David Benavidez is confident that at least one name from his current wishlist will wind up in the opposite corner for his next fight.
It’s a list that includes secondary WBA super middleweight titlist David Morrell (6-0, 5KOs), former IBF titleholder Caleb Plant (21-1, 12KOs) and WBC middleweight beltholder Jermall Charlo (32-0, 22KOs). All fight under the Premier Boxing Champions (PBC) banner, which—in theory—should produce at least one makeable matchup.
All three were called by name by Benavidez (26-0, 23KOs), and all will be called to task if no fights come of this group.
“I feel like if they don’t, it puts a lot of pressure on them,” Benavidez told BoxingScene.com of the scenario where the aforementioned trio don’t entertain his offer for a clash this fall. “They’re trying to talk this big talk that everyone’s scared of them. Well, right now I’m trying to get the fights with everyone.
“I’m trying to get the next best thing. If I don’t, well I’m the interim WBC super middleweight titleholder now. They’re going to be missing out on a good thing, a fight where we can really put it all on the line.”
Phoenix’s Benavidez has embarked on a path to become a three-time WBC super middleweight titlist, though aware that—even as the WBC mandatory challenger—a shot at undisputed champ Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez (57-2-2, 39KOs) just won’t happen in 2022. Alvarez already announced plans for a September 17 trilogy clash with IBF/WBA middleweight titlist Gennadiy Golovkin (42-1-1, 37KOs), who will move up in weight.
It was a moved for which Benavidez and his team were prepared. Promoter Sampson Lewkowicz attended the WBC convention last November, hopeful of enforcing Benavidez’s mandatory status but instead walking away with an interim title fight.
Benavidez did his part, blasting out former IBF middleweight titlist David Lemieux (43-5, 36KOs) inside of three rounds atop a May 21 Showtime-televised tripleheader from Gila River Arena in Glendale, Arizona. Immediately after the fight, Benavidez called for fights with the best of the rest in the super middleweight division. All three have fights coming up in the next few weeks—Morrell on June 4 in Minneapolis hometown, Charlo on June 18 in his Houston hometown and Plant awaiting a summertime date for his first fight post-title reign.
Benavidez doesn’t habitually show up for fights involving his divisional rivals, but is tempted to go that route if none of three are willing to commit to a head-on collision.
“If that’s what needs to be done, I’ll do it,” admits Benavidez, who eyes a November return. “I’m not really that type of person to do stuff like that, but if that’s what it takes to get these fights then I’ll do it.
“We’ll see what happens but I do believe we’re really close to making these fights happen. Plant, Charlo, Morrell, I believe we’ll see these fights next for me.”
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox