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Benavidez Eyes Light Heavyweight Title In Gvozdyk Fight

David Benavidez is looking forward to next month's fight with Oleksandr Gvozdyk in their WBC interim light heavyweight title fight on June 15 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.

Benavidez's New Test

Benavidez (28-0, 24 KOs) moves up in weight to 175 against former WBC light heavyweight champion Gvozdyk (20-1, 16 KOs) on the Gervonta Davis vs. Frank Martin on PBC PPV on Prime Video.

It will be the first time in Benavidez's career that he doesn't have a size advantage over his opponent, and it will be interesting to see how he fares against a bigger guy with more power and technical skills.

Benavidez has always been able to stay in front of opponents up close and overwhelm them with volume punches. There are several reasons for that:

  1. Weak opponents: Benavidez has feasted on middle-of-the-road fighters like David Lemieux and Demetrius Andrade.
  2. Being bigger: Having the size advantage allowed Benavidez to dominate his smaller opponents at 168.

If Benavidez loses this fight to Gvozdyk, he will likely return to 168 and continue his pursuit of a fight with Canelo Alvarez. He still hopes that Canelo will agree to face him, but it doesn't look good right now.

Motives Behind the Movement

“I am happy to reach 175. It has been a long time since I got to this weight class. The reason I didn't do it was because I had the opportunity to fight Canelo Alvarez,” said David Benavidez speaking to MillCity Boxing about his interim WBC light heavyweight bout with Oleksandr Gvozdyk.

Some believe the real reason Benavidez moved up to 175 is because he smells money for the Saudis, as they look to make an undisputed championship between light heavyweight champions Artur Beteriev and Dmitry Bivol.

If Benavidez beats Gvozdyk, he could face the winner in Saudi Arabia and make a lot of money. So, Benavidez's move up to 175 isn't that he finally wants to face opposition his size to change. You go up because of money.

“Since that fight is not happening, this is the right time to step up and test the waters,” said Benavidez. “Oleksandr Gvozdyk is a very good fighter. He is a highly decorated novice. He was a world champion and defeated one of the greatest light heavyweight champions of all time in Adonis Stevenson. Beterbiev only lost one.”

Benavidez was supposed to move up to 175 a few years ago, but he's been waiting and hoping that Canelo Alvarez will fight him. If Benavidez had moved up, he would have already challenged for a world title against Artur Beterbiev and Dmitry Bivol.

“So, I have my hands full, but I've been training Oleksandr Gvozdyk to be the best there is. So, as I train like that, I will be ready for whatever comes my way. It will be a very big card,” said Benavidez.

“Gervonta Davis and I fight together. I feel like it's going to be the biggest card of the year. It's really fun for the fans.

Sparring History Adds Cunning

“It really makes me sad. I kept him when I was 22 years old. It's been a while,” said Benavidez about breaking up with Gvozdyk five years ago. “What has happened is that he has grown up, and I have also gotten better. I am better now.”

It's unclear how much Gvozdyk has changed since he split with Benavidez five years ago. Gvozdyk is now 36, and has been out of action for four years after retiring following his 10th round knockout loss to Artur Beterbiev in 2019. He came back last year, and has won two fights against lower ranked opponents.

“I will go in there and get a win in a good way. This is the best fighter I can face. His only loss was to Artur Beterbiev. So they will see me as a different type of fighter,” said Benavidez.

“I think it's the first time I'm a small fighter because he's a little bigger than me. You are natural. He's been fighting at 175 longer than me. I have a good opponent in front of me. You will definitely make me work for everything. “He will not stop,” said Benavidez about Gvozdyk.

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