Benavidez Back on Track

By Richard E. Baker on October 9, 2020

He has apologized to fans for not making weight for the fight. (Photo: Richard E. Baker)

David Benavidez returned to the gym this week to prepare to take back the WBC super middleweight title he lost on the scales in a fight against Roamer Angulo. David dominated the fight and made the hard-hitting Angulo resemble a sloth. David fought much of the time off the ropes, an unusual tactic. He fights off the ropes better than any current boxer, but understands the ropes is the wrong place to be. He also understands that his opponents are not sure what he will do when he is there.

 

“When I started boxing I used the ropes a lot. Being there came naturally to me. I learned how to swing back to the center whenever I liked.”

 

He has apologized to fans for not making weight for the fight. In the time of covid usual practices are not allowed. He was limited to one visit to the gym per day prior to the fight, not enough time to finish removing the weight. The remaining time he was confined to the motel room so could not even walk around the streets for exercise.

 

David had no difficulty in his fight with Angulo and found him to be an easy target. “He just kept coming ahead and looking for one punch. He had no other plan.” Angulo hardly threw a combination in the entire fight. David seldom throws anything except combinations. “If I throw a three-punch combination I know at least one of them will land. I don’t like to take chances.”

 

Taking chances for him is throwing a single punch. A single punch that misses expends more energy than a combination that lands and leaves a boxer open for a counterpunch. Boxers think they are saving energy with a single shot. They are mistaken. The combination needs to be fast, not hard. The surprise of a fast blow often puts a man down.

 

Although David is anxious to retain the WBC championship, he would really like to fight Canelo Alvarez, but understands that will not happen soon. “Canelo wants an easy fight, someone he can beat without any effort.”

 

He feels Alvarez has gotten soft with all his easy living and he has learned to earn millions without the work needed to be a top boxer. He has looked bad in his last fights, especially—regardless of the closeness of the scorecards—against slow and plodding Kovalev. Alvarez has also been suffering from a bad knee and the affliction that affects every successful boxer—management difficulties. The problems are presently being fought out by lawyers, the only breed more ruthless and amoral than managers. A lawyer will pick the pockets of a dead man. A manager might at least leave the empty wallet.

 

Money is another issue. Alvarez wants a guarantee of over 30 million dollars for his next fight. So far, no promoter is willing to take that chance. Also, 30 million leaves little room for a decent opponent.  

 

The disparity in purses has always been a problem in boxing. The disparity can be easily solved. Assume there is $100,000 available for a fight. Guarantee both boxers $25,000. The winner gets the remaining $50,000. Fans would get much better fights under that system. No fighter wants to leave $50,000 on the table and there would be far fewer fighters willing to stumble while walking to the center of the ring and being counted out.

 

Several fights are in the works for David. For now he must play the waiting game. He does his waiting in the gym.