When ranking the most TV-friendly boxers in the game today, no list would be complete without unbeaten David Benavidez. It just so happens the 23-year-old is also one of the best fighters in the world at 168 and in possession of the WBC title he first won while still a teenager.
Or maybe we should say, was in possession. Two years after having been stripped of his title following a positive drug test for cocaine, only to win it back last fall, Benavidez (22-0, 19 KOs) missed weight on Friday and lost his title on the scales ahead of Saturday’s Premier Boxing Champions tripleheader (Showtime, 9 p.m. ET).
Benavidez was nearly three pounds over the 168-pound limit, meaning only his opponent, hard-hitting Roamer Alexis Angulo (26-1, 22 KOs) will be eligible to win the title at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut. Benavidez also declined the additional hour provided by the commission to try and shed the weight to keep his title.
“I put the blame on myself, the last three pounds wouldn’t come off,” Benavidez said after stepping off the scales on the Showtime weigh-in live stream. “Maybe it was not having the proper things I needed [during the quarantine]. It was just a couple of different things and I’m obviously disappointed but I still have a job to do tomorrow.
“I’m definitely 100 times angrier coming into this fight. I don’t have my belt no more and the best I can come out of this fight is winning.”
Benavidez will still get to showcase his pressure stye and doesn’t plan on changing his approach anytime soon.
“I really don’t feel any pressure. I’m going to continue doing what I have been doing since I was 18,” Benavidez told CBS Sports’ “State of Combat” podcast earlier this week. “I feel like that’s why I have got to where I am at. I won the belt when I was 20 years’ old. I just go out there and do what I do. I’m an exciting fighter and the fans love me. My style brings out exciting fights. I don’t shy away from a fight. I’d rather bring the fight and make it a war.”
Benavidez rebounded in resounding fashion when a personal setback cost him the title the first time around by stopping division stalwart Anthony Dirrell to regain his crown.
A native of Phoenix, Benavidez was quick to point out that Angulo has a style that is nothing like the counterpunching and technical boxing style of Dirrell, which only raises the expectations for violence when they touch gloves this weekend.
Anuglo, a 36-year-old Colombian with a big right hand, is peaking at the right time in his career despite his age. Although his lone defeat came two years ago in a title loss by decision to Gilberto Ramirez, he has won two straight including an upset of unbeaten Anthony Sims Jr. in January.
“This fighter Angulo is more of a pressure type of fighter,” Benavidez said. “He likes to go forward and throw a lot of big shots. It will be a different kind of game that I’m playing this Saturday. I feel like my fights are exciting when the person I’m fighting comes forward and forward. I’ve seen that type of style a lot in my career and I’m used to it. I’m looking to have a great fight.”
No stranger to the highlight reel, Benavidez made plenty of them in a 2017 knockout of Rogelio “Porky” Medina that saw him finish the fight with a flurry of clean punches that nearly reached double digits as Medina fell under the bottom rope and was counted out.
“That was probably one of my favorite knockouts I ever had,” Benavidez said. “I watch it quite a lot and I feel like [Angulo] is kind of a replica of ‘Porky’ Medina. He’s the same type of fighter who comes forward and throws big shots. It could possibly be the same night. I’m looking to have a spectacular performance.”
Tall for the division at nearly 6-foot-2, Benavidez has given up his height often to fight on the inside. He claims he hasn’t done so to a reckless degree, however.
“If you look at my fights very closely, by the time the fights are done I don’t come out with black eyes, I don’t come out with cuts,” Benavidez said. “It’s fighting in the pocket but it’s being very careful with your defense, too. Just because I’m fighting on the inside a lot doesn’t mean I’m taking the shots and just coming forward. Just because it’s hitting on the gloves doesn’t mean it’s hitting on your face and I feel like that creates room for counter shots and more room for opportunity like body shots. If I’m in close to the pocket, it’s definitely going to be a short night for whomever I’m in there against.
Benavidez believes he “put the whole division on notice” with his stoppage of Dirrell via cuts and hasn’t hidden his disdain for or intention of seeking a unification bout against IBF champion Caleb Plant. Those plans will be delayed due to Benavidez missing weight.
“That’s the fight that we want to make happen as soon as possible,” Benavidez said. “I don’t like him, he doesn’t like me and I want his belt. That’s the fight I feel like has been cooking up and that’s the kind of fight that fans are excited about. That definitely has to happen as soon as possible. That’s the fight I want and the person I want to knock out. When we get in the ring, it’s going to get ugly. Trust me. I’m going to end up leaving with his belt.
“He thinks he’s better than me. It’s just the way that he is. It’s his persona. Sometimes there are just these two dudes that don’t like each other. I don’t like the way he is and acts. I don’t like how he thinks he’s better than everybody. He thinks he’s going to rule the division and I’m not going to let that happen. This is my division.”
Fight card, odds
David Benavidez -1200
Roamer Alexis Angulo +750
Rolando Romero -550
Jackson Marinez +400
WBA interim lightweight title
While Angulo is certainly the clear underdog due to his lack of speed and overwhelming craft, he has proven an ability to demand respect with the threat of his right hand and lower his opponent’s output because of it. Whether that will give Benavidez any pause likely will be decided when Angulo is forced to fight at close range where his opponent excels with short combinations.
