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The Uncertain Future of David Benavidez: The Weight of Expectations

David Benavidez’s stock has fallen significantly since his debut at 175 against former WBC light heavyweight champion Oleksandr Gvozdyk on June 15.

Considered a nice guy and dubbed the ‘Mexican Monster,’ Benavidez (29-0, 24 KOs) looks set to die at 175, proving he’s not the boxer the public thought he was.

The 27-year-old Benavidez’s performance proved what I suspected: He’s only good at 168 because of his superior size over his opposition.

Water Reclamation Clause?

Benavidez is still young enough to lose weight to compete at 168 and use his size to beat smaller fighters. Benavidez will have problems if he has to face the 10-lb rehydration limit that the IBF imposes for title fights.

Benavidez holds the interim WBC 168-lb title, and that organization does not have a 10-lb rehydration limit.

Ideally, all sanction bodies should have a 10-lb rehydration limit safety reasons preventing weight giants from gaming the system to use their large size to gain an advantage against smaller opposition.

If all four sanctioning bodies use the 10-lb rehydration limit to protect fighters, it will put Benavidez in a difficult situation where he may be forced to move to 175 because he cannot make weight.

The only way to avoid that would be if one of the sanctioning bodies has a clause that allows certain fighters to continue rehydrating past the 10-lb rehydration limit.

It would be like what Major League Baseball did when they broke the rules spitball in 1920. Under the super clause, they continued to allow spitball pitchers to use that field until the end of their careers.

Without the same grandfather clause of a 10-lb rehydration limit, Benavidez will face moving to 175 and swimming with predatory sharks without his usual weight over his opposition.

Eddie Hearn’s doubts

Promoter Eddie Hearn chimed in with his thoughts, saying that Benavidez is not finished at 175 and will lose to champions Artur Beterbiev and Dmitry Bivol. Hearn says Benavidez is doing well at 168.

“I love Benavidez; I think he is a good fighter. How cute? [Oleksandr] Gvozdyk is decent. He has grown up. I don’t think Benavidez is a 175 fighter. I don’t think he hits [Artur] Beterbiev. I don’t think he beats Bivol,” said Eddie Hearn on Fight Hub TV, speaking about his opinion on David Benavidez after his light heavyweight debut on June 15.

“I think he’s very difficult to beat at 168. I think that’s where a lot of the good stuff comes from,” Hearn said of Benavidez.

The Future of the Mexican Beast

Benavidez’s performance in his debut at 175 against Gvozdyk cast doubt on his future at this weight class. If Benavidez continues to campaign at 175, he will likely have problems against Bivol, Beterbiev, and a few top opponents in the weight class.

Although Benavidez may be able to return to 168 to continue dominating the lesser opposition in that weight class, because the WBC does not have a 10-lb rehydration limit, he will not be able to do this for too long physically. Benavidez will be 30 soon, and he’s getting heavier.

If Canelo won’t fight Benavidez, there’s no reason for the ‘Mexican Monster’ to continue pulling up to the 168-lb weight class. Apart from the recently beaten Jaime Munguia, there is no one else popular in that category.

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