David Benavidez

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David Benavidez
Real nameDavid Benavidez
Nickname(s)El Bandera Roja
("Red Flag")
Weight(s)Super middleweight
Height6 ft 2 in (188 cm)
Reach76 in (193 cm)
Born (1996-12-17) December 17, 1996 (age 22)
Phoenix, Arizona, United States
Boxing record
Total fights21
Wins by KO18

David Benavidez (born 17 December 1996) is an American professional boxer. He held the WBC super middleweight title from September 8, 2017 to October 3, 2018.

Early life and amateur career[edit]

David was born into a Mexican family, his older brother, José Benavidez is also a professional boxer. Both brothers are trained by their father, José Benavidez Sr. When he was 15, Benavidez's weight ballooned to 250 pounds, as he struggled with dieting and discipline.[1]

Benavidez, who started boxing at the age of three, had an amateur record of 15-0.[2]

Professional career[edit]

Early years[edit]

Benavidez made his pro debut at the age of 17, defeating Erasmo Moreno by knockout in one round in Puerto Peñasco. Benavidez won the NABF Junior light heavyweight title, his first belt, against Rollin Williams on April 2015. At the end of 2015, Benavidez had a record of 12 wins, with 11 stoppages and no losses. In October 2015, Benavidez signed a promotional deal with Sampson Lewkowicz's Sampson Boxing.[3]

On January 7, 2016 it was announced that Benavidez would start the year against Kevin Cobbs (10-1, 4 KOs) on a Fox Sports 1 edition of PBC Toe-To-Toe Tuesdays on January 18 at Club Nokia in Los Angeles.[4] Prior to the fight, Cobbs was on a 4-fight win streak. Benazvidez started the contest quick and kept Cobbs at a distance. He rocked Cobbs in round 2 on two occasions. After a few clinches, Benazidez hit Cobbs with a flurry of punches, prompting the referee to stop the fight at 1:08 of round 2.[5] Benavidez next fought on April 30 on the undercard of Victor Ortiz vs. Andre Berto II at the StubHub Center in Carson, California. His opponent was Phillip Jackson Benson. Jackson was stopped in round 2 after being hurt many times in the opening round. The fight was scheduled for 8 rounds.[6]

Benavidez would next take part on the undercard of the welterweight world title bout Keith Thurman vs. Shawn Porter, which was rescheduled to take place on June 25 at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, against Francy Ntetu (16-0, 3 KOs) in an 8-round bout.[7] In an entertaining fight, where both boxers traded, Benavidez won the fight via round 7 TKO. Benavidez seemed to get the better of the trades with Ntetu resorting to clinching by the end of round 2. After 1 minute and 30 seconds of round 7, the crowd booed as referee Shada Murdaugh stopped the fight due to the amount of punishment Ntetu had taken. It was noted that Barry Jordan, a NYSAC doctor had taken a look at Ntetu and likely would have played a role. Benavidez led 58-56, 58-56 and 59-55 on the judges scorecards at the time of stoppage. Jordon later explained that it was upon his recommendation that the bout be stopped as Ntetu had taken a lot of punishment, mostly to the eye.[8][9] In July 2015, PBC announced Benavidez would next fight on ESPN against contender Denis Douglin (20-4, 13 KOs) in his first 10-round bout on August 5 at the 2300 Arena in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.[10][11] Benavidez was taken to the tenth round, however avoided hearing the final bell after stopping Douglin 35 seconds into the round. Benavidez simply broke down Douglin over the course of the fight. The referee stopped the fight as Douglin had taken punishment against the ropes.[12][13]

Benadivez's first bout of 2017 took place on January 28 on the Carl Frampton vs. Léo Santa Cruz II undercard at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Paradise, Nevada against fellow prospect Sherali Mamajonov (14-1, 7 KOs). Benavidez started the fight cautious before unloading some heavy shots which dropped Mamajonov before the end of round 1. At the start of round 2, Benavidez continued to land flash combinations eventually dropping Mamajanov again. He beat the count, but referee Russell Mora stopped the fight as he appeared badly hurt. Benavidez spoke about the win after the fight, "I am a little disappointed because I wanted to give the crowd a spectacular knockout. This is my first time fighting at MGM Grand and I will never forget it. The atmosphere here is amazing. This fight week has been the best experience of my life. I want to continue to fight as much as I can. I want to perfect my craft, train as hard as I can and be the best that I can be."[14][15]

