David Benavidez has always placed more value on securing his legacy than maintaining his spotless track record.
He pushed for a collision with Caleb Plant rather than a stay-busy battle against worn-out Jose Uzcategui because of this. It required staying away from the ring for an additional two to three months than anticipated, but the unbeaten former two-time WBC super middleweight champion believes the risk was well worth it.
“I’ve said for a while that if I have to carve out my own history, that’s even better for me, fighting all these f-----’ guys nobody wants to face,” Benavidez told the media. “The thing about guys like us at the top is, we don’t care about the possibility of losing. The sparring I’ve done against world champions, the best always comes out of me. I need that in the ring, in a fight that counts.
“I’ve been the one talking the most sh!t at 168. I just turned 26. How is the youngest guy the one talking the most sh!t? But I’m always gonna be vocal about wanting to fight the best. If the other guys aren’t willing to speak up and demand better or proven themselves, that’s their f------’ problem.”
Benavidez's (26-0, 23KOs) perseverance allowed for the long-awaited rematch with Plant. (22-1, 13KOs). This Saturday's Showtime Pay-Per-View event, which will be broadcast from Las Vegas' MGM Grand Garden Arena, will feature a clash of past super middleweight champions.
In their twelve-round fight, Benavidez's interim WBC championship is on the line. The winner of this fight should theoretically become the mandatory challenger for Saul "Canelo" Alvarez (58-2-2, 39KOs), the undisputed super middleweight champion, who will next defend his title against interim WBO champion John Ryder (32-5, 18KOs) on May 6 on a DAZN pay-per-view from his hometown of Guadalajara, Mexico.
Benavidez has accepted the fact that Alvarez will hold him up for however long the Mexican champion deems necessary. In his quest to establish himself as the best in the division, the unbeaten 26-year-old receives at least one name from his preferred hit list, which is fine with him whether or not Alvarez ever steps into the ring with him.
“I stopped worrying about him a long time ago, to be honest,” insisted Benavidez. “The longer he takes to fight me, the more experience I can gain by beating everyone else. The only thing Canelo beats me at is experience. I’m bigger, I’m stronger and I feel I’m faster. The only f------- thing he has on me is experience.
“How do you get experience? You just go do it. You can’t buy experience, you just go get it. So if I have to fight Caleb Plant, David Morrell and all these guys, that’s fine. I’ve been calling out all these guys. I know I’m gonna beat them all. Whatever order I receive them doesn’t matter to me as long as I get them in the ring.”