Benavidez Eyes Canelo After Dispatching Gvozdyk

June 16, 2024
1 month
Benavidez Eyes Canelo After Dispatching Gvozdyk

David Benavidez became the WBC Interim Light Heavyweight Champion, beating Oleksandr Gvozdyk in a unanimous decision.

Benavidez entered the fight as the favorite, knowing a win would make him mandatory for either Artur Beterbiev or Dmitry Bivol. The victory means Benavidez must decide whether he pursues his mandatory position at 175 or 168 for the Canelo Alvarez fight. His post-fight comments suggested Canelo was the goal. It was the Mexican Monster’s first fight at the weight class, leaving many unanswered questions. But given they had sparred before, with Benavidez getting the better of his man, both had plenty to say before the fight. 

Pre-Fight Comments

“My main objective is not being bigger than Gvozdyk. My main objective and what I want to do is be fast, be powerful and keep that endurance throughout the whole 12 rounds, and that’s what I intend on doing. I’m going to knock him out, because I’m coming up in weight, I’m extremely strong. This is gonna be the best fight of my career to date, my best performance to date and I’m gonna shine this Saturday,” Benavidez said 

“I don’t really care if Benavidez fights Canelo. That’s his plan, but I have my own plans. Well, they’re confident. This is good. They probably know what he is capable of. And I know what I am capable of. We’ll see what happens. … I will hit him and not get hit back,” Gvozdyk stated 

Benavidez Starts Well

But it was Benavidez who lived up to his words. Gvozdyk used his jab in the opener by focusing on the outside to stay out of range. Benavidez targeted the body, closing the distance early on with ease. A left hook landed as Benavidez looked confident with the weight. Benavidez landed another left hook to the midsection and a right cross in the second.

The Mexican applied more pressure with a body shots in round three. An uppercut had Gvozdyk on the ropes, and the Ukrainian’s eye started swelling.

Gvozdyk Needs More

After the halfway point, Gvozdyk needed to make major changes. Gvozdyk connected a right uppercut in the seventh, only to get countered by Benavidez’s left hook. Gvozdyk pressured Benavidez more in the eighth by landing a right hand on the ropes, but the output was not enough. Benavidez slowed down as his punches were not stopping his opponents like he did at 168. Benavidez had Gvozdyk on the ropes in the ninth, teeing off at will. While Gvozdyk was still standing, he needed a KO. It never came, as Benavidez won on the cards: 116-112, 117-111, 119-109.

Full Card

Gervonta Davis def. Frank Martin via KO in round 8 — WBA lightweight title

David Benavidez def. Oleksandr Gvozdyk via unanimous decision (116-112, 117-111, 119-109) — WBC interim light heavyweight title

Mark Magsayo def. Eduardo Ramirez via unanimous decision (97-92 x2, 99-90)

Justin Viloria def. Angelo Antonio Contreras via a fifth-round TKO

Kyrone Davis def. Elijah Garcia via a split decision (97-93, 92-98, 97-93)

Brayan Gonzalez def. James Mulder by a unanimous decision (40-35 x3)

Daniel Blancas def. Aro Schwartz by a first-round TKO

Margaret Whitmore def. Mia Ellis via a majority decision (38-38, 39-37 x2)

Reina Tellez def. Beata Dudek by a unanimous decision (40-36 x3)

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