Fans on social media overwhelmingly believe Oleksandr Gvozdyk took it easy on David Benavidez, staying in first gear the entire fight last Saturday night in their clash for the WBC interim light heavyweight title at the MGM Grand Garden in Las Vegas.

(Photo credit: Esther Lin/Premier Boxing Champions)

The way that Gvozdyk (20-2, 16 KOs) effortlessly outboxed and outworked Benavidez (29-0, 24 KOs) from the sixth round was alarming, as he looked levels above the ‘Mexican Monster’ in skills level.

Benavidez’s Hollow Victory

I can understand why fans believe Gvozdyk didn’t try to win because it was too easy for him, and Benavidez looked awful. Whatever sparring success Benavidez had years ago against Gvozdyk was meaningless because he didn’t show anything in the fight, and he didn’t appear to win.

The scores were 116-112, 117-111, and 119-109.

I watched the fight twice and had Gvozdyk winning rounds 7, 8, 9, 10, 11 and 12. None of those rounds were close, as Gvozdyk was boxing the exhausted-looking Benavidez, making him eat punches and miss with his wild shots.

Benavidez’s fans are happy with the decision he was given, but that was a hallow victory. He looked abysmal, and his excuses afterward about being injured were pathetic. It’s a classic example of a fighter who can’t admit that he ain’t got what it takes.

The Call for Benavidez to Return to 168

It would be better for Benavidez to move back down to 168, where his size, power, skills, and work rate enable him to excel. He can’t do it at 175, where guys are the same size as him and have too much power.

Even against Gvozdyk, who wasn’t loading up on his shots, Benavidez was underpowered. Gvozdyk had the better power and didn’t even try to put anything on his punches.

The judges gave Benavidez a shockingly wide twelve-round unanimous decision, but it wasn’t a real win.

Benavidez’s performance was so poor that he and his team have to decide whether it’s worth it to continue in the 175-lb division and fight for the undisputed light heavyweight championship against the winner of the October 12th fight between IBF/WBC/WBO champion Artur Beterbiev and WBA champ Dmitry Bivol.

Benavidez’s Deficiencies at Light Heavyweight

Benavidez won’t beat the winner or the loser of the Bivol vs. Bivol, even with the same judging crew that worked last Saturday night’s fight. The former two-time WBC super middleweight champion Benavidez is lacking in these three areas that would need to have a chance of capturing the undisputed championship at 175:

– Power
– Skills
– Size

If Benavidez stays at light heavyweight, his popularity will be destroyed after he loses to Bivol or Beterbiev and is forced to return to the 168-lb division with his tail tucked between his legs.

The way Benavidez looked last night, he would lose to the following light heavyweights:

– Artur Beterbiev
– Dmitry Bivol
– Anthony Yarde
– Willy Hutchinson

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