David Benavidez envisions at least one rematch in his near future.
The former two-time WBC super middleweight titlist remains an interested observer for Saturday’s title eliminator between Anthony Dirrell and Kyrone Davis, which airs live on Fox from Shrine Auditorium & Expo Hall in Los Angeles. The bout represents one-half of a four-man tournament as imposed by the WBC, with the intention to establish a mandatory challenger for its super middleweight crown.
The other side of the bracket will come March 13, when Benavidez (24-0, 21KOs) faces Ronald Ellis (18-1-2, 12KOs) live on Showtime from Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut.
“I feel like I’m on a collision course for a rematch with Anthony Dirrell,” Benavidez told BoxingScene.com. “Kyrone Davis seems like he’s a good guy but he doesn’t look like he poses much of a threat. Anthony Dirrell is the bigger puncher and I feel like he should take care of business.”
Benavidez began his second title reign with a 9th round stoppage of Dirrell (33-2-1, 24KOs) in their Sept. 2019 title fight at Staples Center in Los Angeles. Much like his first tour as a WBC titlist, Benavidez’s stay was short-lived, having missed weight ahead of his eventual 10th round stoppage of Alexis Angulo last August. The win came at a price as the unbeaten boxer from Phoenix, Arizona was forced to vacate the title at the scale.
Dirrell fights for the first time since his aforementioned loss to Benavidez, with the 36-year old Flint, Michigan product—also a former two-time titlist—facing an opponent ten years his junior. However, Davis steps up both in weight and level of competition, having never weighed heavier than 161 pounds prior to Friday’s weigh-in and whose career hadn’t evolved past the prospect level.
The scheduled bouts still have to be fought in the ring, though Benavidez believes the odds for both semifinal eliminators will hold true in the end.
“I’ve had 11 weeks in training camp. By the time we head into fight week, it will have been a 13-week camp,” notes Benavidez, who has trained out of Abel Sanchez’s facility in Big Bear, California for his upcoming bout. “I feel like I’m gonna get a quick KO and that me and Anthony Dirrell are gonna have a rematch. The first fight was a great one and the second one should be the same.
“I’m not looking past Ronald Ellis or anything. I’m just saying the rematch between me and Anthony Dirrell is going to be a great one.”
The winner of the proposed four-man tournament will become the mandatory contender currently held by Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez (54-1-2, 36KOs), who defends his WBC/WBA titles versus Avni Yildirim (21-2, 12KOs) this Saturday in Miami.
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox