David Benavidez has had the type of 2023 that at the very least makes him a candidate for “Fighter of the Year” awards.

The emerging star stopped previously undefeated Demetrius Andrade last month, eight months after his convincing victory over rival Caleb Plant in their 12-round, 168-pound grudge match. Between them, Andrade (32-1, 19 KOs) and Plant (22-2, 13 KOs) had only been beaten by boxing’s biggest star, Canelo Alvarez, before Benavidez defeated Andrade by technical knockout and Plant by unanimous decision.

Benavidez (28-0, 24 KOs) is certain those two wins warrant a shot at Alvarez’s four super middleweight titles. The humble 26-year-old Benavidez doesn’t think, though, that he has done enough yet to appear among the top 10 on pound-for-pound lists.

“Like I said, I wanna be humble in victory, too,” Benavidez stated. “I don’t think I’ve done enough to make it on the pound-for-pound list. But I will definitely get there.”

The Phoenix native isn’t listed among the top 10 by BoxingScene.com, ESPN.com or The Ring magazine. Benavidez has nevertheless developed into must-see TV because “The Mexican Monster” is an all-action, relentless pressure fighter whose fan-friendly style has made him popular among boxing diehards.

The WBC interim super middleweight champ hurt the left-handed Andrade, the first southpaw he fought in seven years, with a right hand that sent Andrade to his gloves and knees with three seconds remaining in the fourth round. Andrade beat referee Thomas Taylor’s count, yet he never really recovered from the damage done by that punishing punch.

An aggressive Benavidez battered Andrade for most of the next two rounds, when a fading Andrade had difficulty keeping Benavidez off of him. The Providence native’s handlers understandably stopped their fight following an entirely one-sided sixth round.

“I think what this victory shows,” Benavidez said, “I mean, a lotta people said he was gonna be too much, do this, blah, blah, blah, blah. I mean, I know how to go in there and I know how to get the victory. I know how to find the victory. You know what I mean? And that’s, I think that, you know, it lets people know that I’m very dangerous. You know, it’s not just one style I fight in. There’s more, multiple styles I fight in. You know, and I can break fighters down, I can break boxers down, I can break power punchers down. It don’t matter to me.

“And I think with this victory I’m really getting very comfortable in there, you know, I’m getting comfortable with the crowd, very comfortable with everything and I’m just going in there having a good time. Because at the end of the day, this is what we love to do. So, when you got a fighter like me, going in there, enjoying every minute and every second in that ring, you know, you’re just gonna get a dangerous, dangerous fighter. This is what I love to do and Imma continue doing this.”

Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.