Former two-time super middleweight titleholder David Benavidez is still unbeaten and still a contender at 168, and is set to return Saturday on Showtime (Mar. 13, 9 pm ET) against Ronald Ellis.
That matchup is seen largely as a “stay-busy” for Benavidez (23-0, 20 KO), as the division is pretty tied up by Canelo Alvarez hunting all four belts. Alvarez will try to make it three belts on May 8 against Billy Joe Saunders, and the tentative plan after that would be Canelo facing IBF titlist Caleb Plant later this year, if Canelo wins, etc.
But the 24-year-old Benavidez will be right in the mix if he, too, keeps winning, and says he’s got his sights set on the big names in his interview with Brian Custer on the Last Stand Podcast, which you can listen to in full up top.
On not chasing Canelo Alvarez anymore
“I want to earn the Canelo fight, I feel like the way I earn the Canelo fight is going through all these people (Billy Joe Saunders, Jermall Charlo, Caleb Plant) and I’m sure I can make it happen, I’m a 100% sure I can beat all these guys. So the only thing I need is an opportunity right now and at the end of the day boxing wins because these are the fights fans want to see.”
On fighting Caleb Plant
“I feel like he’s going to sit out as long as he can until he gets the Canelo fight because for him it’s just business, and business-wise that fight makes more sense to him. I feel like I’m more of a threat and he loses more against me than if he loses against Canelo. But even if he gets the Canelo fight and he beats him or loses I still want to fight Caleb Plant either way. I feel like there’s a lot of unsettled business we need to settle.”
On fighting Jermall Charlo
“I’m going to keep calling him out, I’m going to keep antagonizing him, I’m going to keep pushing his buttons until he has to see me in the ring. Hopefully that fight happens, I feel like for me just talking about which way my career wants to go I feel like that has to be one of the fights I have to get.”
On Charlo moving up to 168 to fight him
“That’ll be his last fight at 168, I’ll send him back down to 160!”
On Edgar Berlanga calling him a hater
“If the fight would ever happen it would be an amazing fight, Mexican and Puerto Ricans getting together, it would be a huge fight. These are the type of fights I want, but everyone gets mad and at the end of the day I’m not anyone’s friend here, I’m not trying to be your friend, I’m not trying to be in a relationship with these people, I’m trying to knock them out. So if they get mad so be it, I’m trying to knock you out anyways.”