PHILADELPHIA - Undefeated rising contender David "El Bandera Roja" Benavidez (16-0, 15 KOs) knocked out Denis Douglin (20-5, 13 KOs) in the 10-round main event of Premier Boxing Champions on ESPN and ESPN Deportes from the 2300 Arena in Philadelphia. Photos by Premier Boxing Champions.
Douglin, who is trained by his mother Saphya, opened the fight very aggressive, stealing the first round on all three judges' scorecards. Douglin continued to press the action, also winning the second round battle with two of the three judges, but Benavidez would soon settle in and take control of the war.
"I knew it was going to be a tough fight. I knew Douglin wasn't going to go out without a fight," said Benavidez. "So I came in here and started slower than I usually do, just using my jab a little bit more."
The 19-year-old Benavidez made the necessary corrections in round three and never looked back, chipping away throughout the fourth and fifth rounds. In the sixth, Benavidez teed off on Douglin with damaging punches to both Douglin's body and head.
In the seventh round, Benavidez was still having his way when one of the top turnbuckles gave out, causing the ropes on one side of the ring to collapse, and stopping the fight momentarily. When the action resumed, Douglin came forward with a flurry, but that burst of energy was short-lived.
Benavidez regained control in the eighth round, and in the ninth he scored the only knockdown of the fight. In the tenth and final frame, Benavidez threw a barrage of punches, several of which buckled Douglin, causing referee Gary Rosato to intervene and stop the fight at :35 into the round.
When asked about Douglin's resilience, Benavidez said, "I hurt him a lot of times, but I kept my cool. I knew I was going to get him out of there sooner or later and that's exactly what I did tonight. This is a good victory for me. Douglin is a tough veteran. He started fast and swinging wildly, and his offense probably looked better on-camera than it was, but he did what he had to do to survive until the final round."
Benavidez continued, "It was important to me to get the stoppage and show everybody that I am just as strong in the late rounds as I am early on. I love this. This is what I signed up for. I want tough fights."
A disappointed Douglin said, "I was in this fight, I just got winded. I was in great shape and everything, but I got winded there towards the end. Benavidez is a tough, young fighter. He was able to make me stay in there longer than I wanted to, but I feel good and I'll be back."
Benavidez concluded, "Right now, I would like to say that I don't think about that. I'm just trying to progress in my career and I'm not trying to call anybody out. But if I do dream about fighting anybody, it would be whoever is the champion at that weight. I'm going to work hard to get to that spot."