David Benavidez will face Demetrius Andrade on November 25, and should Benavidez convincingly pass yet another tough test, he’ll present a strong case to be considered as a candidate for 2023 fighter of the year once the calendar year comes to a close.
Benavidez beat former super middleweight champion Caleb Plant via unanimous decision in March to score the best win of his 10-year career, but the win didn’t catapult him atop several of the sport’s reputable pound-for-pound lists.
Benavidez is currently not featured on BoxingScene.com’s top 15 P4P list.
The 26-year-old Benavidez (27-0, 23 KOs) does not take the omission as a snide, but rather as a token for further motivation ahead of his matchup against Andrade at the Mandalay Bay's Michelob Arena in Las Vegas on Showtime pay-per-view.
“I wouldn't say I'm on the pound-for-pound list right now until I get the titles [at 168 pounds]. The only thing keeping me from the titles is [undisputed super middleweight champion] Canelo [Alvarez]. I want to make the best fights happen,” Benavidez told BoxingScene.com and other media in an interview.
As for fighter of the year honors, Benavidez isn’t concerned about the arbitrary award either should he beat Andrade (32-0, 19 KOs).
“I think so [that an Andrade win would make me fighter of the year]. I don't really look at stuff like that. I just go out there and try to give the best performances possible,” said Benavidez. “If people want to give me that, then they'll give me that. I'm not looking for that. I'm just looking to give the fans the best fights possible.”
The heavy-hitting Benavidez owns an 85% knockout ratio and he’s been hard on himself for not stopping Plant.
Benavidez said that he has an overwhelming sense of motivation and purpose following the Plant win.
“I want to stop [Andrade] because I was upset that I didn't stop Plant. I could have gotten it, and that's what f------- pisses me off,” said Benavidez.
“I don't like to put pressure on myself and say 'I need a KO.' I would like a KO. That's what we're training for. At the end of the day, if it comes, it comes. If it doesn't, it doesn't. I am going to inflict as much damage as I can, just like I do in all my other fights … We're both going to try to knock each other's head off. I'm always going to look for the knockout.”
Manouk Akopyan is a sports journalist, writer, and broadcast reporter. He’s also a member of the Boxing Writers Association of America and the MMA Journalists Association. He can be reached on Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and YouTube at @ManoukAkopyan, through email at manouk[dot]akopyan[at]gmail.com, or via www.ManoukAkopyan.com.