David Benavidez became the WBC super middleweight champ on Friday, September 8th. He didn’t just become the holder of the 168-pound green belt he became the youngest champ in all of boxing. He also became the youngest champ in the history of the 168-pound division. Benavidez wasn’t old enough to drink the celebratory champagne, but none the less he’s the man at 168. The 6’2 man-child barely out of his teenage years beat a really good fighter in Ronald Gavril.
Gravil applied constant pressure on Benavidez all night and even floored him in the 12th round with a picture perfect left hook. Gavril bet that constant pressure and a ferocious body attack could eventually get the youngster to break. After a fight of the year type fight and non-stop action. Gavril was wrong. He could not chop down or break the Arizona naive known as the “Red Flag” Benavidez improved to (19-0, 17 KOs) and placed the newly minted WBC Super Middleweight belt around his waist after defeating the amateur standout Gavril (18-2, 14 KOs) in what Benavidez later described as quite possibly the “Fight of the Year.” One scorecard had Gavril winning 116-111, with Benavidez winning on the other two scorecards, 116-111 and 117-111 in the event presented by Premier Boxing Champions. (The Gift that keeps on giving)
“It feels amazing to win this title,” said the Phoenix resident Benavidez. “It’s everything I’ve dreamed about since I was a little kid. It’s everything I’ve dedicated myself to and I’ve worked hard for. It finally paid off.”
It finally paid off has to be tongue in cheek as he is only 20. Consider he wasn’t even born when Floyd won his Silver medal in the 1996 Olympics. But, Benavidez so talented at such a young age is no longer a prospect. The time is now and he most accepts all comers. Is it too soon for his own good? With Andre Ward and Badou Jac, both fleeing the super middleweight division for 175 its true the division maynot have a truly dominate fighter. But what it lacks in mega stars it makes up for with really, really, really good fighters. The Dirrell Brothers, a pleather of UK talent: James Degale, Chris Eubank Jr, my sleeper fightre in the division Callum Smith, and Danny Jacobs will most likely be jumping up to 168 as well. The winner of the match up between unbeaten Mexican puncher Gilberto Rameriez and Philly Tough guy Jesse Hart will hold the WBO strap. Plus the always game Peter Quilian is on the comeback rail, although he looked like straight trash in his first fight back at 168. All of these fighters pose a huge risk and could beat Benavidez.
If the young champ thought Ronald Gavril was a major step up, wait till he gets a hold off the guys I just named. A green and inexperienced Benevides could be picked off by any number and any combinations of the fighters above which could derail a fighters confidence and derail him for a long time if not permanently. After the fight, the newly crowned champ was talking about defending his title against Caleb Plant who also fought on the card. Caleb Plant is also considered a young prospect. Plant is 25, probably 2 or 3 fights away from a legitimate title shot and isn’t ready and shouldn’t take a shot, and not to mention he is 5 years older than Benavidez!!!! See how quickly “red Flag” Was moved along, see how young he is? If moving him along this quickly was a mistake only time will tell. But with Benavidez size and power, it will be an entertaining ride.