Benavidez Edges Gvozdyk In Grueling Light Heavyweight Debut, Eyes Return To 168 – Boxing Results

David “Benavídez (29-0, 24 KOs) discovered how difficult life would be for him in his light heavyweight debut, forced to go the full 12-round decision and win a unanimous decision in a fight a lot closer than the scores handed down by the judges against Oleksandr Gvozdyk (20-2, 16 KOs) to win the WBC interim title on Saturday night at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.

(Photo credit: Esther Lin/Premier Boxing Champions)

A Closer Fight Than the Scorecards Suggest

The fight looked basically even at the end, although the judges gave it to Benavidez by a wide margin. This tarnished the outcome somewhat, giving the impression that Gvozdyk never stood a chance of winning without a knockout.

The scores were 117-110, 119-109, and 116-112. Benavidez was ineffective from the sixth round on, which he blamed later on a left-hand injury.

Gvozdyk’s Resilience Tests Benavidez

He looked very tired and couldn’t fight hard due to the weight he’d put on for the contest and the toughness that Gvozdyk showed. Before tonight’s fight, Benavidez had been used to dominating his opponents and not worrying about what was coming back at him. Gvozdyk was there all night, taking the fight to Benavidez, forcing him to battle harder than he was accustomed.

After the fight, Benavidez said he would be moving back down to go after the titles at 168.

He didn’t say if he would return to the 175-lb division to fight the winner of the October 12th clash between light heavyweight champions Artur Beterbiev and Dmitry Bivol. Benavidez moved up to heavyweight for his fight with Gvozdyk to become the WBC mandatory and face the winner of Beterbiev vs. Bivol.

Fans Question Benavidez’s Nerve

If Benavidez is now having second thoughts after his grueling fight against Gvozdyk tonight. Fans on social media believe Benavidez has lost his nerve after seeing how hard it will be for him against the 37-year-old Gvozdyk, who isn’t at the same level as Beterbiev and Bivol.

Even if Benavidez’s left-hand injury is the reason for his ineffectiveness in the second half of the fight tonight, what he showed in the first six rounds wouldn’t be good enough for him to defeat Beterbiev or Bivol. Those guys would easily beat Benavidez if he fights like that against them.

“I don’t care about Canelo. I want to make my own lane. That’s why I came up to 175. I’ve been trying to make that fight with Canelo for a long, long time. As you see, I have the star power now. People love the way I fight, and they interact with me very well,” said Benavidez at the post-fight press conference.

“That would be a really big fight. I think everybody wins. The world of boxing wins, the fans win. It’s a fight we got to get going on.”

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