Former WBC light heavyweight champion Oleksandr Gvozdyk says David Benavidez is just as big as him coming up from the 168-lb division for their fight this Saturday night in Las Vegas.

(Photo credit: Ryan Hafey & Esther Lin/Premier Boxing Champions)

Gvozdyk Questions Benavidez’s Ability to Make 168

The 37-year-old Gvozdyk (20-1, 16 KOs) states that he doesn’t know how Benavidez (28-0, 24 KOs) was able to make 168 to compete in the super middleweight division because he’s “very, very big.”

This feeds into the belief that many boxing fans have about Benavidez that he’s been a weight bully all these years and has melted down to 168 to have an advantage over his smaller foes, use his size to dominate in a way that he couldn’t if he were fighting at light heavyweight or cruiserweight.

Benavidez’s Weight Advantage: A Key to His Success?

It doesn’t say much for Benavidez that he’s been fighting out of his normal weight class, and it furthers Canelo Alvarez’s argument that he brings nothing to the table besides an additional 25 lbs.

Throughout the promotion for his fight against Gvozdyk, Benavidez has whined about Canelo not being willing to give him a title shot at 168. But given Benavidez’s huge size advantage, you can’t blame Canelo for not agreeing.

Benavidez and Gvozdyk will be fighting for the WBC interim light heavyweight title this Saturday night, June 15th in the co-feature slot on the Gervonta ‘Tank’ Davis vs. Frank Martin card on PBC on Prime Video Pay-Per-View at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.

The Upcoming Fight: A Test of Benavidez’s Skills

“He has very fast hand speed, and good ability to absorb punches. His size, he’s actually big. He moved up from 168, but he’s not smaller than me. He’s the same size, even though I’m not a small light heavyweight,” said Oleksandr Gvozdyk to the Sean Zittel YouTube channel, talking about David Benavidez, who is coming up from super middleweight to fight him in the 175-lb division.

Looking at Benavidez standing next to Gvozdyk, they’re the same exact size. There is no difference at all, that’s troubling because it shows that David has been fighting out of his true weight class all these years. He’s been able to do this due to his youth.

Younger fighters can drain down tremendous amounts of water weight to compete in divisions below their frames, and then rehydrate to have a size advantage.

“He’s a huge 168-pounder, and now he doesn’t look small at 175,” said Gvozyk about Benavidez. “He’s not smaller than me. He’s the same size. So, I don’t understand how he was able to make 168, but for now, I don’t see him small at 175 at all,” Gvozdyk continued about Benavidez.

“I think the key is conditioning. I was completely out of condition,” said Gvozdyk about his sparring with Benavidez six or seven years ago. “Now, I believe I’m better, and we’re going to see what’s going to happen.”

The sparring between Benavidez and Gvozdyk took place too many years ago for it to be worth mentioning. For Benavidez to brag about it is weak and says a lot about who he is. If he believed in himself, he wouldn’t use sparring as a reason why he thinks he’s going to win.

“I’m not sure I can use my size because, as I mentioned, he’s big. I’m not bigger than him, so how can I use my size if we’re even?” said Gvozdyk when asked if he could use his size against Benavidez.

I don’t think Gvozdyk can use his size to his advantage against Benavidez, as he’s not bigger than him. What he can do is use his power and capitalize on Benavidez’s habit of throwing sustained combinations. Fighters that focus on throwing combos leave themselves open, and they pay for it sooner or later.

If they stick around the sport long enough and fight good opposition, the combination punchers get knocked out or have their careers shortened due to the punishment they sustain. Benavidez will be no different now that he’s fighting at 175, fighting against better guys than the ones he feasted on at 168.

“I would say my footwork is better, but you never know what’s going to happen in the ring. I hope I’m better now,” said Gvozdyk when asked if he thinks he’s as good as he was when he was a world champion at 175.

Benavidez moves like Frankenstein inside the ring and will never have good mobility. That’s not going to change in any weight class because his build isn’t conducive to movement, which could put him at a disadvantage against Gvozdyk on Saturday night if he uses movement.

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