On Saturday night, we may have seen the best fighter at 168 pounds. Former two-time world champion David Benavidez kept his perfect ring record intact with an 11th-round technical knockout victory against veteran Ronald Ellis in their WBC Super Middleweight Title Eliminator from Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn.(Showtime)
“I rate my performance pretty good, but I know I could have done better,” said Benavidez. “Ronald Ellis is a tough competitor. I just hope the fans like what they saw. I threw a lot of combinations, punches in bunches. There were a lot of times I thought Ellis was going to quit, but he didn’t. Hats off to him; he’s a tough guy. It was a little later than I wanted, but a stoppage is still a stoppage. I hope the fans got a good show tonight.”
Benavidez (24-0, 21 KOs) displayed great hand speed, accuracy, and power as he dominated Ellis (18-2-2, 12 KOs) over 11 rounds before referee Johnny Callas finally waved off the fight at 2:03 of the penultimate round. The 24-year-old star held a significant lead on all three scorecards (99-91, 98-92 x2) at the time of the stoppage.
Benavidez, who lost his WBC super-middleweight title after missing weight in his win against Alexis Angulo back in August, wants the big guys at 168, including unified 168-pound champion Canelo Alvarez, IBF super-middleweight champion Caleb Plant, and even WBC middleweight champion Jermall Charlo.
“I want all the big guys,” Benavidez said. “Speaking for the fans too, they would love to see me against all the big guys because, as you can see, I love throwing punches. I love stopping people, so me versus any big name would be an amazing fight. I want [Jermall] Charlo, Canelo Alvarez, Caleb Plant, all of them.”
Look, the reality is that Benavidez is an uncrowned champion at 168. Canelo’s ultimate goal is to be an undisputed champion at 168. He does not need Benavidez for that. Plant probably wants the opportunity to fight the biggest name in the sport in Canelo, so he might wait to see what happens with Alvarez-Saunders in May, which makes what happens next with Benavidez very interesting.