Earlier this month, David Benavidez (19-0, 17 KOs), 20 years old, became the youngest world champion in the sport he won a twelve round split decision over tough as nails Ronald Gavril in The Joint at The Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas.
The victory gave him the vacant WBC super middleweight title, which was vacated by Badou Jack when he moved up to 175-pounds.
According to Benavidez, during the fight with Gavril (18-2, 14 KOs) he overcame an injured left knuckle on his left hand in the fourth round, and he also suffered a knockdown in the twelfth and final round.
“Every jab caused sharp pain in my fist, but champions push through obstacles finding ways to win. I gave up the knockdown going for the kill, but I got up and came out on top,” said Benavidez to Premier Boxing Champions. “I can attack the body more, use more head movement, work more combinations, but the crowd was going crazy after every round. I gave an exciting fight showing I’m a champion they want to see.”
After the fight with Gavril was over, Benavidez was confronted by undefeated Caleb Plant.
Plant (16-0, 10 KOs) saw action on the undercard of the Hard Rock event, winning a ten round decision over Andrew Hernandez (19-7-1, 9 KOs).
“He said, ‘Get ready, I’m coming after you,’ and if Caleb wants it, he can get it," said Benavidez. “Caleb couldn't stop a guy with six losses. Hernandez is a friend, but I’ve knocked out Hernandez a couple of times [during sparring sessions]. Trust me, Caleb’s not ready for me.”
Although he considers him to be a friend, Benavidez would love a unification with WBO champion Gilberto Ramirez (36-0, 24 KOs), who last week retained his world title with a hard fought decision over Jesse Hart (22-1, 18 KOs).
“He’s a native Mexican and I’m a Mexican-American, and sometimes the Mexican-Americans are considered fake Mexicans by the [native] Mexicans,” said Benavidez. “We’re friends, but if we ever fight it’ll be a spectacular brawl since I know his style and he knows mine."