Former super middleweight titlist David Benavidez is still unbeaten and still a major threat in the division, routing and stopping Ronald Ellis in tonight’s Showtime main event.
Benavidez (24-0, 21 KO) stopped Ellis (18-2-2, 12 KO) at 2:03 of the 11th round, and was up on the cards 98-92, 98-92, and 99-91 at the time of stoppage.
Highlights from the fight:
“I rate my performance pretty good but I know I could have done better. Ronald Ellis is a tough competitor. I just hope the fans like what they saw,” Benavidez said after the fight. “I threw a lot of combinations, punches in bunches. There were a lot of times I thought Ellis was going to quit but he didn’t. Hats off to him, he’s a tough guy. It was a little later than I wanted but a stoppage is still a stoppage. I hope the fans got a good show tonight.”
And Benavidez kept up his calls to get fights with Canelo Alvarez, Caleb Plant, and Jermall Charlo, as you’d expect.
“I want all the big guys. Speaking for the fans too, they would love to see me against all the big guys because as you can see, I love throwing punches. I love stopping people so me versus any big name would be an amazing fight. I want Charlo, Canelo Alvarez, Caleb Plant, all of them.”
Ellis did not agree with the stoppage, saying, “Hell yeah I wanted to finish. I didn’t want to give him that satisfaction. I could have moved a little bit more and not taken so many shots to the head. Hats off to him. He did what he had to do. He never hurt me, that’s the funny thing. I took a lot of shots but he didn’t damage me or have me super hurt. I never thought about quitting. I’m pissed.”
But the 31-year-old fighter says he’ll look to simply get back on the winning track.
“I could have popped the jab and controlled things a little bit more and not let him smother me,” Ellis said. “I thought that I was in shape enough to absorb all those shots. I just kept telling them to let me go one more round. You can’t cry over spilled milk. We’ll be back here and get a crack at it next time.”
Lightweight contender Isaac Cruz improved to 21-1-1 (15 KO) with a close decision win over Matias Romero (24-1, 8 KO), with scores of 114-113, 115-112, and a criticized 118-109, the latter card coming from judge Steve Weisfeld. The 22-year-old Cruz is a rising contender at 135, but he’s small for the division (he’s about 5’4” with a 64-inch reach) and thrives on applying pressure.
He ate a lot of jabs from Romero, but Cruz’s power shots impressed the judges more. For what it’s worth, Showtime’s Steve Farhood had the fight 115-112 for Cruz, who is in line for an IBF title shot eventually.
The opening fight of the night saw ex-Olympian Terrell Gausha just smash Jamontay Clark, scoring a second round stoppage, which is not the normal style for Gausha (22-2-1, 11 KO). The taller Clark (15-2-1, 7 KO) was caught with a big counter shot near the end of the second round, and while he beat the count, Gausha jumped in and finished, with referee Arthur Mercante stopping it at 2:44 of the second round.