Benavidez Vs. Andrade Breakdown – Key Battles
In a tale of two undefeated fighters, both boxers know that a win is crucial for their world title ambitions. Benavidez has been a two-time super middleweight champion, while Andrade’s success as a two-division champion has come at 154 and 160 pounds. A victory puts the winner as a mandatory for Canelo Alvarez’s undisputed title after the WBC made the order official at their 61st Convention.
The Mexican Monster is known for being an aggressive fighter, with plenty of knockouts to back that up. Out of his 27 wins, 23 have come by way of knockout. The Mexican is already big for the super middleweight division, having previously spoken about his desire to move up to light heavyweight moving forward.
Benavidez is 6’1″ with a reach of 77 inches, which does give him a big advantage. Those attributes will allow him to keep the pressure on and increase the number of punches from a variety of angles. This was shown in his last bout against Caleb Plant. Despite the former IBF super middleweight champion outboxing Benavidez during the first half of the fight, Benavidez’s increased output resulted in a much stronger second half to secure the win. And that may be required against Andrade.
Andrade, in contrast, is a much slicker boxer who is known for his defensive skills. The American’s ability to make adjustments in a fight has been a key plus for his success at junior middleweight and middleweight. However, with a reach of 73.5 inches and a height of 6’1, the physical advantages are not there. And yet, Andrade does make up for that with his ability to control the distance and use his jab to keep fighters on the back foot. This, coupled with the fact that he is a southpaw, has made him an avoided fighter. But at the age of 35, Andrade is now finally getting those big fights.
There will be the question of whether Benavidez’s pressure and his power can penetrate Andrade’s defense. The Mexican Monster will have to cut the ring off and target the body to slow down Andrade, who is likely to be on the move from the off. But if the Mexican can get him on the ropes, then he could unload with his combinations. But given his reach advantage, Benavidez could use his jab to patiently set up his attacks.
A key way to achieve that would be to use feints to draw a reaction from Andrade before using his power punches, particularly his uppercuts and hooks, to break Andrade’s guard. That could play a strong factor later down the stretch, as it showed when Benavidez caught up with Caleb Plant to win via a unanimous decision. But in order to do that, Benavidez must time Andrade, whose speed and footwork are some of his best assets. And in doing so, the Mexican will have to be wary of being countered.
Andrade’s ability to fight at range with his jab and counterpunching is key to his chances of winning. The jab will be key for keeping Benavidez off balance and for setting up traps once Benavidez begins to get his shots off. And a key part of that will be to utilize more angles. As a southpaw, the looping left and his right uppercut will be key if it is thrown off the pivot to give Benavidez an unorthodox look. That could play into his hands as Andrade is known for fighting off the back foot which will draw Benavidez to come forward.
And a key part of that will be to get Benavidez to respect his power. Fighting at junior middleweight and middleweight is one thing. However, Benavidez is a fully-fledged 168-pounder who is arguably bigger than the weight class. And as Caleb Plant had shown, it takes a lot for Benavidez to stay on the back foot as the Mexican will be looking to walk his opponent down.
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