Saturday night on Showtime (9 pm ET), David Benavidez returns to defend his WBC super middleweight title against veteran Roamer Alexis Angulo in a PBC main event.
Benavidez (22-0, 19 KO) is the big favorite here, but Angulo (26-1, 22 KO) is coming off of an upset win over Anthony Sims Jr in January, and looking to keep his momentum rolling with what would be an even bigger upset.
Who wins? Our staffers make their picks.
Angulo is a tough dude, and definitely not a joke. He does have something of a “Colombian” record, fluffed up with a lot of empty wins, but he beat Anthony Sims Jr, and he deserved that win. That said, he also lost every round to Zurdo Ramirez back in 2018, which is really the biggest fight he’s had to date.
I think most fans like Benavidez. He can punch, he’s pretty fun to watch, he’s got some legitimate skills, and at 23 there remains a ton of upside, he could get even better than he already is. His struggle in the first fight with Ronald Gavril in 2017 seems like forever ago now, and he did very well against Anthony Dirrell, who is a legit top 10 guy, in his last outing. Angulo has some pop, but I just don’t think he can do anything to win here other than force a firefight, and if he does that, I think he winds up out-gunned anyway. Benavidez does have flaws and it only takes one good shot, but I don’t think Angulo will get it. IU expect Benavidez to systematically break Angulo down and force a stoppage. Benavidez TKO-10
I know Angulo just pulled off a big win over Anthony Sims, but this is going to be a very different kind of fight against Benavidez, who isn’t going to try to outbox Angulo by attempting to be cute with his feet. Instead Benavidez will be coming forward and unloading power shots and it’ll be up to Angulo to either stop or match that aggression and pace. And since Angulo isn’t fleet afoot himself, he’s not really going to be able to avoid much confrontation. Therefore, it seems to me this fight is going to be about who’s going to be able to stand up to the punishment the longest while keeping a solid pace, and forgive me for thinking the 23-year-old Benavidez will be better primed for that kind of fight than 36-year-old Angulo. I still think Angulo is pretty sturdy, though, so I’ll take him to make it to the final bell while losing clearly on the cards. Benavidez UD-12
Patrick L. Stumberg
Angulo is a perfectly serviceable super middleweight, possessed of decent thump and slightly better technique than you’d expect from the “Colombian puncher” archetype he embodies. “Perfectly serviceable” is not the descriptor you want to have against Benavidez, who’s got him outclassed in pretty much every facet imaginable. Height, reach, hand speed, strength of schedule, youth, footwork, and punch technique all favor “El Bandera Roja”, and even Angulo’s vaunted power pales in comparison to the destructive broadsides Benavidez can unleash.
Even if Angulo gets the exact sort of knock-down, drag-out war he craves, he’s a guy with a hammer against a guy in a tank. Unless Benavidez decides to play matador with his jab for the hell of it, he wrecks Angulo in the first few rounds. Benavidez TKO-4
Angulo is a power puncher. All it takes is one good shot to land and this fairly one-sided fight could be turned on its head. Will he find that shot before being chopped down by the lively 23-year-old? No.
Benavidez is a quick and spiteful puncher and I can’t see the challenger – aged 36 – being able to implement his artillery against a moving target capable of throwing vicious counters. Angulo will do well to last the distance here. Benavidez TKO-7