ESPN’s Mike Coppinger revealed last month that interim WBC super middleweight champion David Benavidez was “finalizing a deal” to face former IBF champion Jose Uzcategui in January. Reception was predictably poor, and Coppinger now reports that fight has been “scrapped” due to “public backlash” over the failed drug test that tanked the matchup the first time around.
Nothing of value was lost. This would have been a terrific matchup in 2018, but Uzcategui’s (32-4, 27 KO) string of poor performances combined with the aforementioned doping issue to suck any and all intrigue out of it. It didn’t help that Benavidez (26-0, 23 KO) fought just once in 2022, adding to the frustration around his seemingly stalled career.
At this point, there’s no reason not to just go ahead and put him in the ring with Caleb Plant next. Plant’s coming off a huge knockout and with Canelo out until September and the WBC in no hurry to make him actually perform his duties as champion, now’s the time.