The combination of fighting at home and versus an opponent who has never been stopped doesn’t leave David Benavidez with any added pressure to close the show in emphatic style.
That part just seems to come natural to the unbeaten 24-year-old super middleweight.
Benavidez (24-0, 21KOs) embraces the concept of scoring a knockout for his hometown fans, in his upcoming Showtime Championship Boxing headliner with super middleweight contender Kyrone Davis (16-2-1, 6KOs). It’s not the focal point of his training camp, though; just the self-confidence that his natural ability will get the job done November 13 at Footprint Center in his hometown of Phoenix, Arizona.
“I’m just going to go in there and do what I always do. I’m always going in there looking for a spectacular win,” Benavidez insisted during a recent virtual press conference. “I’m always going in there looking for the spectacular knockout. I feel like this is just the type of fighter I am. It’s just the way I train. I put my heart and soul into this three-month training camp.
“Even if Canelo or Caleb Plant wasn’t on the other side, I’m being objective and still going in there giving [my opponent] my best fight available, going in there to get the stoppage. That’s been my whole plan this whole training camp.”
Benavidez has scored stoppage wins in each of his last four fights and 14 of his past 16 dating back to 2015. The only boxer to go the distance over that stretch is Ronald Gavril, who fought Benavidez to a split decision in their September 2017 vacant WBC super middleweight title fight and a more convincing points loss in their February 2018 rematch.
After loading up on early knockout wins as a prospect, Benavidez has shown lasting power during his rise to contention and eventually through two title reigns.
The undefeated former titlist has scored four knockouts that have gone nine or more rounds including in each of his last three fights. Benavidez earned his second WBC title after Anthony Dirrell in the ninth round of their September 2019 clash, though with his reign ending at the scale eleven months later. Benavidez missed weight for an eventual one-sided tenth round stoppage of Alexis Angulo last August, followed by an eleventh-round stoppage of Ronald Ellis this past March.
The other common thread among Dirrell, Angulo and Ellis—Benavidez is the only one to beat them inside the distance.
Davis has been dropped in his career but he’s yet to take a stoppage loss. Even if Benavidez can’t get the job done, the intention is leave no doubt as to who is the division’s top contender to the throne.
“I won’t be disappointed,” Benavidez admitted over the thought of not getting a stoppage win in his hometown. “The plan still stays the same. If I can’t get the stoppage, I want to get a clear victory. I got a good game plan.”
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox