Knock people out, bide his time

David Benavidez isn’t as preoccupied with the idea of fighting Canelo Alvarez as you might be.

First, his immediate focus is on a genuine test against fellow 168-pound contender Demetrius Andrade on pay-per-view Saturday at Michelob Ultra Arena in Las Vegas. What could follow if things go well? Benavidez isn’t counting on anything.

He’s only 26. The biggest fights will come his way if he continues to win.

“Yeah, exactly,” he told me and Kenneth Bouhairie on The PBC Podcast when his youth was mentioned. “I just have to be patient and let them come when they come. That’s the good thing about started my career so early (at 16).

“I have all this experience, 10 years as a professional. That’s kind of unheard of for a 26-year-old. … The key about this boxing stuff is patience and consistency.”

Benavidez (27-0, 23 KOs) might have to be patient on Saturday night.

The seek-and-destroy fighter will attempt to do what he typically does, which is to walk down Andrade (32-0, 19 KOs), inflict more and more punishment as the fight progresses and either stop him in the late rounds or win a decision.

He could struggle for a while, however, Andrade, a southpaw, has a combination of ability, athleticism and awkward style that frustrates opponents.

And Andrade has suggested going into the fight that his opponent has neither the footwork nor defensive ability to cope with his skill set, a notion that Benavidez has heard many times and quickly dismissed.

“Did you guys see my last fight,” said Benavidez, referring to his unanimous decision victory over Caleb Plant in March. “Caleb Plant landed, what, 20 percent (actually 14.6, according to CompuBox) of his punches? His jab was 9 percent. So I don’t have to say nothing. That speaks for itself.

“[Plant] hit Canelo more than he hit me and I’m a bigger guy, a bigger target. I have no defense? I have no footwork? How does Canelo get hit more than I did?”

Yes, Benavidez is confident going into what many believe could be his most difficult fight to date.

He respects Andrade, whom he said “moves really good and has good defense.” However, he believes his opponent lacks punching power and gave a mediocre performance in his 168-pound debut, a shutout decision over Demond Nicholson in January.

“He didn’t look good,” Benavidez said. “It wasn’t [a matter of] him going up to a new weight. He had time to prepare. He has said he’s seen every style, so he should’ve hurt that guy. I’ve never gone into the ring with a guy I didn’t hurt.

“[Edgar] Berlanga fought the same guy and hurt him. I felt he dominated [Nicholson] more than Demetrius Andrade did.”

However, Benavidez’s confidence is more about his ability than the man across the ring.

And why not? He has known nothing but success: perfect record, two major titles already under his belt, one knockout after another against good opposition and increasing popularity. And he only appears to be getting better.

“I’m a great pressure fighter,” he said. “I have a great jab, great body shots, great combinations. I keep the pressure on and try to knock people out every single round. I know exactly what I can do. I’m sure [Andrade] knows what he can do.

“Like I said, these fights aren’t meant to be easy. These fights are meant to be hard. I’m hungry to show the world what I’m made of. And that’s exactly what I plan to do on Nov. 25?


Of course, Benavidez wants that fight. That would be ultimate matchup for him, a lucrative opportunity to demonstrate on the biggest stage in the sport that he’s as good he believes he is.

And he’s certain it will happen, perhaps as soon as next Cinco de Mayo weekend if he beats Andrade. But he isn’t getting his hopes up. All he can do is continue to win until his number is called. Patience, consistency.

“I heard I was going to fight him a year ago and then this and that,” he said. “I try not to look at that, try not to bring it up no more. That fight is going to happen no matter what. I’m not going anywhere.

“My dream comes back to me keeping a promise I made to myself when I was a little kid, to be one of the best fighters in the world and become the best pound-for-pound.

“… There’s nothing that I want more than to show the world I’m the very best. If it happens next year, in two years, three, four, I’m not going anywhere. I’m going to be ready when the opportunity comes my way.”


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