David Benavidez doesn’t think his failure Friday to make weight is evidence that he needs to move up to the 175-pound division.
The former WBC super middleweight champion still intends to compete at the 168-pound limit when he returns to the ring for his next fight. Benavidez believes he can get down to the super middleweight maximum again if he goes about the process more responsibly than he did last week at Mohegan Sun in Uncasville, Connecticut.
“I’m definitely gonna give it one more try,” Benavidez said during a press conference following his stoppage of Alexis Angulo. “I’ve gotta clean myself up, clean my diet up a little bit more. You know, I thought my diet was already solid. You know what I mean? But we’re definitely gonna come a little bit more prepared next time. You know what I mean?
“People are judging me, you know, making it seem like I’m a super-undisciplined fighter, this and that, because I missed weight one time. You know what I mean? It’s not fair, but it is what it is. But I’m definitely coming back to 168.”
Benavidez (23-0, 20 KOs) has been stripped of the same WBC championship twice, despite that he remains unbeaten. He first surrendered that title after testing positive for cocaine in August 2018.
When Benavidez stepped on the Mohegan Tribe Department of Regulation’s scale at an alarming 170¾ pounds Friday, it marked the first time in 23 professional fights that the Phoenix native came in overweight. Benavidez was “embarrassed” and “disappointed,” yet he hopes to get a chance to win the WBC’s 168-pound championship for a third time.
Benavidez confirmed that he spoke with WBC president Mauricio Sulaiman once he missed weight. They didn’t discuss, however, whether Benavidez, assuming he beat Angulo, would’ve been afforded a chance to fight for that title against mandatory challenger Avni Yildirim.
Had he not been stripped, the 23-year-old Benavidez would’ve been obligated to make a mandated defense versus Turkey’s Yildirim (21-2, 12 KOs) in his next fight.
Regardless, Benavidez considers his performance against Angulo the best of his career because the hard-hitting Colombian had not been stopped prior to Saturday night. Their scheduled 12-rounder was halted after the 10th round, in which Benavidez battered Angulo (26-2, 22 KOs).
“Everything besides the weight, everything was perfect, man,” Benavidez said. “You know what I mean? When I usually lose weight, I follow a system. Two gallons [of water], you know, on Sunday, then two on Monday, then, you know, but I cut all that off. You know what I mean? Because I wasn’t really sure how this bubble was gonna work. We were only able to work out one [hour] out the day, for an hour [at the Mohegan Sun gym]. You know what I mean?
“And I didn’t have a sauna, and really the stuff I need to cut my weight. You know what I mean? But at the end of the day, I’m a man. You know, I missed weight, so you know, I’m not making any excuses. But I’m very disappointed about that. You know, stripped of my belt, paid a huge fine. You know what I mean? But at the end of the day, I’m still undefeated.”
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.