David Benavidez has a higher opinion of Jermell Charlo than the 154-pound champion’s inactive twin brother, unbeaten WBC middleweight champ Jermall Charlo.
The unbeaten Benavidez considers Jermell Charlo one of the best fighters, pound-for-pound, in boxing. That’s why Benavidez was so surprised September 30, when Charlo didn’t put up the type of competitive effort he expected him to deliver versus Canelo Alvarez.
Jermell Charlo has taken a lot of criticism since his subpar performance against Alvarez, who pressured him throughout their bout, consistently connected to Charlo’s body, made Charlo take a knee after landing a right hand to his head early in the seventh round and comfortably out-pointed Charlo on all three scorecards in their 12-round, 168-pound championship clash at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. Judge Steve Weisfeld scored 11 rounds for Alvarez, who won 119-108 on his card and 118-109 on the cards of judges Max De Luca and David Sutherland.
“I was a little disappointed, you know, because I think highly of Charlo, that Charlo, the one that was champion at 154,” Benavidez told BoxingScene.com. “I think he’s a great fighter. You know, I kinda wish he woulda went out with a little bit more fight. But at the end of the day, I can’t speak for other fighters.
“I don’t know what other fighters think, what other fighters go through. But, you know, I wish he woulda pushed a little bit more. You know, he’s a great fighter himself, so I wish he woulda challenged himself more. But, you know, he did what he had to do.”
Benavidez (27-0, 23 KOs), who will meet Demetrius Andrade on November 25, is convinced that he is the super middleweight who will eventually knock off Alvarez, the undisputed champion in their division. Though the Phoenix native wanted Charlo (35-2-1, 19 KOs) to test Alvarez more than he did during their Showtime Pay-Per-View main event, Benavidez was complimentary of how Alvarez (60-2-2, 39 KOs) handled the former undisputed 154-pound champion in Charlo’s debut in the 168-pound division.
“I thought it was a good performance,” Benavidez said. “You know, I’m not gonna be the one criticizing Canelo. It was a good performance. I think he shoulda did a little bit more, especially with the 18-by-18 ring [smaller than usual]. Charlo was coming up two weight classes, so he was the bigger man. The punch output was very low. I think [Canelo] threw like 350 punches.
“So, I mean, it was a lotta things I seen for myself that I can take advantage of. I mean, you can’t knock a pay-per-view event that did 700,000 buys. You know, it was a great event and, like I said, it was an OK fight. But Canelo did what he had to do.”
The 26-year-old Benavidez will defend his WBC interim super middleweight title against Andrade (32-0, 19 KOs), a former junior middleweight and middleweight champion from Providence, Rhode Island. He has opened as a 4-1 favorite to defeat the left-handed Andrade, according to FanDuel sportsbook, in their own Showtime Pay-Per-View main event at Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino’s Michelob ULTRA Arena in Las Vegas.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.