David Benavidez feels he’ll do the job against Oleksandr Gvozdyk in their fight at 175. Benavidez faces Gvozdyk for the WBC light heavyweight mandatory spot on June 15th at the MGM Grand Arena in Las Vegas.

If Benavidez, 27, does win, he’ll be mandatory for WBC champion Artur Beterbiev and can make a lot of fighting him or WBA champ Dmitry Bivol in Saudi Arabia.

The former two-time WBC super middleweight champion Benavidez is moving up to a new weight class, and he’ll not have as much of a size advantage over his opposition at light heavyweight as he did at 168.

Gvozdyk (20-1, 16 KOs) is a big puncher with technical skills, and he’s an advanced-level fighter for Benavidez to fight in his debut at 175.

Size and Experience

  • Benavidez won’t enjoy the size advantage that he had at 168.
  • Gvozdyk is more technical and powerful than past Benavidez opponents.
  • Can’t afford to wait: The Saudis are interested in Benavidez fighting the winner of the Bivol-Benavidez. That means he can’t afford to get experience at 175 before fighting the winner.

I can understand why Benavidez is taking this fight. He can’t take his time in the division because Bivol and Beterbiev are getting older. If Benavidez were to wait, he might be out of luck, especially with the Saudis offering big money.

“After this fight [Oleksandr Gvozdyk], the victory is going to put me as the #1 contender for the winner of that [Bivol vs. Beterbiev], and that’s what we’re going for,” said David Benavidez to the Sean Zittel YouTube channel about him fighting the winner of the June 1st undisputed light heavyweight championship between Artur Beterbiev and Dmitry Bivol.

“Right now. we’re 100% focused on Oleksandr. He’s a great fighter. We’re not overlooking him. We’re going to take care of him and it’s on to the next,” said Benavidez.

These guys [the Saudis] are trying to make big fights happen. That card [August 3rd] is flame. That whole card is fire.

“Now that they’re coming over here, we’re mixing fighters. You’ve got all the PBC fighters fighting on their card. The next couple of years coming up is probably going to be the best years in boxing that we’ve seen in the last decade. We’re now getting in the space of boxing where it should have been all along,” said Benavidez.

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