There was a time when David Benavidez wanted nothing more than to land a fight with Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez, if only for a shot to reclaim his old WBC title.
The former two-time super middleweight titlist will now gladly settle for the next best thing—a chance to silence a longtime divisional rival.
“This is going to be brutal and I’m happy that my fans are going to get a treat,” Benavidez told BoxingScene.com. “I’m gonna beat the f--- out of Caleb Plant and I’m very excited to say that.”
Their long-awaited grudge match will headline a March 25 Showtime Pay-Per-View from MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Benavidez’s interim WBC super middleweight title will be at stake in a scheduled twelve-round battle between former full titleholders. Theoretically, the winner will be the WBC mandatory challenger to Alvarez (58-2-2, 39KOs), the division’s reigning undisputed champion who—for the second year in a row—will apparently get away with making his own plans.
Claiming the undisputed crown is the natural goal of any prizefighter, though Benavidez (26-0, 23KOs) is more concerned—for the moment—with moving along his still very promising career.
The unbeaten Phoenix native was adamant about facing the division’s best following his second straight home area headliner. Benavidez knocked out former IBF middleweight titlist David Lemieux in the third round of their Showtime main event last May 21 in Glendale, Arizona.
Immediately after the win, Benavidez called for showdowns with Plant (22-1, 13KOs), secondary WBA ‘Regular’ titlist David Morrell (8-0, 7KOs) and Jermall Charlo (32-0, 22KOs), the reigning WBC middleweight titleholder who will most likely compete at super middleweight upon his return to the ring.
None of those fights materialized in time for Benavidez to get a second fight in 2022. However, he managed to reach terms last fall for a long-desired showdown with Plant, with whom he has been embroiled in a years-long out-of-ring rivalry.
It goes without saying that the build-up to the fight will be spicy, and very likely R-rated at a minimum. Beyond that, the real task at hand for Benavidez is continuing to register the type of wins to prove he’s the class of the division—with or without landing a superfight with Alvarez.
“I’m very excited. This is a fight we’ve been chasing for a while,” stated Benavidez. “It’s a big step and I kind of feel like it’s the beginning of my career. This is going to change my life in so many different ways.”
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox
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