Jose Benavidez Sr. says David Benavidez could move up to 175 and immediately challenge Dmitry Bivol for his WBA light heavyweight title if they cannot land the fight they want against Canelo Alvarez next May.
Bivol (21-0, 11 KOs) may not be available to fight Benavidez in 2024, as he has a title defense on December 23rd against Lyndon Arthur, and if he wins that match, he’s likely to face IBF, WBC & WBO light heavyweight champion Artur Beterbiev for the undisputed championship if he successfully defends against his WBC mandatory Callum Smith on January 13th.
Jose Sr. maintains that there isn’t anyone else to fight at 168, for the time being, aside from Canelo, who may continue to ignore him.
He says that WBA ‘regular’ super middleweight champion David Morrell Jr’s management & trainer aren’t interested in setting up a fight with Benavidez. Of course, that’s what Jose Sr. says because Morrell has been calling him out and showing much interest in facing Benavidez.
It’s quite possible that Jose Sr. is the one blocking the Morrell fight from happening because, in the same interview, he said the Cuban needs to fight Caleb Plant to “prove himself” worthy of a fight with Benavidez. That remark made it clear that Jose Sr. doesn’t want Benavidez to fight Morrell.
If Benavidez can’t get Bivol, Beterbiev, or Morrell in the first half of 2024, his promoter will need to try to lure Jermall Charlo into fighting him.
Jose Sr. wants Bivol for Benavidez
“The reason I’d go with Bivol is because he beat Canelo. He beat the King, the ‘Face of Boxing.’ That’s the only reason,” said Jose Benavidez Sr. to Fighthype on why he’d have his son, David Benavidez, move up to 175 to challenge WBA light heavyweight champion Dmitry Bivol if he can’t get the fight with Canelo Alvarez next May.
Bivol would likely make Benavidez look silly, out-boxing him, and taking him to school like he did against Canelo Alvarez last year. The management for Benavidez at PBC might not be too eager to let him mix it up with Bivol and be taken out of the Canelo mix once and for all.
“[Artur] Beterbiev, he hits super hard. He touches you with those punches; you’re done. They’re dangerous fighters. We’ll fight both of them, but these are the kind of fights that we want to give to the people, the dangerous fights,” said Jose Sr. about ‘The Mexican Monster’ Benavidez being willing to face Bivol or Beterbiev in his next fight.
“I can’t tell you that. We never fought at 175,” said Jose Sr. when asked if Benavidez can knockout Artur Beterbiev. “I’ve never seen anybody hurt these two guys. Maybe Bivol got a little hurt in one of his fights [against Joe Smith Jr. after being hit after the bell], but I don’t know.”
If Benavidez Sr. is serious about making the fight with Beterbiev, he can always look to do make it happen after he faces Callum Smith and Bivol in 2024. They could make that fight happen for the first half of 2025. In the meantime, Benavidez should fight Morrell, for better or worse, and show who the #2 fighter is in the 168-lb division.
“I’ve never been there. It’s hard for me to say. I would love to get the opportunity to see what I can do,’. David is still a baby. He’s only 26-years-old. He has a lot to learn. He hasn’t even got his man strength,” said Jose Sr.
Benavidez ready to jump in against the best at 175
“Maybe at 28 or 29, we’ll definitely see the development of David, but it’s very hard for me to say that we’ll knock him [Beterbiev],” said Benavidez Sr. “I would never say we’ll knock out Beterbiev or Bivol. The 168s, we f*** them up, but not the 175s.
“We’ll go straight and fight Bivol because I know David is a big guy at 175, and we feel comfortable and can definitely make it happen. We would love to test ourselves and see where we’re at.”
One gets the sense that Jose Sr. is using Bivol’s name for clout to get some cheap attention for Benavidez without him having to risk his hide by actually getting in the ring with him. Name-dropping, like Jose Sr. has continually been doing by talking up fights between Benavidez & Bivol could be seen as a way of making David seem more special. It’s actually pathetic, but the practice works on impressing the gullible.
“Yes, yes, those are the fights that David is looking for,” said Jose Sr. when asked if Benavidez would jump straight into a fight with IBF/WBC/WBO light heavyweight champion Beterbiev without any contests in the 175-lb weight class to get acclimatized.
“Right now, it doesn’t make any sense for us because who could we fight at 175? Do you think people want to see that fight?” said Jose Sr. when the interviewer, perhaps not keeping up with boxing, suggested that Benavidez fight Marcus Browne, a retired fighter, to get his feet wet in the 175-lb division.
Marcus Browne is retired, so there’s no chance of Benavidez fighting him, and even if he were active, that fight would have little chance of being made because it’s not a PPV-worthy match-up or one that fans would be interested in seeing on whichever network platform that Benavidez ends up now that Showtime will no longer be putting on boxing events after December 16th.
“It has to be a fighter known to the people. We’re known for not running from people. Why not fight the dangerous guys, the guys that are going to give us trouble? I think these two guys [Bivol & Beterbiev] are the monsters of the division, and we’ll be happy to fight anybody,” said Benavidez Sr.
Jose Sr. rules out David Morrell as opponent for Benavidez
“We’ve been trying to get that fight with [David] Morrell, but two times, it hasn’t happened. One time, his trainer Ronnie Shields said he wasn’t ready for David,” said Benavidez Sr. “The other time, his manager said he wasn’t ready. When is he going to be ready? Does it make sense to fight Morrell on pay-per-view?”
It’s hard to believe what Jose Sr. says about Morrell’s management & trainer not wanting to make the fight with Benavidez. If Jose Sr. doesn’t want the fight with Morrell, it’s understandable because he’s got a lot of talent and would take advantage of Benavidez’s poor defense.
“The numbers are not up there for us either, so we need somebody that has the same [popularity?] to make that fight on PPV,” said Jose Sr. “We’re not superstars, so where are they going to get all that money? It has to make sense.
“So, that’s why I think he [Morrell] needs a little bit more. I think it’s going to be a great fight, but like I said, we’ll fight him tomorrow. Munguia, we were in negotiations, and they offered him 60-40 on pay-per-view, and I think he does have a following. They came back and said they wanted 50-50. We said, ‘Yeah, sure, let’s make it happen,’ and then they disappeared.
“So, yeah, those are the two more potential fights, but I see it a little more harder because of the followers, the crowd Morrell has. To make it, it’s not him. I don’t think he’s scared. I think he wants to make the fight, but it has to make sense for the people that are going to make money.
“If it doesn’t make money, we don’t have that followers, they’re not going to make money. That’s what I think, but Munguia has a big following, and that would be a great fight, too.
“No, we’re not going to sit around. That’s why we don’t pick & choose are fighters. We want to stay active, and if the networks and whoever is paying for it accept that fight, we’ll make it happen. We don’t want to sit down here and wait for Canelo or whoever.
“We got to keep going, get more experience, and keep improving to get those big fights when the time comes. But, like I say, what can we do if these guys [Canelo] don’t want to fight?” said Jose Sr.