David Benavidez is looking forward to his co-feature fight against Oleksandr Gvozdyk next month in their battle for the WBC interim light heavyweight title on June 15th at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.

A New Test for Benavidez

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

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

Benavidez has always been able to stand in front of his opponents at close range and riddle them with volume punching. There are a couple of reasons for that:

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

If Benavidez loses this fight to Gvozdyk, he’ll likely return to 168 and continue his pursuit of a fight against Canelo Alvarez. He’s still hoping that Canelo will agree to face him, but it’s not looking good right now.

The Motivations Behind the Move

“I’m excited at coming up to 175. I’ve been coming up to this weight class for a long time. The only reason I didn’t is because I was in line to fight Canelo Alvarez,” said David Benavidez to MillCity Boxing about his WBC light heavyweight interim title clash against Oleksandr Gvozdyk

Some believe the REAL reason Benavidez is moving up to 175 is because he smells money from the Saudis, as they want to make the undisputed championship between champions 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 because he finally wants to face opposition his own size for a change. He’s moving up because of the money.

“Since that fight is not happening, this is the perfect time to go up and test the waters,” said Benavidez. “Oleksandr Gvozdyk is a very good fighter. He’s a very decorated amateur. He was a great world champion and beat one of the best light heavyweight champions ever in Adonis Stevenson. He only has one loss to Beterbiev.”

Benavidez should have moved up to 175 a few years ago, but he’s been waiting and hoping Canelo Alvarez would 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 for the best Oleksandr Gvozdyk that there possibly can be. So, with me training like that, I’ll be ready for anything that comes my way. It’s going to be a very big card,” said Benavidez.

“Me and Gervonta Davis fighting together. I feel it’s going to be the biggest card of the year. It’s definitely great for the fans.

Sparring History Adds Intrigue

“It definitely gives me an edge. I sparred him when I was 22 years old. It’s been a while, though,” said Benavidez about having sparred with Gvozdyk five years ago. “The only thing that’s happened is he’s gotten older, and I’ve gotten better. I’m more in my prime now.”

It’s unclear how much Gvozdyk has changed since his sparring with Benavidez five years ago. Gvozdyk is 36 now, and he was out of the sport for four years after retiring following his tenth-round knockout loss to Artur Beterbiev in 2019. He returned last year, and has won two fights against lower level opposition.

“I’ll go in there and get the victory in impressive fashion. This is a very good fighter for me to be up against. He only has one loss to Artur Beterbiev. So, they’re definitely going to see me in with a different type of fighter,” said Benavidez.

“I think this is the first time I’m the smaller fighter because he’s a little bit bigger than me. He’s more natural. He’s been fighting longer at 175 than me. I’ve got a good opponent in front of me. He’s definitely going to make me work for everything. He’s not going to be a layover,” said Benavidez about Gvozdyk.

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