When Showtime’s slate of fights for the rest of 2020 was announced, Saturday’s main event didn’t jump out as one of the most intriguing.
Sometimes intrigues are added along the way.
On Friday, now-former WBC super middleweight beltholder David Benavidez (22-0, 19 KO) missed weight by almost three pounds. After seeing his first reign ended by a failed drug test, Benavidez coughed up his second on the scale.
Is it merely a sign of a growing, still quite young, fighter whose body demands to be a light heavyweight?
Or are the signs flashing upset?
Saturday (Showtime, 9 PM EST), a hard hitting challenger will get to find out. Win and the now-vacant diadem is his.
Let’s get into it.
Stats and Stakes
Previous Titles: WBC Super Middleweight (2017-18, 1 Defense; 2019-20)
Height: 6’1 ½
Weight: 170 ¾ lbs.
Hails from: Phoenix, Arizona
Record: 22-0, 19 KO
Rankings: #1 (Ring), #2 (TBRB, ESPN, Boxing Monthly), #3 (BoxRec)
Record in Major Title Fights: 3-0, 1 KO
Last Five Opponents: 130-13-2 (.903)
Current/Former World Champions/Titlists Faced: Anthony Dirrell KO9
Titles/Previous Titles: None
Weight: 167 ½ lbs.
Hails from: El Bordo, Colombia
Record: 26-1, 22 KO
Record in Major Title Fights: 0-1
Last Five Opponents: 114-22-1 (.836)
Current/Former World Champions Faced: Gilberto Ramirez L12
The Pick: Assuming Benavidez rehydrates from the weigh-in to standard form, he will likely be the larger man in the ring and the more skilled. Benavidez is quicker, puts his shots together more fluidly, and while his jab could be snapped with more authority he uses it better than Angulo. The challenger has heavy hands but he often can be caught loading up with single shots from odd but wide angles. The more compact Benavidez should be able to land between Angulo’s efforts, control the pace, and dominate the action. There is no upset pick here. The favored fighter is the better fighter, weight issues or no.
Additional Weekend Picks
Cecilia Braekhus Dec. Jessica McCaskill
Rolando Romero TKO Jackson Marinez
Otto Wallin TKO Travis Kaufman
Rold Picks 2020: 7-4
Cliff Rold is the Managing Editor of BoxingScene, a founding member of the Transnational Boxing Rankings Board, a member of the International Boxing Research Organization, and a member of the Boxing Writers Association of America. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org