Jose Benavidez Sr. was much more complimentary of Demetrius Andrade on Thursday afternoon than Canelo Alvarez was when Andrade crashed his press conference following the Mexican superstar’s stoppage of Billy Joe Saunders in May 2021.
David Benavidez’s father and trainer – and David Benavidez himself – consider the left-handed Andrade the most formidable fighter that the WBC interim super middleweight champion has agreed to face since the Phoenix native made his pro debut as a precocious 16-year-old in August 2013. Andrade, 35, has won world titles in the 154-pound and 160-pound divisions, and even at an advanced age should present plenty of stylistic challenges for the 26-year-old Benavidez when they square off November 25 at Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino’s Michelob ULTRA Arena in Las Vegas.
The Providence, Rhode Island native will be the first southpaw Benavidez (27-0, 23 KOs) has fought since he stopped Denis Douglin in the 10th round of their August 2016 bout at 2300 Arena in Philadelphia. Unlike Alvarez, who famously belittled Andrade as a “horrible fighter” during the abovementioned press conference, Benavidez and his father feel Andrade is a true threat to upset Benavidez in their Showtime Pay-Per-View main event and keep him from challenging Alvarez for the Mexican icon’s IBF, WBA, WBC and WBO 168-pound championships sometime next year.
“I like this guy,” Jose Benavidez Sr. said during their press conference recently in Los Angeles. “I think this guy is a great fighter. He’s not a horrible fighter. I think he’s a special fighter, very dangerous. He’s a champion, an Olympian. But I think David is gonna stop him like in the eighth round. I think we’ve gotta prove ourselves and he has to look spectacular in order to get the bigger fights. And I think David is the best at 168.”
Andrade (32-0, 19 KOs) hasn’t lost since the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, but he has accepted a much more daunting assignment in his second super middleweight fight than when he won in his debut at the 168-pound limit. The former WBO middleweight champ defeated Demond Nicholson by unanimous decision in his first super middleweight match January 7 at Capital One Arena in Washington, D.C.
Andrade was more than a 30-1 favorite nine months ago and beat Nicholson accordingly, 100-88 on all three scorecards. An aggressive Andrade won every round on the cards of judges Steve Rados, Wayne Smith and Paul Wallace after dropping Nicholson (26-6-1, 22 KOs) once apiece in the second and 10th rounds.
Benavidez, however, has opened as a 4-1 favorite over Andrade, according to FanDuel sportsbook.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.