David Benavidez’s 2022 is officially a one-and-done affair, as ESPN’s Mike Coppinger reports that he is “finalizing a deal” to face former interim IBF champion Jose Uzcategui this coming January.
For the record, I make an effort to pull from as many sources as possible, but there are days when one guy has all the goods.
This is technically attempt number three at putting this fight together. Benavidez (26-0, 23 KO) pulled out of an August 2021 meeting after coming down with COVID, after which Uzcategui (31-4, 26 KO) tested positive for EPO ahead of a rescheduled November meeting.
Benavidez beat down Kyrone Davis in his stead before claiming the interim WBC super middleweight title with a mauling of David Lemieux in May, while Uzcategui stayed busy by stopping 21-19-1 Felipe Romero at cruiserweight.
Even without getting into the ethics/morals of tossing Uzcategui right back into a title fight after failing a drug test, it’s a garbage matchup, as “Bolivita” hasn’t beaten a competent opponent in more than four years.
The only way this is palatable is if it’s meant to set up a fight with no. 1 contender Caleb Plant or keep Benavidez busy until Canelo deigns to actually do his job and fight a mandatory challenger. It has no merits in and of itself.