The propensity for fireworks is big in this one and Benavidez’s pressure style does welcome the threat of getting caught, like he did when he was dropped in the final round of his first meeting with Ronald Gavril that ended via split decision. The difference, however, is the advantages in speed and technique that Benavidez will hold in the pocket, which allows him to stand closer to fire without getting burned.
As long as Benavidez maintains his poise and avoids an emotional reaction to missing weight, this is still a fight he should win.
Mike Tyson vs. Roy Jones Jr.: Fight card, date, PPV price, rules, location for the 2020 exhibition match
Two monumental names synonymous with the sport of boxing will go for another ride in the ring this weekend when former champions Mike Tyson and Roy Jones Jr. meet in an 8-round exhibition match from the Staples Center in Los Angeles. After months of buildup as well as a delay from the original date by two months, Tyson and Jones Jr. will finally meet in the ring in what the California Athletic Commission has deemed “sparring” in hopes that neither fighter goes for the knockout.
But don’t tell Tyson or Jones that because the two have said multiple times in the buildup that this is going to be a legitimate fight.
Tyson, of course, was one of the most feared heavyweights in history, dominating the division over the late 1980s, becoming the youngest heavyweight champion in history with brutal punching power that carried him to a 37-0 record before he fell victim to one of the greatest sports upsets in history when he was knocked out by James “Buster” Douglas in Tokyo in July 1990. Tyson remained a star despite years spent in prison after being convicted of rape. Tyson would go on to infamous lows such as twice biting Evander Holyfield in their June 1997 rematch and quitting against Kevin McBride during his final pro bout. He has, in recent years, rehabilitated his image as a kinder, gentler version of himself, appearing in films, hosting a podcast and becoming an outspoken advocate for marijuana.
Jones was named the best boxer of the 1990s by Ring Magazine. At his best, Jones displayed a dazzling combination of speed, power and defense, while being able to showboat in fantastic and improbable ways. Jones won wold championships at middleweight, super middleweight, light heavyweight, and eventually heavyweight in a historic accomplishment. After a near-flawless first 50 fights of his career — his lone loss a controversial disqualification against Montell Griffin that was avenged in less than one round in the rematch — Jones career slowly began to unravel as his style was too dependent on reflexes that diminished over time.
Below is all the information we know about the bout, including the fight card, odds and rules. Be sure to check in on this page often as it will be updated frequently.
As of Oct. 23
Mike Tyson vs. Roy Jones Jr. — WBC Frontline Championship (8 rounds)
Jake Paul vs. Nate Robinson — cruiserweights (6 rounds)
Badou Jack vs. Blake McKernan — light heavyweights (8 rounds)
Viddal Riley vs. Rashad Coulter — cruiserweights (6 rounds)
Jamaine Ortiz vs. Nahir Albright — lightweights
Irvin Gonzalez Jr. vs. Edward Vasquez — featherweights
Juiseppe Cusumano vs. Nick Jones — heavyweights
Odds via SportsLine oddsmakers
Mike Tyson -220 vs. Roy Jones Jr. +170, Draw: +1200
ICC considering deferring 2021 U-19 Women’s World Cup to later in the year
The ICC is gauging the possibility of deferring the inaugural Under-19 Women’s World Cup in Bangladesh from its originally earmarked window of January 2021 to later in the year.
Though the governing body or the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) has not yet made any official announcements about the postponement of the tournament, ESPNcricinfo understands the ICC has been liaising with the BCB and closely monitoring the Covid-19 pandemic situation in Bangladesh to assess if revised dates could be accommodated in 2021 itself.
The ICC board, which confirmed last week the postponement of the 2022 Women’s T20 World Cup to February 2023 among other developments, is understood to have not arrived at a decision on the fate of the U-19 Women’s World Cup yet. Further clarity on the matter could emerge only early next year.
With the 2021 Women’s ODI World Cup in New Zealand having already been deferred by a year, no major women’s global event, save for potentially the qualifiers of the 50-over World Cup, is scheduled for next year. Should the U-19 Women’s World Cup be held in 2021, it will be one of the only two global events that year, with India scheduled to host the Men’s T20 World Cup in October-November.
While all cricket in India continues to remains suspended, the BCB resumed domestic cricket last month, with the President’s Cup, in which the board managed to keep the three participating teams in a bio-bubble, allowing them only to commute between the hotel and the Shere Bangla National Stadium. A second domestic tournament, the five-team Bangabandhu T20 Cup, got underway on Tuesday within a BCB-supported bio-bubble. As for the resumption of international cricket, West Indies has given Bangladesh hope that they will be touring the country in January 2021.
The decision to introduce a Women’s U-19 World Cup was made during the four-day ICC board meetings in October last year, under the chairmanship of Shashank Manohar. A release issued by the governing body had stated, “The board approved the establishment of an U-19 Women’s T20 World Cup with the first edition to be played in Bangladesh in 2021 and every two years after that.”
New England Revolution bounce top-seeded Philadelphia Union from MLS Playoffs, 2-0
Adam Burksa and Tajon Buchanan struck within four minutes of each other in the first half to give the New England Revolution a lead they would not relinquish against No. 1-seeded Philadelphia Union. Philly had won nine straight matches, but was given an early exit in a stunning first-round upset.