On March 24, 2016 it was announced that WBC agreed to sanction Benavidez against former world title challenger Rogelio Medina (37-7, 31 KOs) for the #2 mandatory spot on May 20 at the Laredo Energy Arena in Laredo, Texas.[16][17] Medina was knocked down three times before the referee waved the fight off in round 8, giving Benavidez the win. Benavidez was considered one of the top prospects at super middleweight.[18][19]

WBC super middleweight champion[edit]

Benavidez vs. Gavril[edit]

Following his draw against James DeGale, Badou Jack vacated his WBC super middleweight title in order to fight at light heavyweight. The WBC ordered a match between Callum Smith and Anthony Dirrell, with the winner taking the vacant world title. With Smith taking part in WBSS, he was replaced through Benavidez. The bout was scheduled for September 2017.[20][21] However, on August 5, the WBC announced Dirrell was out due to injury. Instead, Benavidez would face Romanian contender Ronald Gavril (18-1, 14 KOs) on September 8 for the world title at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Nevada.[22] Benavidez defeated Gavril after 12 rounds by split decision. Two judges scored the fight 117-111, 116-111 for Benavidez, whilst the third scored it 116-111 for Gavril. However, Gavril proved to be Benavidez's toughest test so far, with most rounds being closely contested. Benavidez seemed to struggle with conditioning and was knocked down in the final round. Speaking on his record-breaking win, Benavidez said, “It feels amazing to win this title. It’s everything I’ve dreamed about since I was a little kid. It’s everything I’ve dedicated myself to and I’ve worked hard for. It finally paid off.” According to CompuBox stats, Benavidez landed 222 of 863 punches thrown (26%) and Gavril landed 162 of his 817 thrown (20%).[23][24]

Benavidez vs. Gavril II[edit]

Immediately after the first bout, rematch talks began. Gavril thought he won the first bout and disputed the decision. Benavidez's promoter Sampson Promotions confirmed on October 2, 2017 that negotiations had begun with Mayweather Promotions for a rematch to take place in January 2018.[25] Benavidez stated he wanted to take the rematch to remove all doubt and set the record straight.[26] In December 2017, a deal was close to being finalized for the rematch to take place on the undercard of Danny García vs. Brandon Ríos on Showtime on February 17, 2018.[27] The deal was done a few days later with the bout taking place at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Paradise, Nevada.[28][29] In front of 6,240 fans, Benavidez dominated every round, winning via unanimous decision with the scores 120-108, 120-108 and 119-109. ESPN.com scored it a shutout 120-108 for Benavidez. he used different angles a variety of head and body shots throughout the fight leaving no doubt. Before round 11, the ringside doctor took a look at Gavril but allowed him to continue. For every one shot Gavril landed, Benavidez replied with fast combinations. Benavidez reduced the number of shots he threw in the final round, which allowed Gavril to give him some, but little trouble. After the fight, Benavidez said, "I knew he was going to come in aggressive. He's a one trick type of pony. He don't know how to do anything but pressure. I used that to my advantage -- jab, box him all day and when I saw the opening I took it. I didn't knock him out but he's a tough son of a gun." Punch stats showed that Benavidez landed 315 of 942 punches thrown (37%) and Gavril landed 176 of his 757 thrown (23%). For the bout, Benavidez earned $400,000 to Gavril's $125,000 purse.[30][31] The fight averaged 458,000 viewers and peaked at 489,000 viewers.[32]

Benavidez vs. Dirrell[edit]

