Mike Tyson and David Benavidez have developed a unique kinship in recent years. 

“Iron Mike” has hosted Benavidez as a guest on his popular podcast, and he’s even billed “El Bandera Roja” with a new moniker – “The Mexican Monster.”

The former two-time super middleweight champion Benavidez (26-0, 23 KOs) will be looking to spook out former 168-pound titleholder Caleb Plant (22-1, 13 KOs) this Saturday at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas on Showtime pay-per-view.  

When Tyson was asked for his prediction for the fight, he made it sound like a formality that Benadvidez would be the victor. 

“Benavidez could beat everybody. My money is with Benavidez until he gets beat. And then if he gets beat, I'm still with him,” Tyson said in an interview with Marcos Villegas on Fight Hub TV. “His attitude. He was a little heavy fat kid [growing up], and stuff like that, and he wanted to prove himself to the world. The greatest fighters in the world are the most insecure fighters. It doesn't seem that way, but it is.” 

When Tyson was asked if he thought Benavidez could beat undisputed super middleweight champion Canelo Alvarez, Tyson took his glowing review of Benavidez to another level. 

“F---, I think he beats everybody he gets in the ring with. So I don't have to say anybody's name or anything,” said Tyson. 

The winner of Benavidez-Plant will be awarded the No. 1 mandatory challenger spot to Alvarez’s WBC title.

But not everyone in boxing is siding with Tyson’s prediction.

In a recent poll compiled by Swanson Communications – the PR firm handling the promotion of Saturday night’s PPV – the likes of Jermell Charlo, Shawn Porter, and George Kambosos Jr. picked Plant to win, while Andy Ruiz, Jr., Yordenis Ugas, Amanda Serrano, Brandon Figueroa, and Rey Vargas picked Benavidez to win. 

DraftKings lists Benavidez as a -330 betting favorite, and Plant as a +240 underdog, while BetMGM has Benavidez listed at -275 and Plant at +225.

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.