Benavidez Sr. Showers Beterbiev with Praise, but Chooses Bivol as David’s 175 Dance Partner

By Rob Smith - 01/21/2024 - Comments

Trainer Jose Benavidez Sr. sounded in awe of Artur Beterbiev when asked about his interest in letting his son, David Benavidez, move up to 175 to challenge Artur for his IBF, WBC & WBO light heavyweight titles.

It would be impressive for the 27-year-old Benavidez to move up to 175 to take on Beterbiev to show that he’s courageous and willing to take on the best in the division. Interest in a fight between Benavidez & Bivol would be tremendous, especially if the Saudis got behind it.

Respect and Fear for the “Monster”

Jose Sr. praised Beterbiev for his power, calling him a “monster” but then dismissing the idea of Benavidez (28-0, 24 KOs) fighting him at 175. That would be a bridge too far for Benavidez to take in his first fight at 175.

The trainer wasn’t even trying to hide his fear of Beterbiev, who would be a dangerous fight for the easy-to-hit Benavidez to take in his debut at 175 if he moves up in his next fight.

Jose Sr. says Benavidez would be prepared to fight Beterbiev if the contest happened, but he prefers Dmitry Bivol for his son. Jose Sr. says Benavidez has sparred Bivol before and doesn’t hit as hard

Bivol: The Sparring Partner Turned Target

“We already sat down and talked about that, me and David [Benavidez], and we want Zurdo Ramirez. We want Bivol,” said trainer Jose Benavidez Sr. to YSM Sports Media when asked about whether he’d be interested in his son, David Benavidez, moving up to 175 to challenge unified light heavyweight champion Artur Beterbiev.

Bivol is the easier target for Benavidez because he has the aggressive style to win this match-up, perhaps easily.

“We sparred Bivol and we sparred Zurdo Ramirez. That’s the other thing. If all these guys don’t want to fight at 168, we’ll fight at 175,” said Jose Sr.

Respect for Beterbiev

“To me, that mother [bleep] is a monster,” said Jose Sr. when asked if Beterbiev would be the toughest fight for Benavidez at 175. “The one that I can say, ‘Bleep, man.’ I’ll be honest with you, bro. We’ll have a super good camp and make sure everything.

“I got to give him respect. That guy [Beterbiev] hits hard, but Bivol has no respect. I mean, not in the way of the punch, you know? I think David hits harder, David is stronger than him. Zurdo Ramirez, I see David beating him,” said Jose Sr.

YouTube video