According to sources in Mexico on May 17, 2018 a deal was close to being reached for Benavidez to defend his WBC title against Russian boxer Matt Korobov (28-1, 14 KOs) on the Mikey Garcia vs. Robert Easter Jr. lightweight unification undercard on July 28 at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California.[33] On May 23, Top Rank's Bob Arum revealed he has signed Benavidez to his stable, giving him a signing bonus of $250,000. Sampson Lewkowicz filed a lawsuit. According to Lewkowicz, Benavidez signed an extension with his company in November 2017, which extended his contract until 2021.[34] By June 13, the suit was settled and Benavidez returned the signing bonus to Top Rank.[35][36] On June 21, it was reported a deal had been reached for Benavidez to defend his WBC title against mandatory challenger Anthony Dirrell (32-1-1, 24 KOs). The fight was ordered by the WBC on May 21 and scheduled purse bids were due on June 22. A deal was reached on June 21. The fight was reported to take place on the same card as Shawn Porter vs. Danny García on Showtime on September 8.[37][38]

Positive drug test and suspension[edit]

On September 18, 2018, it was reported that Benavidez had tested positive for cocaine from a urine sample collected on August 27 by the Voluntary Anti-Doping Agency (VADA).[39] He was eventually stripped of his title and received a four months-long suspension through February 2019 by the WBC.[40] On 19 December 2018, it was announced that he would be returning to the ring on March 16.[40]

Professional boxing record[edit]

Professional record summary
21 fights 21 wins 0 losses
By knockout 18 0
By decision 3 0
No. Result Record Opponent Type Round, time Date Location Notes
21 Win 21–0 United States J'Leon Love TKO 2 (10), 1:14 Mar 16, 2019 United States AT&T Stadium, Arlington, Texas, U.S.
20 Win 20–0 Romania Ronald Gavril UD 12 Feb 17, 2018 United States Mandalay Bay Events Center, Paradise, Nevada, U.S. Retained WBC super middleweight title
19 Win 19–0 Romania Ronald Gavril SD 12 Sep 8, 2017 United States Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, Paradise, Nevada, U.S. Won vacant WBC super middleweight title
18 Win 18–0 Mexico Rogelio Medina TKO 8 (12) 1:01 May 20, 2017 United States Laredo Energy Arena, Laredo, Texas, U.S.
17 Win 17–0 Uzbekistan Sherali Mamajonov KO 2 (8) 1:04 Jan 28, 2017 United States MGM Grand Garden Arena, Paradise, Nevada, U.S.
16 Win 16–0 United States Denis Douglin TKO 10 (10) 0:35 Aug 5, 2016 United States 2300 Arena, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.
15 Win 15–0 Democratic Republic of the Congo Francy Ntetu TKO 7 (8) 1:30 Jun 25, 2016 United States Barclays Center, New York City, New York, U.S.
14 Win 14–0 United States Phillip Jackson Benson KO 2 (8) 2:07 Apr 30, 2016 United States StubHub Center, Carson, California, U.S.
13 Win 13–0 United States Kevin Cobbs KO 2 (8) 1:08 Jan 19, 2016 United States Club Nokia, Los Angeles, California, U.S.
12 Win 12–0 Mexico Felipe Romero TKO 1 (8) 2:00 Nov 14, 2015 United States Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, Paradise, Nevada, U.S.
11 Win 11–0 Mexico Alberto Gutiérrez TKO 1 (6) 0:55 Sep 5, 2015 Mexico CUM Aguaprieta, Agua Prieta, Sonora, Mexico
10 Win 10–0 Mexico Ricardo Campillo TKO 2 (6) 1:21 May 15, 2015 United States US Airway Centre, Phoenix, Arizona, U.S.
9 Win 9–0 United States Rollin Williams TKO 1 (8) 2:59 Apr 25, 2015 United States Celebrity Theater, Phoenix, Arizona, U.S. Won vacant NABF junior light heavyweight title
8 Win 8–0 Tajikistan Azamat Umarzoda UD 6 Dec 20, 2014 United States Celebrity Theater, Phoenix, Arizona, U.S.
7 Win 7–0 Mexico Juan Hernández TKO 1 (4) 1:36 Oct 11, 2014 Mexico Gimnasio Municipal de box, Nogales, Sonora, Mexico
6 Win 6–0 Mexico Jairo Dolores TKO 1 (4) 1:54 Aug 23, 2014 Mexico Campos Deportivos de la Casa Social Cerveceria Tecate, Tecate, Baja California, Mexico
5 Win 5–0 Mexico Erick Revueltas KO 4 (4) May 24, 2014 Mexico Auditorio Municipal, Tijuana, Baja California, Mexico
4 Win 4–0 Mexico Arturo Martínez TKO 1 (4) 2:12 Apr 11, 2014 Mexico Hipódromo Caliente, Arena Tecate, Tijuana, Baja California, Mexico
3 Win 3–0 Mexico Omar Aispuro TKO 1 (4) 1:15 Jan 31, 2014 Mexico Caliente Racetrack, Tijuana, Baja California, Mexico
2 Win 2–0 Mexico Édgar Gálvan KO 1 (4) 2:02 Dec 4, 2013 Mexico Salón Las Pulgas, Tijuana, Baja California, Mexico
1 Win 1–0 Mexico Erasmo Mendoza KO 1 (4) Aug 17, 2013 Mexico El Chamizal, Puerto Peñasco, Sonora, Mexico


