David Benavidez believes he and Demetrius Andrade have something in common that has brought these two undefeated fighters together for an attractive super middleweight showdown.
Most middleweights, including Canelo Alvarez, weren’t interested in facing Andrade during his long run in that division, which eventually led the former WBO 160-pound champion to move up eight pounds for the type of big fight he has long sought. Benavidez has been chasing his own lucrative shot at Alvarez’s IBF, WBA, WBC and WBO super middleweight titles, but he, too, wanted to face a credible contender in his next pay-per-view appearance if he couldn’t secure one of the biggest fights that can be made in boxing.
Benavidez (27-0, 23 KOs) was moderately successful in his debut as a pay-per-view “A” side in his last fight, a 12-round, unanimous-decision defeat of rival Caleb Plant (22-2, 13 KOs) on March 25 at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. The emerging star from Phoenix feels his 12-round bout against Andrade (32-0, 19 KOs) on November 25 is even bigger, though, because the 35-year-old Andrade is undefeated, has won world titles in two weight classes and has long been avoided by higher-profile fighters.
The 26-year-old Benavidez discussed the magnitude of their Showtime Pay-Per-View main event during a press conference Thursday in Los Angeles.
“Yeah, definitely, this is the biggest fight of my career up to this date,” Benavidez told Showtime’s Brian Custer, who moderated the press conference. “I give Demetrius Andrade a lotta props. He’s a great fighter. You know, a lotta people have been ducking him for a long time. So, I felt like I was in the seat that he was in, that nobody wanted to give him the opportunity. But now we came together, we’re getting the opportunity to make a great fight happen.
“And these are the type of fights I want. I wanna make my own lane. I wanna fight the best out of the best. Demetrius Andrade is up there as one of the best in this weight class. So, you know, I know it’s not gonna be an easy fight. I know it’s gonna be a tough fight. But, at the end of the day, this is gonna bring the best out of me. And I’m a monster for a reason.”
FanDuel sportsbook has established Benavidez, nicknamed “The Mexican Monster,” as a 4-1 favorite to defeat Andrade in their fight for Benavidez’s WBC interim super middleweight title. Their fight, Benavidez’s first test against a southpaw in seven years, will headline a four-fight pay-per-view show from 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.