When you’re a boxer, maintaining your intended weight is critical to your success. Because of the various weight classes in the sport, you don’t have much margin for error to qualify in your weight class. If you don’t make weight for your match, it can be costly. David Benavidez found this out when he weighed in above the limit for his scheduled fight.
Not only did it cost him personally, but Benavidez missing weight may have thrown the super middleweight division into chaos.
David Benavidez’s boxing career
The 23-year-old Benavidez made his professional boxing debut in August 2013, reports BoxRec.com, knocking out Erasmo Mendoza to claim his first victory. He not only won his first fight, but he has won every fight he has had since then, making him 23-0 to begin his pro career, with 20 of his wins coming by way of knock out.
Benavidez has beaten Ronald Gavril in back-to-back fights in 2017-18. He is a two-time WBC super-middleweight champion and in May The Ring magazine named Benavidez the second-best active super middleweight in the sport.
Benavidez misses weight
When Benavidez weighed in for his August 15 WBC super-middleweight title defense against Roamer Alexis Angulo, he was 2.8 pounds above the weight limit for the division. This is the first time Benavidez missed weight in his career. His 170.8-pound weigh-in was a costly one, as he was stripped of his title.
CBS Sports reports that he was “very disappointed losing the title on the scale,” but he knew he didn’t have much time to mourn his belt. Although he was no longer the champ, the match with Angulo was still on for the day. Benavidez knew he had to concentrate to avoid suffering his first loss in the pros. He beat Angulo when the fight was called after the 10th round.
Benavidez put the blame on himself for missing weight. He admitted “those last three pounds wouldn’t come off,” but he also indicated that COVID-19-related restrictions hurt him in his quest to make the 168-pound limit. “Maybe not having the proper things I need, you know, sauna and I was only able to go to the gym for an hour a day since I got here.”
It’s the first time Benavidez missed weight. But it’s the second time in his career he was stripped of the super middleweight title. In 2018, the pugilist lost his belt and served a suspension for testing positive for cocaine.
Benavidez’s effect on the super middleweight class
Benavidez vacating the championship impacts the division. Assuming he successfully defended the title against Angulo, Benavidez’s next match would’ve been with challenger Avni Yildirim. Yildirim will still get a shot at the WBC belt. But instead of facing Benavidez, he’ll face a more famous fighter in Canelo Alvarez.
ESPN reports that is the fight the WBC has scheduled to fill the vacant title. WBA titleholder Callum Smith hoped to be one of the fighters getting a chance to earn the belt. But he’ll be on the outside looking in at the Alvarez-Yildirim bout. Neither man has fought yet this year.
While Yildirim may face a tougher opponent in Alvarez, he’s likely to benefit from his newly scheduled opponent. With Alvarez involved in the match, interest will be higher than it would have been with Benavidez, which should translate into a bigger payday for Yildirim. The WBC has not yet announced when or where the match will take place.