Home Boxing News David Benavidez successful against Oleksandr Gvozdyk in light heavyweight debut

David Benavidez successful against Oleksandr Gvozdyk in light heavyweight debut

David ‘El Monstruo’ Benavidez 29-0 (24) has slotted in nicely to the light heavyweight division with a unanimous decision victory over Oleksandr ‘The Nail’ Gvozdyk 20-2 (16) to claim the vacant WBC interim title at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada on Saturday night.

Boxing in the semi-main event to the WBA lightweight title fight between champion Gervonta ‘Tank’ Davis 29-0 (27) and challenger Frank ‘The Ghost’ Martin 18-0 (12), Benavidez was too busy, too accurate and too versatile in attack for 37-year-old Ukrainian Gvozdyk.

Phoenix, Arizona’s Benavidez, 27, got to work at the opening bell and never relented with the pressure. He backed up Gvozdyk for much of the fight, digging to the body and switching his attack upstairs where he peppered his older opponent overhand rights, left hooks and uppercuts.

Gvozdyk looked to counter Benavidez, particularly with the right hand, but when he did have success, the younger, fresher fighter usually got his pound of flesh back.

The extra seven pounds in weight only seemed to benefit the former WBC super middleweight champion, who proved to be just as powerful and active as he was at 168-pounds.

In the end, Gvozdyk couldn’t keep up with the pace that Benavidez set. All three judges awarded the bout to the American, with scores of 116-112, 117-111 and 119-109.

“I went up in weight, won every single round and dominated a former world champion and an Olympian as well,” Benavidez said.

“I had him hurt a couple of times. I wasn’t throwing a lot of combinations because I reinjured my hand in the third round.

“I tore my right ligament four weeks before the fight and I hurt my left hand in camp. I’m proud of myself because I also got a cut three weeks ago and I pushed through and gave the fans a good fight.

“I’m looking forward to what’s next in the division.”

Benavidez will make a worthy challenger to the undisputed 175-pound world championship clash between WBC, WBO and IBF boss Artur Beterbiev 20-0 (20) and WBA kingpin Dmitry Bivol 23-0 (12), who are expected to have their postponed bout rescheduled for later this year once Beterbiev has recovered from his knee injury.

Gvozdyk took the loss on the chin.

“I obviously wish we got a different decision tonight,” Gvozdyk said. “I wish I had done a little more and been more active in the early rounds of the fight.

“I think the scores were pretty accurate. It was a good fight, a close fight. He was better in the first half of the fight, but I think I started doing better in the second half. I’d love a rematch with him.”