We’ve known about it for a while, but less than two weeks out from fight night, it’s finally official. Former two-time WBC super middleweight champion David Benavidez will headline a March 13th Showtime tripleheader against Ronald Ellis at Uncasville, CN’s Mohegan Sun Resort and Casino.
Having lost his leverage on the scales before a one-sided win over Roamer Alexis Angulo, Benavidez (23-0, 20 KO) has spent the last while trying to talk himself into a marquee fight. Maybe it’ll work eventually, but for now he’ll have to settle for fellow scale-failer Ellis (18-1-2, 12 KO), whose attempt to move to middleweight saw him weigh in at 165 for an injury stoppage of Matt Korobov.
“I’ve had an amazing camp in Big Bear and this is the strongest I have ever felt so I’m looking to get an early stoppage against Ellis,” said Benavidez. “I’m glad this is a title eliminator and it’s going to be another step to being a world champion once again.”
“It’s a fight but not just any fight,” said Ellis. “This is the type of fight I have trained for and wanted since I turned pro. He’s going to bring his best on March 13 and that will bring out the best in me.”
The middle feature sees top-ranked IBF lightweight contender Isaac Cruz (20-1-1, 15 KO) take on unbeaten Argentinean Jose Matias Romero (24-0, 8 KO), who steps in for Jon Fernandez after the Spaniard ran into not-unexpected visa issues. Cruz is coming off a career-best mauling of Diego Magdaleno, while Romero has thus far feasted on mid-tier opposition on the South American circuit.
“I’m very excited to be fighting on SHOWTIME on March 13,” said Cruz. “The lightweight division is the hottest in boxing right now. This fight puts me one step closer to my dream of winning a world title for my Dad, Isaac Cruz, Sr. and my country, Mexico.”
“I’ve come so far from Argentina to bring myself one step closer to reaching my goal of being a world champion,” said Romero. “I know that Isaac Cruz is a big puncher but he’s never fought anyone with my speed and heart.”
In the newly announced opener, former Olympian Terrell Gausha (21-2-1, 10 KO) attempts to secure his first win since 2018 against the very capable Jamontay Clark (15-1-1, 7 KO). Gausha settled for a robbery draw in 2019 against Austin Trout, then lost a decision to Erickson Lubin despite hurting him in the 10th. Clark is coming off a draw with Sebastian Fundora that I personally had him winning and a unanimous decision over Anthony Lenk on the Russell-Nyambayar undercard.
“I’m just blessed to be able to do what I love to do,” said Gausha. “I’m excited to be back on PBC and SHOWTIME thanks to Al Haymon. On March 13, I’m ready to go out there and show everybody what Terrell Gausha is made of and put on a show.”
“It’s been a while since I was in the ring and I’m just excited to be back taking on someone like Terrell Gausha, who will bring a good challenge and let me display all of my talents,” Clark said. “This is the first step in getting back to regular action and I’m not going to waste this opportunity. I’m going on a big run after I beat Gausha. As McFadden and Whitehead said, ‘Ain’t No Stoppin’ Us Now.’”
The previously announced clash between Kudratillo Abdukakhorov and Javier Flores will now presumably be an untelevised prelim.