On Thanksgiving weekend here in the States, David Benavidez faces Demetrius Andrade in a main event on a stacked Showtime PPV card. The word stacked gets thrown around all too often these days, but besides Jermall Charlo vs. Jose Benavidez, the other four bouts under the headlining bout feature live dogs on the ‘B’ side.
Subriel Matias vs. Shohjahon Ergashev, Hector Luis Garcia vs. Lamont Roach, Sergey Lipinets vs. Michel Rivera, and Vito Melinicki vs. Alexis Salazar (the last two on Showtime YT) round out the card. Maybe not in May, but the winner of the Benavidez versus Andrade will be in line for a possible date with the cash cow Canelo Alvarez. It’s a fitting title for this prediction article borrowed from a song by Gang Starr, “Just to Get a Rep.”
After two separate offers involving a Canelo Alvarez fight, David Benavidez has made the best of 2023 by facing Caleb Plant and now Demetrius Andrade instead of just wasting time fighting no-hopers waiting for a big payday. Plant gives David a good test and somewhat of a similar style that Andrade fights in, except for the obvious item of Demetrius being a southpaw. It took a while for Benavidez to warm up and adjust to what Plant brought to the table. Even with the 22×22 ring size, Benavidez found his groove out landing Plant 161 to 46 in the second half in March.
Benavidez’s volume and underrated boxing skills as an offensive fighter are a handful to deal with for anyone at super middleweight, including Canelo. David’s timing once he catches up to his opponent’s movement is much better than many experts think. He has a solid jab, very good hand speed, and decent defense, mostly via blocking incoming shots. His counter-game has improved, as has his physique over the years helping him to become a more complete boxer. One item that stands out as a question mark is his ability to make the 168-pound division, given the weight cut.
It’s been a long time coming for Demetrius Andrade to secure a big fight. It’s clear as day the skill level is there, but can Andrade put it all together for the vast majority of the rounds? His legit boxing skills out of the southpaw stance will be put to the test like never before come Saturday night. He fought arguably his best opponent way back in 2016 a boxer by the name of Willie Nelson. Vanes Martirosyan’s name should be brought up in this debate as well, but to be fair, that fight happened more than ten years ago. His most impressive performance on the world level may’ve come against Maciej Sulecki in 2019.
The best comp for a come-forward style fighter like David Benavidez of late, anyway, might be Liam Williams. Andrade came out hot, knocking down Williams in round two with a 2-punch combo after hurting him in round one. Liam pushed ahead as the fight wore on, even landing a hard right hand in the ninth round, but that success would be short-lived. Andrade used his feet, one-punch at a time generally, and holding Williams to get his hand raised that night. Being a clear “B’ side, one wonders if a Vlad Klitschko game plan of hit and hold would win over the judges in Las Vegas. Especially given the revenue Alvarez vs. Benavidez PPV and the live gate would generate.
In the opening frames, this boxing podcaster believes Andrade will get off to a fast start, relatively speaking, of course. The jab of Demetrius, along with foot/hand speed and overall movement, will take at least two or three rounds for David to figure out. Don’t be surprised if we’re sitting around a 3-3 or even 4-2 scorecard after six rounds. Benavidez’s persistence and punch rate, along with a solid set of whiskers, will guide him through the guaranteed rough spots that will come his way. In the second half of the fight David’s timing and follow-up power shots in combination to the head and body will put Andrade on his back foot for good.
The defensive posturing, which includes excessive clinching, will be on California judge Thomas Taylor’s radar. So, who will cash their golden ticket for the 2024 Saul Alvarez sweepstakes? Benavidez is a straighter puncher than Andrade, with a more fundamental attacking offense that judges tend to favor, especially in the West. David’s volume punching with skill and just enough patience will eventually overwhelm Andrade, placing him in shell mode for too long on stints. Don’t get me wrong; this boxing junkie has a bet for Andrade via decision at +475 just in case the Benavidez +145 by decision doesn’t hit.
My Official Prediction is David Benavidez by Majority-Decision
Side Note: During the afternoon, don’t miss Chantelle Cameron vs. Katie Taylor 2 on DAZN. My picks for the bouts on the Showtime PPV Undercard are Charlo KO, Matias SD, Roach MD, and Rivera TKO.
Written by Chris Carlson, Host/Producer of The Rope A Dope Radio Podcast Available at www.blogtalkradio.com/ropeadoperadio Follow on Twitter @RopeADopeRadio.