DAVID BENAVIDEZ has told Boxing News he would be willing to move up to light-heavyweight – and for one fight in particular.
The 26-year-old super-middleweight takes on Demetrius Andrade in a fascinating clash of styles this weekend in Las Vegas, where victory for Benavidez will move him closer to an all-Mexican showdown with 168lbs champion Canelo Alvarez in 2024.
Plans can change very quickly in boxing, however, and there is a shared belief within the sport that one day the 6ft 2ins, 12-stone puncher could very well move to 175lbs having campaigned at 168lbs for 10 years.
Business at light-heavyweight looks to be picking up again in 2024, with champion Artur Beterbiev facing the British challenge of Callum Smith in their rearranged bout on January 13 in Canada. Three weeks earlier, meanwhile, Dmitry Bivol will make his first appearance in over a year against Lyndon Arthur on December 23 in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
Should Bivol and Beterbiev come through their respective fights unscathed, the demand for the two Russians to face one another will inevitably grow. Benavidez, for his part, says he would be interested in facing the winner.
“I would definitely love to go up and challenge for the belts,” he said when speaking to BN recently.
“I sparred Bivol, I know him very well. I used to spar him a lot when I was 21-22. I know we can definitely win that fight. It wouldn’t be easy but it’s a fight that can be won, so I definitely would be more than willing to go to 175 and fight for the belts if given the opportunity.”
A win for Benavidez next weekend would turn 2023 into arguably the strongest year of his career. Having lacked a win over a high calibre fighter in 26 outings, Benavidez thudded his way to victory against Caleb Plant in March with a particularly strong showing in the second half of the fight.