By Jake Donovan
David Benavidez preserved his perfect record and extended his knockout streak alive, both of which came at the expense of Denis "Momma's Boy" Douglin. The undefeated teenager from Phoenix scored his latest win to date, stopping the New Jersey native in the 10th and final round of their PBC on ESPN-televised main event Friday evening at 2300 Arena in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
The evening marked the first time Benavidez headlined a televised card and also fought in a scheduled 10-round affair. It turned out he needed all ten rounds to accomplish his goal of breaking down and stopping Douglin.
It wasn't easy, as the 19-year old was a bit slow out the gate while trying to solve the smothering style of his more experienced southpaw foe. There were points in the fight where he appeared to have Douglin ready to go, but instead chose to preserve his energy for a long night in the office.
The tactic didn't sit well with his father and trainer Jose Benavidez Sr., who urged his son to go all in against an opponent he firmly believed was on the verge of running on empty.
Douglin's parents - his mother as his head trainer and father as assistant trainer - were urging their son to pick up the pace as well, but only to convince referee Gary Rosato that he wanted to continue fighting. He caught a break in the middle rounds, first when losing his mouthpiece and then one round later when a turnbuckle collapsed while Benavidez was laying on the ropes, causing a lengthy delay in the action.
It only proved to prolong the inevitable. The beginning of the end came towards the closing seconds of round nine, when Benavidez connected with a left hand shot to force Douglin to the canvas. It came late enough in the frame where beating the mandatory count was enough to make it to the bell, but also triggering a thorough look from the referee and harsh words from his corner, particularly his father who threatened to stop the fight if his son didn't bite down and go for the knockout.
It was wishful thinking at best - and in reality, overzealous parenting absent of any real advice. Benavidez went all in at the start of the 10th and final round. A series of power shots was punctuated by a final right hand to the chin, leaving Douglin helpless along the ropes as the referee jumped in to stop the fight.
The official time was 0:35 of round 10.
Benavidez advances to 16-0 (15KOs), continuing a hot streak that included a breakthrough performance in a 2nd round knockout of Phillip Jackson Benson this past April live on free-to-air Fox. Each of his past two starts have marked the longest bouts of his young career, having required seven rounds to get rid of previously unbeaten Francy Ntetu this past June at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.
Douglin has a modest three-fight win streak snapped as he falls to 20-5 (13KOs).
Alejandro Luna remained unbeaten, although his win came with less significance than originally expected in conquering local boxer Naim Nelson, a very late replacement for originally scheduled Stephen Ormond. Scores were 99-91, 98-92 and 97-93 in favor of Luna, who had hoped to enter a semifinal eliminator but instead settled of Nelson after Ormond was massively overweight for the televised co-feature.
The pre-fight scouting report suggested that Nelson had to lose 16 pounds in less than 24 hours after being tabbed to fill in for Ormond. While the amount sounds exaggerated, the Philly boxer looked sluggish and lacked any zip on his punches. Still, he had enough to frustrate Luna in spots, forcing the California-based Mexican-proud lightweight to work hard to advance to 21-0 (15KOs).
Meanwhile, Nelson falls to 13-2 (1KO), now with just one win i his past four starts.