Once again, the undefeated David “El Bandera Roja” Benavídez did not disappoint his home audience as the Phoenix native became the third super middleweight champion in dramatic fashion, scoring a TKO in the second round. three ahead of world champion David Lemieux to win the WBC Interim World Title Vacant Saturday night at Gila River Arena in Glendale, Ariz., on SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING® during an event presented by the Premier League Boxing Champion.
Benavidez (26-0, 23 KOs) beat Lemieux (43-5, 36 KOs) on the opening bell, knocking him out for the fifth time in his career midway through the second half with a massive uppercut almost sent Lemieux over the ropes. Lemieux somehow survived the onslaught of Benavidez’s power punches and got back into action in the third round. But Benavidez was on track to deliver more and more penalties when Lemieux took the corner and signaled surrender to referee Harvey Dock, who dispelled the fight with 1:31 remaining in the third inning.
“Mike Tyson gave me the name ‘Mexican Monster’, what do you think I would do?” Benavidez to Jim Gray after the battle. “I just feel like the strongest 168 pounder. No one can mess with me.”
Benavidez stunned Lemieux in the closing seconds of the first half, slamming with a left hook that sent Lemieux into a rope while Benavidez pounced with a 10-punch combination of top, hook and straight jab. . Dock then said he was about to stop the game but the bell didn’t ring to end the round.
“The Lemieux is a special breed,” says Benavidez, who hit 49% of his total punches and 52% of his strength. “This guy swings until the very end. I had to stay on my p and q. He’s a tough champion, so I take my hat off to him. He was the only one who had the courage to face me.”
Lemieux never backed down and told Gray that he was impressed with Benavidez. “I’m good, Benavidez is a hell fighter,” Lemieux said. “I congratulate him. After the first inning I was fine, he got me some good shots. I tried to come back, but he is a very good fighter.”
Benavidez said he wanted the best the £168 department had to offer. “I’m waiting [Caleb Plant, Jermall Charlo, David Morrell] to sign a contract. They know what happened. I am here waiting for them. I will be against everyone. I make sure I’m knocking everyone down.
“I can get better anywhere. You can always learn. It only gets better from here. I will continue to work. Facing tough guys like Lemieux just motivates me to keep going to the next level. ”
In co-features, hard-to-beat Cuban prospect Yoelvis Gómez ended his knockout streak in fifth place, but still edged Mexico’s Jorge Cota in a 10-round super-heavyweight fight. . The score is 100-90 three times.
Now living in Las Vegas, the 24-year-old Gómez (6-0.5 KOs) for the first time in his young professional career. He has amazed Cota at times with his relentless punches and powerful punches.
“I wanted to steal the show, but I know that all Mexican boxers are fighters, and Cota was a fighter tonight and was able to take me the distance,” said Gómez, who fought his first fight. with famous coach Ismael Salas in his corner.
Gómez, the son of an Olympic gold medalist, threw nearly 100 more shots than Cota that night. “I discovered today that you have to be ready for all 10 rounds,” says Gómez, who has only fought seven rounds in five rounds professionally. “The knockout isn’t coming tonight, but I’m in condition and prepared to go the long haul.
“On Monday, I will start again with my coach to see what I can do better in the next game. Thank you to all the fans tonight, I love Arizona! ”
34-year-old Cota (30-6, 27 KOs) said he was injured by Gómez’s strong tackles. “What is the decision of the jury, now talking about it is pointless. Yoelvis is a strong fighter and he hit me so hard on my left rib, I think he hurt me there. I’ll take an X-ray to see what the damage is. He always maintains his consistency and punching power throughout the fight. I was at 50% after the rib injury, but credit him for fighting like he did. ”
Dominica’s rising prospect Luis “The Twist” Núñez jumped his way to a unanimous decision against undefeated teammate Jonathan Fierro in an exciting 10-round featherweight match that ended in the open. SHOWTIME screen. The score was 96-94 in favor of Núñez on all three judges’ scorecards.
22-year-old Núñez (17-0, 12 KOs) hit 44% of his punching power along with 47 body punches like the 18-year-old Fierro game (13-1, 12 KOs) from Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico, for the first time. first tasted failure in his young career.
“I kept my distance, hit him when I had to, and built my equity round by round,” Núñez said. “Now, I’m ready for whoever they want to put in front of me next. Bring them in! ”
Núñez, who was promoted by Sampson Lewkowicz, won his third consecutive undefeated boxer. He has won two previous matches in the popular series SHOBOX: New Generation®.
It was a fight that was marred by several head-to-head clashes that cut both boxers but didn’t deal massive damage and ultimately didn’t affect the outcome.
“I feel like I beat him,” said Fierro, who got close to his body early on and used his lefthand effectively throughout the match. “The introducer was clearly on his side – repeatedly interrupting the fight. If not, I would have beaten him. ”