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  2. ^ "New Faces: David Benavidez - The Ring". 16 May 2017.
  3. ^ "David Benavidez Inks Pact With Sampson Boxing". BoxingScene.com. Retrieved 2018-02-26.
  4. ^ "Benavidez, Plant Highlight January 19 PBC on FS1 Undercard". BoxingScene.com. Retrieved 2018-02-26.
  5. ^ "Jamal James Shuts Down Javier Molina For 19th Win". BoxingScene.com. Retrieved 2018-02-26.
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  14. ^ "David Benavidez Demolishes Sherali Mamajonov". BoxingScene.com. Retrieved 2018-02-26.
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  16. ^ "David Benavidez vs. Rogelio Medina in WBC Eliminator". BoxingScene.com. Retrieved 2018-02-26.
  17. ^ "Benavidez-Medina headlines 5/20 PBC on FS1".
  18. ^ "2016 ESPN.com prospect of the year: Erickson Lubin". 29 Dec 2016.
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  20. ^ "Anthony Dirrell vs. David Benavidez on 9/9 For WBC Title - Boxing News". www.boxingscene.com.
  21. ^ "Benavidez, 20, ordered to fight Dirrell for title". ESPN.com. Retrieved 2018-02-26.
  22. ^ "Dirrell out, Gavril in against Benavidez".
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  24. ^ "David Benavidez vs. Ronald Gavril - CompuBox Punch Stats". BoxingScene.com. Retrieved 2018-02-26.
  25. ^ "Benavidez vs. Gavril Rematch in Play For January, Says Sampson". BoxingScene.com. Retrieved 2018-02-27.
  26. ^ "David Benavidez: I Wanted Gavril Again To Prove Doubters Wrong". BoxingScene.com. Retrieved 2018-02-27.
  27. ^ "Danny Garcia-Brandon Rios, Benavidez-Gavril II Eyed For 2/17". BoxingScene.com. Retrieved 2018-02-27.
  28. ^ "Danny Garcia vs. Brandon Rios Finalized For Mandalay Bay". BoxingScene.com. Retrieved 2018-02-27.
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  31. ^ "Benavidez beats Gavril, retains 168-pound title". ESPN.com. Retrieved 2018-02-27.
  32. ^ "Garcia-Rios Peaked at 558K Viewers, Averaged 516K on Showtime". BoxingScene.com. Retrieved 2018-02-27.
  33. ^ "David Benavidez vs. Matt Korobov in Play For Garcia-Easter". BoxingScene.com. Retrieved 2018-05-18.
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  39. ^ "Super middleweight titlist David Benavidez tests positive for cocaine". ESPN.com. Retrieved February 1, 2019.
  40. ^ a b "David Benavidez returning to fight March 16 after 13 months out of ring". ESPN.com. December 20, 2018. Retrieved February 1, 2019.

External links[edit]

World boxing titles
Title last held by
Badou Jack
WBC super middleweight champion
September 8, 2017 – October 3, 2018
Preceded by
Darrin Van Horn
Youngest Super Middleweight Champion

September 8, 2017 – present