Las Vegas is no stranger to epic battles, and this Saturday night promises to deliver yet another. In a clash of undefeated titans, David Benavidez and Demetrius Andrade will square off for the WBC interim super middleweight championship. The Michelob Ultra Arena will serve as the battleground for this highly anticipated encounter, which, despite featuring an interim title, offers stakes far higher than any belt could symbolize.
Benavidez and Andrade, both former world champions who have not been defeated in the ring, bring a rich history and a wealth of experience to this match. Benavidez, having been twice stripped of the WBC main title for extracurricular incidents, and Andrade, a former WBA light middleweight and WBO middleweight champion, are not merely contenders for the interim title. They are athletes seeking to cement their status in the storied narrative of boxing.
The match transcends the traditional boxer-versus-puncher archetype. Benavidez, typically categorized as the “puncher,” boasts a record of 27 wins, zero losses, with 23 wins by knockout. He is celebrated for his dynamic and exhilarating fighting style. On the other side, Andrade, the “boxer,” with a perfect record of 32-0 (19 KOs), is noted for his slick technique and the potency of his punching power, a combination that has earned him the title of being one of the more elusive fighters in the sport today.
The significance of this match is heightened by the fact that both athletes have acknowledged the high stakes. Benavidez is determined to set up a high-profile bout with Canelo, a possibility that promoter Eddie Hearn suggests could materialize in 2024 if Benavidez triumphs over Andrade and maintains his compelling form. Andrade, at 35 years old and competing against the 26-year-old Benavidez, is not just fighting for another win; he is fighting to prove that his age is not a barrier to his continued success in the boxing realm.
Demetrius Andrade’s journey in boxing is a tale of persistence and unyielding ambition. His amateur career was nothing short of stellar, besting formidable opponents like Shawn Porter, Keith Thurman, and Daniel Jacobs. His transition to the professional arena was met with lofty expectations, and he didn’t disappoint, maintaining an unblemished record over fifteen years and capturing titles in two weight classes. However, at 35, Andrade’s career has been a paradox of success and missed big-ticket fights. Despite actively seeking out high-profile opponents, including the likes of Canelo Alvarez and Jermall Charlo, he’s often been met with evasion rather than engagement.
This background sets the stage for his encounter with David Benavidez, a fighter renowned for his relentless energy and unique attacking prowess. This matchup signifies a critical juncture for Andrade. It’s a bout that has sportsbooks and aficionados pondering whether he’s finally met his match. Benavidez, younger and hailed for his victories, including an impressive takedown of Caleb Plant, represents the proverbial young lion in this dynamic.
The narrative surrounding this match is complex. While Benavidez is perceived as using Andrade as a stepping stone to elevate his career, Andrade sees an opportunity to leverage his experience and strategic acumen against the vigor of his younger opponent. In a reflective moment, Andrade stated on an episode of All Access, “When I beat him, he’s still young enough where he can endure the loss. It’s ok. You’re still young enough to where you can continue to beat everybody else.”
This super middleweight showdown is creating a compelling narrative. Many see Benavidez as the younger star, potentially using Andrade as a stepping stone to elevate his career. Conversely, a defeat could be a significant setback for Benavidez. Andrade, however, views this differently. He acknowledges the advantage of youth in his opponent but sees a potential victory as both a testament to his enduring skill and a way to demonstrate that Benavidez’s age will be an asset, allowing him to recover and continue his ascent in boxing.
Adding to the excitement, the undercard features a slate of equally thrilling bouts. WBC middleweight champion Jermall Charlo returns after a two-year hiatus to face Jose Benavidez Jr in a non-title ten-rounder. Additionally, the night will see Subriel Matas and Shohjahon Ergashev vie for the IBF light welterweight title, adding to the already electrifying atmosphere.
Benavidez vs. Andrade Full Fight Card:
- David Benavidez vs. Demetrius Andrade; Super middleweight
- Subriel Matias vs. Shohjahon Ergashev; For Matias’ IBF world super lightweight title
- Hector Luis Garcia vs. Lamont Roach; For Garcia’s WBA world super featherweight title
- Jermall Charlo vs. Jose Benavidez Jr.; Middleweight
- Sergey Lipinets vs. Michel Rivera; Super lightweight
- Pablo Vicente vs. Muhammadkhuja Yaqubov; Super featherweight
- Vito Mielnicki Jr. vs. Alexis Salazar Flores; Light middleweight
- Daniel Blancas vs. Raiko Santana; Super middleweight
- Israel Mercardo vs. Wesley Rivers; Super lightweight
- Curmel Moton vs. Hunter Turbyfill; Featherweight
- Jabin Chollet vs. Jorge Perez; Lightweight
- Alex Holley vs. Allen Medina; Welterweight