David Benavidez considers a 168-pound title unification fight against Caleb Plant the most makeable, meaningful matchup for him in the foreseeable future.
The 23-year-old Benavidez is further from the Plant fight than he would prefer due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The unbeaten WBC super middleweight champ just hopes to get through his optional title defense against Alexis Angulo on Saturday night and then his mandated defense versus Avni Yildirim as soon as possible, so that his showdown with Plant can be put together.
“My main goal is to get to Caleb Plant,” Benavidez said recently during Showtime’s virtual press conference. “That’s the fight I want the most. I feel like that’s the fight the fans want the most. Since, you know, we’re [with] the same promotion company, it should be fairly easy. You know, I was hoping to get that fight by the end of this year, you know, but seeing that the pandemic, it kind of messed up a lot of things. So, you know, I’m not looking past Roamer Angulo. You know, he looks like a great fighter. He looks like a strong fighter. So, I wanna get past this fight, and then hopefully, by the beginning of next year we can get to Caleb Plant.”
Benavidez informed BoxingScene.com following the aforementioned press conference that he expects to battle Turkey’s Yildirim (21-2, 12 KOs) next, hopefully before the end of 2020, to satisfy his mandatory obligation with the WBC.
The 12-round battle that’ll pit Phoenix’s Benavidez (22-0, 19 KOs) against Colombia’s Angulo (26-1, 22 KOs) is scheduled to be the main event of Showtime’s three-bout broadcast Saturday night from Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut.
Angulo has lost only to former WBO super middleweight champ Gilberto Ramirez (40-0, 26 KOs). The Mexican southpaw easily out-pointed Angulo in their 12-rounder in June 2018 at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City.
The 28-year-old Plant (20-0, 12 KOs), of Ashland City, Tennessee, doesn’t have a fight scheduled. The IBF super middleweight champ most recently stopped Germany’s Vincent Feigenbutz (31-3, 28 KOs), his mandatory challenger, in the 10th round February 15 at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville.
“He’s a great fighter,” Benavidez said in reference to Plant. “I’m a great fighter. I just feel like, you know, we’re gonna get this fight going. There’s a lot of bad blood there, so I feel like it’s a great fight to watch.”
Showtime will televise two bouts before Benavidez-Angulo on Saturday night, starting at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT.
Promising prospect Rolando Romero (11-0, 10 KOs), a 24-year-old lightweight from Las Vegas, is set to meet Dominican contender Jackson Marinez (19-0, 7 KOs) in a 12-round, 135-pound fight for the WBA’s vacant interim lightweight title. In the opener of the tripleheader, Swedish heavyweight contender Otto Wallin (20-1, 13 KOs, 1 NC) and Travis Kauffman (32-3, 23 KOs, 1 NC), of Reading, Pennsylvania, will square off in a 10-rounder.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.