Staples Center, Los Angeles, California - David Benavidez (22-0, 19 KOs) reclaimed his WBC super middleweight title after stopping Anthony Dirrell (33-2-1, 24 KOs) in the ninth round. (photo by Ryan Hafey)
Benavidez had previously held the title, but the belt became vacant after the boxer tested positive for cocaine in out of competition random test.
Dirrell, a two time champion himself, lost the belt due to injuries when he was initially ordered to defend against Benavidez. But he eventually reclaimed the belt after Benavidez was stripped.
Benavidez opened up a bad cut above the right eye of Dirrell, with a solid shot.
The cut nearly stopped the fight, as the eyelid of Dirrell affected him from round to round. Dirrell is no stranger to cuts, but never had one from a punch,
"He hit me with a clean shot," said Dirrell. "That's my first time ever being cut by a punch. It opened up. There was nothing I could do about it. I couldn't see the whole fight after that. My corner did a good job on it, but I really couldn't see."
The contest was nearly called off before the start of the ninth. But during the ninth, it was clear that the end was near as Benavidez was battering Dirrell in the punches to the head and body. The officials signaled to the referee and the contest was waved off.
While he mulled the idea of retirement, Dirrell has no intention of walking away.
"I would have kept going in there," said Dirrell. "I'm not quitting against anybody. Everyone saw I didn't go down. My legs were still strong, but I couldn't do anything about it.
"We're going back to the drawing board. I'm still fighting. We won't end on a loss. You can put anybody in there with me."