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David Benavidez likely to return in March

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The fighter is suspended until the end of February.

David Benavidez v Ronald Gavril Photo by Steve Marcus/Getty Images

Promoter Sampson Lewkowicz says that WBC super middleweight champion in recess David Benavidez is suspended until Feb. 27, and that they’ll look to have him back in the ring in March 2019, according to ESPN.

Benavidez (20-0, 17 KO) was set to face mandatory challenger Anthony Dirrell at some point, but failed a drug test, testing positive for cocaine, and has been ordered not only into the suspension by the WBC, but to do some sort of rehab, as well.

Lewkowicz:

“He will most likely be back on the second week of March. He will fight a regular fight, a 10-rounder. ... It’s not that he’s an addict, he made a mistake. He was partying up, he’s very young and with a lot of money, and this is what happens sometimes. But he recognizes his mistakes and he’s clean. This is not a case of being an addict.”

Benavidez was already having a rocky time professionally, at one point trying to sign with Top Rank, before returning a $250,000 signing bonus in June.

Lewkowicz says the more exact date for Benavidez’s return would be March 16, which would seem to indicate he’ll be in Texas for the Spence-Garcia show, which looks headed to AT&T Stadium.