another [interim] belt, but I can still make 168 easy so we’re still looking to come back down to 168.”

Asked about his inability to stop the Ukrainian, Benavidez added: “My power still felt good but by the third round my hand was already messed up and then I kept trying to use the right hand but that got messed up, too. I dominated the fight. 

“Even with the hand hurting I kept hurting him. I kept hurting him to the body early in the fight, but I was looking for the left hand with my hand kind of open. I couldn’t really do much. I feel it does translate to this weight.”

Benavidez said he felt comfortable making either weight but said he would likely need to take two months to heal up before deciding on his next move. He also paid tribute to 37-year-old Gvozdyk, who kept coming.

“That dude is good. He’s consistent,” Benavidez, 29-0 (24 KOs), said. “He’s one of the best I’ve fought in my whole career.”