On Saturday, May 21, Benavídez will face former world champion David Lemieux in a 12-round showdown for the vacant Interim WBC Super Middleweight Title headlining live on SHOWTIME from Gila River Arena in Glendale, Arizona in a Premier Boxing Champions event.
The SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING telecast begins at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT and will see hard-hitting Cuban prospect Yoelvis Gómez taking on Mexico’s Jorge Cota in the 10-round super welterweight co-main event.
Here is what the roundtable participants had to say Saturday:
On his aggressive style:
“Every fight I go into, I either want to get a knockout or a stoppage. I think I have five straight stoppages since I came back from my suspension. That’s the plan. I want to go in there and I don’t want to leave any doubt. The stoppage is always the main thing I go for.”
On facing David Lemieux:
“With the style that David Lemieux has, it’s basically tailormade for my style to go in there and stop him. But it’s not going to be easy. David Lemieux is really motivated too. He’s fighting for another title just like I am. He’s a big puncher. I’m going in there and I’m looking forward to it. It’s going to be a fun fight.
“As one of the best super middleweights in the world, you have to work around your opponents not trying to exchange with you. You have to learn how to deal with adversity. I don’t want to be like Edgar Berlanga who says I didn’t knock this guy out because he was running from me the whole fight. You’re going to get people that run from you the whole fight. It’s up to you to figure that out and try to knock them out.”
On moving up to light heavyweight:
“I feel like besides Caleb Plant or Jermall Charlo, Demetrius Andrade is the only other fight that makes sense. These other fighters I want are Caleb Plant, Jermall Charlo and even Edgar Berlanga. And if not, I think it might be time to go up to 175 pounds. I’ve been trying to make all these fights happen for a long time. I feel like right now, when I win the WBC interim title, I’ll have a little bit more leverage. But if I can’t make them happen, it’s because the fighters don’t want to make the fight with me happen.
On facing Canelo Alvarez:
“To be honest, right now I’m kind of forgetting about a Canelo fight because he’s over there doing his thing. He’s going to fight Bivol and then Golovkin. So, I feel like I have to take this route and fight everybody over here. At the end of the day, that’s going to give me the experience I need. Canelo is where he’s at because he has experience. He’s fought a lot of great fighters, so if I go the same route and fight all these great fighters and beat them, then I’ll have enough experience to go in there and have the confidence to beat Canelo.”
On facing Caleb Plant:
“I hope Caleb Plant is serious about fighting in the second half of the year. I’m serious. We’ve let this fight marinate as long as possible. Now it’s going to be an even better position because once I get the WBC interim title against David Lemieux, there will be no excuse not to fight me. He said he wants the rematch with Canelo. Well, this is the best step to do it.”
On fighting in his home state of Arizona:
“I think fighting in Arizona again is going to be even better than last time. This time, it’s for the WBC interim title. A title fight against another great ex-champion. People out there love me. I have a lot of fans and supporters in Arizona. I’m excited. A lot of people are going to be there and I’m definitely going to put on a show.”
On a Benavidez vs. Plant matchup:
“It makes sense. I think one thing that the pandemic reminded everybody is that it can be taken away at any minute. This could all disappear. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that coming out of the pandemic, we have had no issue making tough fights. If you look at our schedule, it’s all tough fights. Nobody is getting easy fights. I do think that this has had an effect on people. These are fights that need to be made. Life is short, so let’s do it.”