In the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino, Las Vegas, Nevada, USA on September 8th David Benavidez controversially won by split decision with judge’s ruling 116-111, 117-111 in his favor and 116-111 in Gavril’s favor to become the youngest ever world champion at super middleweight. The fight was so close it could really have gone either way. With many neutral spectators scoring the fight a draw and the judges seeming to differ in opinion, you can see why Gavril believed he had actually won, and wants a rematch.
This fight went totally against my expectations as David ‘Red Flag’ Benavidez did not look anywhere near as sharp and strong as he had previously, he looked exhausted very early on and hung on in the fight until the end, where in the 12th round he was put down, but managed to get back up and end the round. I really did believe this was going to be a knock out fight and all credit to Gavril who at times fought like a real champion at heart by winning rounds 6,7,8,9 and 12.
Gavril seemed to be the more accurate with his shots as Benavidez was finding it hard to dodge in the middle rounds. A combination of good footwork from Gavril and tiredness from Benavidez led to him missing a lot punches wasting more energy. Maybe he cut weight too quickly or hadn’t expected the fight to go past the middle rounds but he seriously looked tired. He rallied in rounds 10 and 11 but with his arms dropped, jaw wide opened with heavy breathing, a blind man and his dog could see Benavidez was on his last legs and Gavril saw his opportunity to put Benavidez down. Unfortunately for Gavril it wasn’t enough to put Benavidez down who claimed the victory rather unconvincingly. Gavril on the other hand seems to have come out of this fight having gained reputation as many fans feel he was the winner and on the end of a biased decision.
For Benavidez to hold on to his crown he would need to take a serious look at this fight again and pick out everything he done wrong and fix it quickly. All this fight has done was leave him stranded at sea surrounded by sharks, and they will come for him. He needs to step it up in class, which I firmly believe he can. He may have cut weight too steep too fast, or had problems re hydrating, but his energy levels seemed low. Some are calling him a paper champion who has only fought cannon fodder, while I do agree to some extent with the lack of quality of some of his opponents, I do believe he can be a real force in the division if he learns from his mistakes and doesn’t take his future opponents so lightly.
On the under card Caleb Plant, Andreas Cortez and Xavier Martinez extend their undefeated records with J’Leon Love drawing with Abraham Han. Jeison Rosario beat Salim Larbi, Peter Quillin beat Dashon Johnson and Josue Vargas beat Alexander Charneco.