David Benavidez, a Hawk Seeking a Meal
By Richard E. Baker on February 14, 2021
There must be a champion out there with the guts to fight him. (Photo: Richard E. Baker)
Call the upcoming David Benavidez (23-0-0) fight against Ronald Ellis (18-1-2) redemption, or a tune-up, or an exercise, or a bit of fun; call the fight what you like but a fight is still a fight. Benavidez lost his WBC title on the scales in his last fight against Roamor Angulo. Benavidez weighed in two pounds over the limit. He could have lost the weight, but he did not. The fight with Ellis is important if for no other reason than to show that Benavidez can make weight and that he is still a super middleweight. He is not ready to move up. Not until he earns back his WBC belt.
The bout against Ellis will be telecast on Showtime, March 13, as the main event. Ellis, ranked number 8 by the WBC is the underdog and few people give him a chance at winning. He can fight; do not be mistaken. His only loss was to DeAndre Ware (12-1-2) by majority decision. Ellis retired Matvey Korobov (28-3-1) in his last fight and beat Immanuel Aleem (18-1-2) in the fight before that. Eight of his wins have been against fighters with winning records and, with 12 KOs, he can hit.
Cem Eren, conditioning coach for Benavidez, guarantees to have Benavidez in top shape for the fight. By the time of the bout Benavidez will have put in 14 weeks of training, more than for most fights. He is not taking a chance this time. In his fight against Angulo, Benavidez decided to condition at home thinking he could slim down on his own. Few fighters can do anything on their own. His decision was a big mistake, and a costly one. Losing a title can cost a champion millions of dollars. Benavidez has now lost the title twice outside the ring. Considering the money he has lost he might just as well be fighting for free. The lost money might have bought him his own state, something the size of Vermont. There is no reason to grieve over the past. The Buddhists say there is only becoming and that all sorrow lies in the past. Move ahead; that’s the ticket.
Bevavidez is looking toward the future and moving forward slowly, one fight at a time. The first to go must be Ellis and he must go decisively. Another championship fight may or may not follow. None of the big guys will face the crafty and devastating puncher Benavidez.
“The fans deserve to be given the best of the best,” he said. He is ready to do his part. Alvarez will probably never take a chance on fighting him. Alvarez does not have the confidence to know he will win and, unlike a hungry fighter who must take chances, he likes a sure thing these days and is not interested in whether or not the fans suffer. Caleb Plant also is wearing track shoes.
Benavidez was not impressed with Plant’s recent bout against Caleb Truax and found the bout to be extremely boring. He should have taken the outgunned Truax out early. Benavidez feels that Plant has always been a sleepy boxer and the sales of No-Doz increases before each of his fights.
After Benavidez beat Durrell he has been calling out Plant. Plant has responded with a tweet-full of excuses. “He acts like a woman on twitter,” said Benavidez. He won’t fight.
“I deserve any of those top fights with those top fighters,” said Benavidez.
The only chance Ellis has of beating Benavidez is with a decent solid punch. Benavidez seldom gets smacked with anything hard on the face. He is too slick and at 6’2”, a long way to reach. He often walks in with his hands down and keeps his left especially low. He has gotten away with it because of his reflexes. The great Jimmy Wilde always fought with his hands at his waist, as did many early fighters.
Benavidez should win impressively. If he does, there must be a champion out there someplace with the guts to fight him. Of course, this is boxing and most fans have learned by now that all the little birdies go tweet-tweet-tweet.