By Dan Ambrose: Newly crowned WBC super middleweight champion David Benavidez (22-0, 19 KOs) did what he said he was going to do in stopping WBC champ Anthony Dirrell (33-2-1, 24 KOs) in the 9th round last Saturday night at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California.
Benavidez, 22, battered Dirrell until his corner had the fight stopped in round 9. Dirrell was cut over his left eye, and taking a lot of heavy shots at the time the fight was halted.
Benavidez wants Plant
With his new WBC title, Benavidez now wants to face IBF super middleweight champion Caleb Plant (19-0, 11 KOs) in a unification fight. The taller, stronger 6’2″ Benavidez likes his chances in beating the 27-year-old Plant, who is more of a finesse level fighter.
Whether that match can happen is a major question though, because their management at Premier Boxing Champion might not want to make a fight between them just yet. It’s better for PBC to have Benavidez and Plant wait a while before they let them face each other in a unification fight. Of course, if one or both of them get beaten by other fighters, then they’ll have wasted the opportunity to make the match.
There are some talented fighters at 168 that could potentially beat both of these guys. Callum Smith, Billy Joe Saunders and Saul Canelo Alvarez are three risky fights for Benavidez and Plant. There’s also light heavyweight Dmitry Bivol, who can make 168 at a moments notice.
Dirrell wants rematch with Benavidez
“I’m a true champion. Hopefully, we’ll do it again,” said Dirrell after the fight.
Benavidez administered a lot of punishment on Drrell during the nine rounds of the fight. Dirrell landed a lot of flush lefts and right on the head of Benavidez, but they didn’t hurt him or slow him down. Benavidez’s defense wasn’t as sound as he thought, as he would like, as he did have some swelling on the left side of the fight by the end of the contest.
Dirrell was too small to battle Benavidez in the trenches
The size advantage for Benavidez was too much. He not only looked a lot taller than Dirrell, but also heavier as well. The shots that Dirrell landed bounced off Benavidez without slowing him down from his relentless attacks.
Dirrell resembled a middleweight fighting a light heavyweight. Benavidez is huge for the 168-lb weight class, and it’s hard to believe that he can still make weight for the division. Benavidez’s days in the super middleweight division are numbered, being that he won’t be able to make weight long term.
David Benavidez: fans don’t want to see boring Caleb Plant fight
“It was crazy being out here in front of all the fans. I put on a great performance, I got my belts back, and I put on a war,” said Benavidez to Fox Sports following his win over Anthony Dirrell last Saturday. “I showed that I could go in there with an experienced fighter and break him apart. That jab was there all night. When he got comfortable with the jab, I went down to the body. And the power. I did a lot of stuff that people didn’t know I could do, so I feel like I earned this title.
“With my defense, I could see a lot of things in there. When he tried to hit me with the right hand, I felt it coming from a mile away. So as soon as I felt that right hand was about to come out, I put my guard up, and made him miss a lot. I want to be the best super middleweight in the world. He Tweets everyday. He’s like a woman on Twitter. I don’t pay too much attention to that. You saw when I fought today that people went crazy.
People want to see me fight. People don’t want to see him fight, because it’s boring,” said Benavidez about Plant. “Obviously, I need these great fighters to push me to that level to bring the best out of me. I’m only 22-year-old. I turn 23 in December. I’m only getting stronger,” said Dirrell.
Plant has a lot of boxing skills, and he’s got enough power to give Benavidez the fight of his life. All the shots that Dirrell was able to land could be knockout blows if Plant is landing them.
Benavidez wants to take on the top 168-lb fighters
“I told you guys that Anthony Dirrell wouldn’t make it out of this fight with a decision, and I did exactly what I said I was going to do,” said Benavidez. “Anthony Dirrell is a gentleman. He’s a professional. At the end of the day, we kept it professional. We’re professional athletes. We didn’t have to talk trash the whole camp. I told him, ‘let’s give the fans a good fight.’
“There was a little bit of trash talk in there, but look at it, it was too men going to war. When I did those actions, I not only lost my belt, but I also lost a bunch of paychecks. I’m not trying to do that no more. But I’m very focused. I know I need to be at the top of my game to beat all these fighters out there. There are some great fighters at 168, and I feel like I’ve got to take them on, and be as dedicated as I got to be,” said Benavidez.
WBA super middleweight champion Callum Smith wants to fight Benavidez, and his promoter Eddie Hearn in interested in maknig that fight happen. Saul Canelo Alvarez and Billy Joe Sanders would be tough fights for Benavidez to get right now. Those guys haven’t been mentioning Benavidez’s name, but perhaps that’ll change now that he’s the WBC champion.
Caleb Plant comments on Benavidez
“This the mf who’s suppose to beat me up 😂” said Plant on Twitter in commenting about Benavidez after his win over Dirrell last Saturday.
— FOX Sports: PBC (@PBConFOX) September 29, 2019