By Sean Jones: Anthony Dirrell vs. David Benavidez is the planned co-feature bout for the Errol Spence Jr. vs. Shawn Porter card on Fox Sports pay-per-view on September 28, according to Mike Coppinger. Benavidez and Dirrell are both huge punchers with knockout power in either hand.
Dirrell-Benavidez will help boost the pay-per-view buys for the Spence-Porter card. The main event is a good fight, but there are already a lot of boxing fans complaining on social media in saying it’s not a PPV worthy match–up. Dirrell vs. Benavidez should help attract interest in the card, but obviously it’s not going to bring in a massive amount of fans to make the want to pay $70 to purchase the card on Fox PPV. The organizers of the card will need to add more undercard fights to attract fans not interested in Spence-Porter.
“Sources tell @TheAthleticBOX the WBC super middleweight title fight between Anthony Dirrell and David Benavidez will serve as the PPV co-feature to Errol Spence-Shawn Porter on Sept. 28,” said @MikeCoppinger.
Dirrell vs. Benavidez analysis
For Dirrell to have a shot at winning this fight, he’s going to need to be ready to stand and trade with the heavy-handed Benavidez for 12 rounds. Dirrell won’t last long if he runs out of gas after three to four rounds, and spends the last three quarters of the contest with his back pinned to the ropes. In Dirrell’s hard fights of his career against Avni Yildirim, Sakio Bika, Denis Douglin and Badou Jack, he faded early.
Benavidez has superstar potential
Former WBC super middleweight champion Benavidez (21-0, 18 KOs) could be the next star for the 168 pound division. He previously held the World Boxing Council title from 2017 to 2019. He lost the belt after testing positive for a banned substance last year in September. Benavidez, 22, is now back in action, and looking spectacular in destroying J’Leon Love by a second round knockout last March on the undercard of Spence vs. Mikey Garcia in Arlington, Texas. Benavidez, 6’2″, got some good visibility with that performance, as the fight card was shown on Fox Sports PPV.
Benavidez and Dirrell have an opponent in common in Denis Douglin. While Dirrell struggled to beat Douglin by a six round technical decision in 2017, Benavidez destroyed him in a 10th round knockout in August 2016.
Dirrell over-matched against Benavidez on paper
It’s a tough fight for WBC super middleweight champion Anthony Dirrell (33-1-1, 24 KOs), but it’s par for the course for a champion holding down the prestigious World Boxing Council 168 pound title. Dirrell, 34, is coming off of a poor performance against Avni Yildirim in beating him by a 10 round technical decision last February in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Many fans felt that Yildirim should have been given the victory. The judges scored it 96-94, 96-94 for Dirrell, and 98-92 for Yildirim. Boxing News 24 had Yildirim winning 98-92. It was a bad effort from Dirrell, who ran out of gas after the first three rounds, and was battered by Yildirim the rest of the way.
This isn’t the first time that Dirrell has had problems in one of his recent fights. Two years ago, Denis Douglin gave Dirrell major problems in November 2017. Dirrell won a six round technical decision, but fans felt that Douglin should have been given the victory. At 34, this isn’t the same Dirrell that was knocking everyone out from 2005 to 2013. He’s aged, and he’s no longer dominating like he had in the past.
Dirrell no longer looking impressive
Dirrell lost a 12 round majority decision to Badou Jack in April 2015. That fight was identical to Dirrell’s match against Yildirim. Jack pressured Dirrell nonstop, and wore him down in the second half of the fight to get the victory. In 2013, Dirrell fought to a 12 round draw against Sakio Bika. A lot of boxing fans had Bika winning the fight. Although Dirrell did come back to beat Bika by a convincing 12 round round unanimous decision in their rematch in August 2014, the blueprint had been created in how to beat him.