David Benavidez and Ronald Ellis both managed to conquer the scale this time around.
Both boxers successfully made weight for their Showtime main event this weekend, an upgrade from the last time they appeared on the network in separate bouts. They were joined by the undercard participants in leaving Friday’s weigh-in session devoid of drama ahead of Saturday’s televised tripleheader which airs live beginning at 9:00 p.m. ET from Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut.
Phoenix’s Benavidez (23-0, 20KOs) checked in at a fighting fit 167.2 pounds in his first fight since leaving his title at the scale in this very venue seven months ago.
Ellis (18-1-2, 12KOs) also weighed 167.2 pounds. The native of Lynn, Massachusetts was slightly heavier than his weight of 166 pounds for what was supposed to be a middleweight clash with former title challenger Matvey Korobov last December.
With both boxers making weight, Saturday’s headliner now moves forward as a sanctioned 12-round title eliminator. The winner will become the mandatory challenger to the WBC 168-pound title currently held by Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez (55-1-2, 37KOs), who is also the reigning WBA titlist.
Benavidez previously held the WBC strap on two separate occasions, making just one single successful title defense between two reigns which both ended outside the ring. The unbeaten boxer was stripped of the belt in Sept. 2018 after testing positive for cocaine, also resulting in a suspension. Benavidez regained the belt with a 9th round stoppage of Anthony Dirrell in Sept. 2019, only to lose the belt prior to his eventual one-sided drubbing of Alexis Angulo last August, having weighed nearly three pounds above the 168-pound divisional limit.
Ellis was a worse offender for his previous Showtime appearance. The middling contender didn’t come close to making the contracted weight for his intended middleweight clash with Korobov. Their fight still moved forward, with Ellis claiming a 4th round injury stoppage win when Korobov was unable to continue after suffering a torn Achilles tendon.
Another title eliminator graces the undercard, as Isaac Cruz and Matias Romero collide in a 12-round bout to determine the next mandatory challenger to the WBA lightweight title.
Mexico City’s Cruz (20-1-1, 15KOs) weighed 134 pounds for his first fight since scoring a sensational 53-second knockout of Diego Magdaleno last Halloween in San Antonio.
Argentina’s Romero (24-0, 8KOs) registered a fighting fit 134.8 pounds for what will serve as his U.S. debut.
Opening the telecast, 6’2” southpaw Jamontay Clark (15-1-1, 7KOs) faces former title challenger Terrell Gausha (21-2-1, 10KOs) in an all-Ohio junior middleweight bout scheduled for 10 rounds.
Cincinnati’s Clark weighed 154.6 pounds for his first fight since the pandemic, having been out of the ring since last February.
Cleveland’s Gausha tipped the scale at a ready 154.4 pounds in a bid to remain relevant in the 154-pound division. The 2012 U.S. Olympian is just 1-2-1 in his last four starts, including a 12-round loss to Erickson Lubin in their Showtime-televised WBC junior middleweight title eliminator at this location last September.
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox