David Benavidez said he would only return to super middleweight for Canelo Alvarez

By Alan Dawson

LAS VEGAS – David Benavidez will make his lightweight debut on Saturday against Oleksandr Gvozdyk at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, and that’s where he will likely stay unless he secures a fight specifically in the super middleweight division.

Speak privately with Boxing news Before his 175-pound bout, Benavidez said he would only return to 168 if it was the one fight that had eluded him during his time in that weight class — a home run. undisputed champion Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez.

“I’ll be completely honest,” he told us. “I just want the Canelo fight at 168. That’s what I earned.”

Benavidez must first get past Gvozdyk, which is no easy feat. The 2012 Olympic bronze medalist has been on a tear since turning professional, winning 20 matches (16 by knockout) and losing just one – by knockout, to Artur Beterbiev on year 2019.

Gvozdyk has beaten Tommy Karpency, Isaac Chilemba and Adonis Stevenson over the years, and is one of the top five Ukrainian players looking to continue the winning streak his countryman has established this year, thanks to victories by Oleksandr Usyk, Vasiliy Lomachenko, Denis Berinchyk and Serhii Bohachuk.

Although Benavidez and his promoter Sampson Lewkowicz respect Gvozdyk, having spoken to both last week, it was clear they were confident this was a fight they would win, regardless of skill. What is his experience in the weight class and his determination to win for Gvozdyk. nation.

Considering the big fights that could await Benavidez, it’s hard not to look beyond Gvozdyk – against Canelo, or the winner of the Dmitri Bivol vs Artur Beterbiev fight later this year.

“Both were really big fights,” Benavidez said.

Meanwhile, Lewkowicz spoke Boxing news that while a fight against the winner of Bivol vs Beterbiev is “possible” following Gvozdyk’s result, they will continue to campaign for the Canelo fight, regardless.

“David wants to get back to 168 pounds,” Lewkowicz said. “He wants Canelo.”

Lewkowicz continued: “He agreed to pay a very small amount of money to fight him, not a salary. He wants to beat the best he can at 168 and then move on. [permanently] to 175.”

While a fight with Bivol or Beterbiev in Riyadh is a major event, Lewkowicz sees the bout with Canelo as a crossover program that attracts more mainstream interest. “I believe in America. Canelo and Benavidez would sell out any stadium here in 24 hours,” he said, adding that this is clearly a Las Vegas fight.

Whether they book themselves a fight with Canelo or not, they are ready to take on a fight in Saudi Arabia against the best the light heavyweight division has to offer. Because according to Lewkowicz, Benavidez “deserves to be at the top of the list of the 10 best boxers in the world”.

For Benavidez, it was always about the belt over the money. “My dream is to get all the belts and stay champion,” the boxer told us.

“The person I want to fight [Canelo] – he has all the belts – but he doesn’t want to fight me. If we can actually come to an agreement, I will fight him there but if it is not against Canelo, I will not back down.”

The fight between Benavidez and Gvozdyk, which preceded the main event between Gervonta Davis and Frank Martin, aired as Premier Boxing Champions pay-per-view on Prime Video. The show is also available on


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