David Benavidez, with the steely determination of a seasoned pugilist, is charting a course that could redefine his career in the super middleweight division. His goal? To secure a bout with the revered four-belt champion, Canelo Alvarez.
However, Benavidez, ever the strategist, knows that such a bout is a pinnacle reached by climbing a mountain of formidable opponents, and thus has charted an alternate path should direct confrontation with Canelo remain elusive into early 2024. This path leads to David Morrell Jr., the WBA ‘regular’ super middleweight champion.
Benavidez’s narrative is more than a tale of questing for titles; it is an intricate story of redemption, ambition, and tactical warfare within the squared circle. He is undeterred by the voices that cast aspersions on his valor, suggesting a reticence to engage with the prodigious Morrell.
Instead, Benavidez has set his focus on a fight scheduled for November 25 with Demetrius Andrade—a duel that many in the boxing community are monitoring with keen interest. A victory over Andrade is not just a notch on Benavidez’s belt but a crucial foothold to leverage a higher standing in the super middleweight hierarchy.
As Benavidez prepares for his upcoming bout, he has verbalized his game plan with a clarity that resonates with confidence and focus. “These are the types of fights that interest me. Demetrius Andrade is a great fighter; there’s no doubt about that. He has a lot of experience, but I get to test myself, test my spirit, and test my heart against everybody,” Benavidez relayed on Brian Campbell’s YouTube channel. This determination underscores his preparation, which he acknowledges must be thorough, as he faces an opponent with a slick boxing style.
His recent performances, though victorious, have raised questions regarding his endurance and weight management. The discerning eyes of the boxing world did not miss the physical toll the sport exacts, particularly evident during his weigh-in before facing Caleb Plant. Benavidez’s early-round performance against Plant was uncharacteristic and has become a topic of analysis among enthusiasts and experts alike.
Benavidez’s rebuttal to these concerns is rooted in his rigorous preparation and indomitable spirit. “The way I go into every fight is that my opponent is going to be the best that he’s going to be. I got to be ready for everything Demetrius does. He’s a slick boxer, so I’m expecting him to be at his best. I’ve hurt everybody I’ve been in the ring with. We’re definitely going to break him down. There’s no question about that,” he stated, emphasizing his belief in his ability to subdue Andrade.
The critique of Benavidez’s tactical approach is trenchant, with observers noting his challenges in combating opponents who employ dynamic movement. Caleb Plant’s agility exposed a potential vulnerability in Benavidez’s style, leading some to speculate that Andrade’s athleticism and tactical acumen may further exploit this weakness. Nonetheless, Benavidez’s response to this is one of anticipation, not apprehension.
“If he wants to give me a fight, I enjoy that. I enjoy good fights. When someone puts me to a test, the best me comes out,” Benavidez remarked, demonstrating his readiness to adapt and overcome any such strategic difficulties. His acknowledgement of Morrell as a future opponent further conveys his willingness to engage with top-tier talent, despite the criticism leveled at him for opting for Andrade, a decision some view as a strategic maneuver to avoid the perilous challenge posed by Morrell.
Benavidez’s campaign for a fight with Canelo has been long and fraught with obstacles. His frustration is palpable as he confronts the realities of boxing’s intricate politics and the matchmaking that often defies the logic of rankings and mandatory positions. “I don’t know what that man is doing. Every time I say something, people say that I’m looking for a ‘payday,’ but I’ve been the [WBC] mandatory for the past two years,” Benavidez expressed, articulating a sentiment of being overlooked despite his credentials.
The upcoming fight with Andrade, a second pay-per-view event that promises to draw significant attention, serves as a crucible for Benavidez. It is here that he aims to demonstrate not only his skill but also his marketability as a leading figure in the sport. “This is my second pay-per-view fight. The crowds are really big for this fight, so I’m getting really comfortable. Like I said, I’m not going nowhere. I’m the best in this division,” he declared, setting the stage for a showdown that could define his career trajectory.