David Benavidez will choose to remain active while the super middleweight division title picture continues to take shape.
On the heels of his dominant showing earlier this year, Phoenix’s Benavidez will next face Jose Uzcategui in a clash of former super middleweight titlists. The bout headlines the Aug. 28th edition of Showtime Championship Boxing from a venue to be determined.
The bout is part of a nine-event schedule which was announced Thursday by Showtime Sports and Premier Boxing Champions (PBC).
Benavidez (24-0, 21KOs) fought on the network this past March, scoring an 11th round stoppage of Ronald Ellis at Mohegan Sun Casino in Uncasville, Connecticut. The event was the first for the unbeaten 24-year-old since losing the WBC super middleweight title outside the ring for a second time, missing weight ahead of a 10th round stoppage at Alexis Angulo last August also at Mohegan Sun.
The scale fail prompted a brief discussion among his team—which includes widely respected promoter Sampson Lewkowicz—for the still-growing former titlist to move up to light heavyweight before deciding to remain at the weight. Benavidez further insisted to face a credible contender, with Uzcategui on the short list though ultimately settling for Ellis. Benavidez moved forward with the fight, with the win securing his place as the number-one contender to his twice-held WBC title which is currently in the possession of pound-for-pound king Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez.
Uzcategui (30-4, 25KOs) ended a 15-month layoff with an 8th round knockout of Josue Obando on March 26th in Jocotepec, Mexico.
The 30-year-old from Tijuana by way of Bolivia hadn’t previously fought since a 10-round loss to Lionell Thompson in Dec. 2019, two fights after losing his IBF super middleweight titlist to Caleb Plant in Jan. 2019. The defeat to Plant ended a 10-month title reign for Uzcategui which came with an 8th round stoppage of Andre Dirrell in their March 2018 rematch.
A win by Benavidez will keep him on course to enforce his mandatory status, which could potentially lead to a shot at the undisputed championship. Guadalajara’s Alvarez (55-1-2, 37KOs) holds the WBC/WBA titles and is currently in training for a three-belt showdown with WBO titlist Billy Joe Saunders (30-0, 14KOs) which is due to take place May 8th at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. The winner will look to pursue a four-belt showdown with Plant (21-0, 12KOs), with Benavidez likely to pursue his title shot thereafter.
Remaining details of the Aug. 28 Showtime telecast—including undercard and location—are expected to be revealed in the coming weeks.
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox