During this conversation with Marcos Villegas of Fight Huv TV, former super middleweight titleholder David Benavidez talks about losing his belt on the scales, coming back stronger, and his thoughts on a potential fight against Canelo Alvarez. Check out some excerpts from the interview below.
Benavidez on why he didn’t make weight and got stripped of his title in his last outing:
“The biggest contributing factor is just the pandemic, just everything is different, you know. LA Fitness is closed, sauna is closed — I usually sauna everyday and all that stuff is closed. I wasn’t able to get to it.
“The thing that I wasn’t ready for, wasn’t prepared for is when we went the week of the fight, you know, The Bubble is way different...as soon as we got there I had to quarantine for like two days, just staying in the room the whole time. I have no access to no gym, no sauna, no hot bath tub, there was none in my room neither.
“And when they did finally let us go to the gym, it was the gym downstairs, and there was only a treadmill and an elliptical...and it was only for an hour a day. So it was just things that I didn’t have access to that I usually have access to that allows me to get down to that weight. I’m a bigger guy so I have to push myself to get to that weight.
“I made the mistake, I didn’t make the weight, I don’t put the blame on anybody else but myself. I lost the title, I paid the cost, I paid the fines. It is what it is. I’m not even too worried about that because me, I train harder than anybody. I know I’m the hardest working boxer in boxing, one of the top working guys. So I know I’ll get the opportunity back again.”
On Canelo winning the title that was stripped from him:
“The thing I have to say about that is when I had the title, you know, Canelo never mentioned me, there was never even talks about me fighting with Canelo. But everybody in super middleweight, all the champions at super middleweight they got the call, they got some form of communication from him. I never got nothing, at all.
“There’s a reason I wasn’t mentioned in that. It’s because I’m a big threat, and everybody knows that. But it is what it is. Like I said, I’m gonna come back either way, it does not matter. I just turned 24 years old, if they don’t get me know they’re making a big mistake if they get me in the future because I’m feeling extremely strong now. I feel like I’m coming into my prime years — not prime years yet, but getting closer.”
On if he still plans to campaign at 168:
“If I go up to 175 it’s because it makes sense. As I see it right now, I only fight two, three times a year so it’s only seven pounds. So I’m going to keep trying to make 168 until I can’t no more and I feel like with a good diet and the right workouts and everything, I can make 168...”
On what he thought of Canelo’s performance against Callum Smith:
“He was good. He performed really good, he did exactly what he had to do I don’t know what Callum’s game plan was. He looked tired by the third round, he looked weak. He had an eight inch reach advantage and he let Canelo fight inside of him the whole night, which makes no sense. But that’s not for me to worry about, that’s for his team to worry about.”
On Canelo wanting to unify at 168 and if their paths will eventually cross:
“I feel like my type of fighting style and the type of excitement I bring in my fights, the people are going to want it. They’re going to keep asking for it, and eventually it’s gonna have to happen...I just want to be the best and I want to show everybody I am the best whoever they want me to fight, whoever they want me to beat, it doesn’t really matter to me. Everybody is a target right now and my job is just to prepare very well, train as hard as I can, and go out there and win the fights.”
On what he thinks of a potential fight between Canelo and Billy Joe Sauders or Caleb Plant:
“I think the harder fight for Canelo is Billy Joe Saunders because Billy Joe Saunders has more experience, he’s fought a lot tougher guys. The guys that Caleb Plant has fought, you know, they’re really nothing. Besides Uzcategui, that was a good victory, I’ll give it to him. But after that it was Mike Lee, who wasn’t really too high up there; Feigenbutz, that I never even heard of that guy before he even fought him; and then this time [against Caleb Truax].
“It doesn’t make sense to me that he’s fighting a person that didn’t even make it to the title eliminator fight...why wouldn’t they give the former WBC world champion David Benavidez that fight? That’s a fight that everybody wants to watch. Isn’t that a better fight than Caleb Plant vs Caleb Truax?“
On boxing insiders believing he has the best shot to beat Canelo at 168:
“The reason why these people are saying that is because these people have years and years and years of experience and they know what they see. Because I have the tools — I’m not a Caleb Plant, I’m not a Callum Smith. Caleb Plant, you know, he doesn’t have no power. Callum Smith, he only has one gear...I’m a vicious body puncher, I got an amazing jab, a very strong jab. I hit hard. And my ring IQ is good, I know exactly what I’m doing in there. And I’m not scared of Canelo...”