David Benavidez rates former WBC light heavyweight champion Oleksandr Gvozdyk as having a weak chin going into their fight on June 15th.

Benavidez (28-0, 24 KOs) says he saw Gvozdyk (20-1, 16 KOs) get dropped twice during his career, and then when he sparred with him, he found out the same thing.

This gives Benavidez confidence that he’ll knock out the 37-year in their fight for the WBC interim 175-lb title on PBC on Prime Video PPV at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.

Of course, Benavidez was dropped by a non-puncher, Ronald Gavril, in 2018, so his chin isn’t the greatest either.

Also, Benavidez hasn’t fought the same kind of opposition that Gvozdyk has, as he’s matched carefully by his management, put old in with guys like David Lemieux, Demetrius Andrade, and Ronald Ellis instead of the elite-level opposition.

The Size Factor

The perception fans have of Benavidez is that he’s been a weight bully most of his career, draining down to fight at 168 rather than fighting guys his size at cruiserweight at light heavyweight.

At least in this fight against Gvozdyk, Benavidez will be facing an opponent close to the same size as him, perhaps a little smaller.

The thing is, Gvozdyk was retired for four years from 2019 to 2023, and he’s only had two fights since he came out of retirement. At 37, Gvozdyk isn’t young, but we’ll see what he’s got left against a fighter who has gotten over by being bigger than his opponents.

“Inside the ring, it’s me or him, and I can’t let him get me. I come here to do my job, and my job is to beat Oleksandr Gvozdyk,” said David Benavidez to PPV_Com about his fight on June 15th clash for the WBC interim light heavyweight title against Oleksandr Gvozdyk at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.

Benavidez is going to take a lot bigger punches in this fight than he’s taken before in his career, and it’s going to be interesting to see if he can handle getting hit by someone with power that isn’t giving away 15 to 20 lbs against him on fight night.

“It didn’t affect me at all. There are certain things and maneuvers you can do to get around the jab. You definitely have to practice it throughout the whole training camp,” said Benavidez when asked if Gvozdyk’s jab gave him problems when they sparred five years ago when he was 22.

Gvozdyk’s Power: A Legitimate Threat

It’s not Gvozdyk’s jab that Benavidez has to worry about on June 15th. It’s his power shots, and he’s not going to have a hard time hitting him if he stands directly in front of him, looking to land combinations the way he did in his last few fights. Benavidez can’t fight like that against Gvozdyk without getting torpedoed.

“He’s a fast fighter; he has a fast right hand. I’d say his right hand is better than his jab,” said Benavidez. “So, he has a really slick right hand. The thing I did notice about him coming up is he gets hurt a lot.

“In a couple of fights that he was coming up with Top Rank, and my brother was on the same card, and he got dropped a couple of times [by Tommy Karpency and Artur Beterbiev],” Benavidez said about Gvozdyk. “So, his chin is not all that. I feel his chin is weak, and I tested it in sparring, and I got the fact back.”

Gvozdyk got dropped by the southpaw Tommy Karpency in the first round of their fight in 2016 by a shot he wasn’t expecting, but he quickly recovered to knock him out in the sixth round. Against Artur Beterbiev, Gvozdyk was fighting the biggest puncher in the division.

Getting dropped by Beterbiev doesn’t mean Gvozdyk is chinny. It’s worse that Benavidez got knocked down by Ronald Gavril and won a controversial 12-round split decision in their first fight in 2017.

“So, now we’re going to go in there and implement as much damage as possible. I did see that fight, and it was a great performance by him,” said Benavidez when he was told that Gvozdyk stood up to the big puncher Adonis Stevenson’s power shots in 2019.

“I feel like I’m a different type of fighter. I’ve got a lot of speed, a lot of combinations, and a lot of power. I also have a great jab myself, and not only that. I have the will and determination to show everybody I’m the best in the world.

Benavidez’s Heavyweight Ambitions

“That’s still a dream that I have, but with these dreams, we don’t want to fast forward to then. We kind of want to take it step by step,” said Benavidez when asked about his interest in moving up to heavyweight and following in Andy Ruiz Jr’s footsteps to try and become a world champion in that weight class.

It’s a bridge too far for Benavidez to be thinking about capturing a world title at heavyweight. He will have problems trying to capture a world title at 175, let alone at heavyweight. You can tell from listening to Benavidez that his win 168 has gone to his head, making him feel he’s invincible.

It’s always like that with fighters matched against a certain level of fighters. When they finally step up and get beaten, their tune changes, but until that happens, they look unbeatable.

“It has to be like that because all these fighters in all these weight classes are really good. So, we’re taking it step by step. We’re going to conquer 175, and then go up and conqueror cruiserweight, and then from there, we’ll take a look at heavyweight,” said Benavidez.

Beterbiev: A Potential Nightmare for Benavidez

If IBF, WBC, and WBO light heavyweight champion Artur Beterbiev can come back from his knee injury, he’s going to be a nightmare for Benavidez because he hits hard, and he does well against combination punchers with poor defensive skills.

Benavidez has dominated during his career by having a massive size advantage against the smaller, lesser opposition he’s faced.

When the guys you’ve fought are former 154-lb champion, Demetrius Andrade and David Lemieux, that doesn’t say much about Benavidez. His resume is awful, and he’s a classic example of a fighter whose reputation has been built on the backs of sub-level opposition.

“It’s definitely a dream of mine to become a four-division champion and a heavyweight champion. So, we’re going to keep working hard and see where our career takes us,” said Benavidez.

If Benavidez can capture a world title at 175, he’ll have a good chance of capturing a belt at cruiserweight because that division has limited fighters holding belts. Benavidez could easily capture a world title now at cruiserweight, but then so could many of the top light heavyweights. It’s a poor division right now.

Benavidez will have issues at heavyweight. He won’t be able to stand in front of the heavyweights and try and beat them with volume. He’ll get his head taken off against a guy like Anthony Joshua if he’s still around by the time he moves up to heavyweight.

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