Home Boxing News David Benavidez still chasing Canelo Alvarez after successful light heavyweight debut

David Benavidez still chasing Canelo Alvarez after successful light heavyweight debut

David Benavidez vs Oleksandr Gvozdyk. Photo credit: Steve Marcus/Getty Images

David ‘El Monstruo’ Benavidez 29-0 (24) has not given up on his dream of challenging undisputed super middleweight champion Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez 61-2-2 (39).

The 27-year-old from Phoenix, Arizona made a successful light heavyweight debut with a comfortable points win over Oleksandr ‘The Nail’ Gvozdyk 20-2 (16) at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada on Saturday night. The scores were 117-110, 119-109 and 116-112, all for Benavidez.

With the win, Benavidez became the WBC interim champion at 175-pounds. He was already the WBC interim champion at 168-pounds.

“I’m just so happy for this moment,” Benavidez said. “About a month ago I had a torn ligament here my hand, it was injured and I got a cut on my eye, but I said, ‘Fuck it, I’m going to keep pushing through. I can’t cancel this event’. That’s the reason I wasn’t throwing so much in this fight, because my hand is messed up, but we still dominated.

“We still won every single round against a great ex-champion and I’m just happy for this victory and just happy to keep pushing forward and keep dominating this light heavyweight division.”

Benavidez has long coveted a shot at Mexican superstar Alvarez, 33, who has so far refused his overtures.

“I definitely want to invoke my mandatory right,” Benavidez said. “It’s something that for the past three years is rightfully mine, so like I said, this was the perfect opportunity for me to come up and win another belt, but I can still make 168 easy so we’re still looking to come back down to 168.”

The experienced Gvozdyk proved to be a stubborn opponent. Despite Benavidez landing frequently to the body and head, he was unable to put a dent in the 37-year-old Ukrainian.

“My power still felt good but by the third round my hand was already messed up and then I kept trying to use the right hand but that got messed up, too. I dominated the fight,” Benavidez said.

“Even with the hand hurting I kept hurting him. I kept hurting him to the body early in the fight, but I was looking for the left hand with my hand kind of open. I couldn’t really do much. I feel it does translate to this weight.

“That dude is good. He’s consistent. He’s one of the best I’ve fought in my whole career.”

Speaking to CBS Sports about a potential Alvarez showdown last week ahead of the fight, Benavidez conceded it was unlikely to happen despite his best efforts.

“To be honest with you, I did everything in my power possible to make that fight happen,” he said. “I beat the fighters that they told me I couldn’t beat. I was number one contender for the past three years but I had my hands tied.

“I did everything in my power possible to make it happen. The only reason this fight is not happening is because Canelo doesn’t want it to happen because he knows damn well that when he faces me, I’m taking all of his titles home with me.”