Super middleweight contender David ‘El Monstruo’ Benavidez 27-0 (23) believes a victory over fellow undefeated Demetrius ‘Boo Boo’ Andrade 32-0 (19) will stamp his card as the best 168-pound boxer in the world not named Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez.
Undisputed super middleweight champion Alvarez 60-2-2 (39) is a superstar in his native Mexico and remains the biggest draw in the sport. Boxers from middleweight to light heavyweight are constantly petitioning the 33-year-old for a fight.
You can count former two-time WBC super middleweight champion Benavidez amongst them.
The 26-year-old from Phoenix, Arizona will have youth, size and activity on his side when he takes on the 35-year-old Andrade of Providence, Rhode Island at the Michelob Ultra Arena at Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada on Saturday night.
He was last in action in March when he outpointed former IBF super middleweight champion Cael ‘Sweethands’ Plant 22-2 (13) over 12 rounds. Andrade is coming off a 10-round shutout over Demond Nicholson 26-6-1 (22) in his 168-pound debut back in January.
“I agreed to this fight with Andrade because he’s the hardest,” Benavidez said. “Other than myself, he’s the best in the division. He’s the hardest task besides Canelo, so I want to challenge myself.
“I really do want to be the best and I’m telling you guys that I don’t want there to be a doubt in anyone’s head that I’m the best at the super middleweight division.
“That’s exactly what I’m going to do… To be honest with you, I’m not worried about Canelo. I’m not worried about anybody. My job is to clear out the division and that’s exactly what I intend on doing.
“I’m not going anywhere. I’m going to be the best in the division. This is the start of the Benavidez era… I’m going for a knockout Saturday night.”
Andrade has had something of a frustrating career. The former WBO junior middleweight and middleweight champion has superb boxing skills and can punch a bit, but has a habit of coasting in fights once he is in control.
He has lacked the sort of dance partner that will see him burst into the public consciousness with a win, but all that will change against Benavidez.
Nobody knows that more than Andrade himself.
“I’m ready to rumble. I feel great. We’re going to put on a great show. It’s me again, baby,” Andrade said.
“It’s Showtime… I’m going to frustrate him. You’ll see on Saturday night. When he’s not able to do what he wants to do, it’s going to play into my advantage.”
The Benavidez vs Andrade fight will top the Showtime pay-per-view card that will also feature the comeback fight of WBC middleweight champion Jermall Charlo 32-0 (22) who will face Jose Benavidez Jr 28-2-1 (19) in a 10-round non-title bout and IBF junior welterweight champion Subriel Matias 19-1 (19) defending his strap against Shohjahon Ergashev 23-0 (20).