LAS VEGAS – Jermall Charlo expected Demetrius Andrade’s boxing ability to help the previously undefeated southpaw upset David Benavidez on Saturday night.
Charlo was surprised both by Andrade’s approach to their 12-round super middleweight title fight and the relative ease with which Benavidez beat him. The undefeated Charlo congratulated Benavidez (28-0, 24 KOs) during their post-fight press conference at Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino, yet the WBC middleweight champion contended that he wasn’t overly impressed with Benavidez’s technical-knockout victory.
“I really thought ‘Boo Boo’ was gonna outbox him, but his plan was different,” Charlo said in referencing Andrade by his nickname. “I can’t get in there and fight for him, but he stayed on the outside too long and he never pushed David back. To me, the feet was very sloppy on both of the fighters’ standpoint. They did a lotta clashing and it – I mean, I look at boxing like the dominating shots.
“I really didn’t see like crazy dominating shots, but I really did see David put a lotta pressure on ‘Boo Boo.’ Like not to, you know, take nothing away from David’s win. He did awesome, great champ. But I didn’t really see, I wasn’t like crazy impressed by him. You know, I mean, I just wasn’t crazy impressed by him. Like it was a good fight, though.”
The 26-year-old Benavidez broke down Andrade during the fifth and sixth rounds, when he landed an array of body and head shots that left a battered Andrade with swelling around both of his eyes. Andrade (32-1, 19 KOs) got up from a knockdown caused by Benavidez’s right hand very late in the fourth round.
Though the southpaw beat referee Thomas Taylor’s count, he never really recovered from the damage done by that shot late in the fourth round. The former WBO middleweight and WBA/WBO 154-pound champion attempted to fend off a bullish Benavidez by firing occasional shots back at “The Mexican Monster,” but Andrade ultimately succumbed to his imposing opponent’s non-stop pressure.
Andrade’s handlers told Taylor to stop the fight after an entirely one-sided sixth round that left an overwhelmed Andrade holding on to the top rope as he made his way back to his corner.
In the previous fight Saturday night, Charlo (33-0, 22 KOs) ended a 29-month layoff by beating Jose Benavidez Jr. by unanimous decision in a 10-round, non-title fight. Benavidez (28-3-1, 19 KOs) withstood Charlo’s power and reached the final bell, but Houston’s Charlo controlled much of their bout with his jab and clearly out-worked Phoenix’s Benavidez to win by scores of 100-90, 99-91 and 98-92.
Charlo also stated during his post-fight press conference that David Benavidez is among the super middleweights he would be interested in fighting next if the WBC middleweight champion remains in the 168-pound division.
“If I gotta go to 168, I’ll go to 168 and fight for this interim belt that he just won or he just defended tonight,” Charlo said. “Like I’m down for whatever.”
The Houston native officially weighed 166.4 pounds, 3½ pounds over the contracted catch weight of 163 pounds, for his fight with Jose Benavidez Jr. He paid penalties per pound from his purse to Benavidez to move forward with their Showtime Pay-Per-View co-feature.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.