Benavidez: ‘Once opponents feel my pressure, they realize it’s a whole different type of power’

Unbeaten two-time world champion David Benavídez and super middleweight contender Kyrone Davis went face-to-face Thursday at the final press conference before they meet in the main event this Saturday, November 13 live on SHOWTIME in a Premier Boxing Champions event from Footprint Center in Phoenix.

Also featured at Thursday’s press conference was David’s older brother and longtime contender José Benavídez, along with Argentina’s Francisco Emanuel Torres, before they meet in the 10-round co-main event on the telecast beginning at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT.

The Benavídez brothers have their sights set on impressing their hometown fans in long-awaited homecoming bouts Saturday night, which will mark their first time entering the ring in Phoenix since 2015.

Here is what the Benavidez and Davis had to say Thursday from the Footprint Center:

DAVID BENAVÍDEZ

“I’ve had a tremendous training camp this time around. Hats off to Kyrone Davis for stepping up to the plate and taking this fight. I’m on a knockout streak and I’m keeping it going Saturday night. The fans want to see knockouts and that’s what I want to give them.

“I’m excited to have fans back in attendance, after my last couple of fights took place in the bubble. The energy is going to be crazy. I can’t wait to get in there.

“We went right back into training camp after Davis stepped in as the replacement. I’m just happy the date was still salvaged. I’ve trained with multiple sparring partners in the gym, so I’m used to adapting to different styles. We’ll adapt to what he brings on Saturday.“I’ve had a lot of support from the people here and it’s been amazing. Last time I was here, it was on my brother’s undercard. I’m ecstatic to be back fighting in front of a crowd. I can’t wait to feel the energy from the people.

“Once opponents feel my pressure, they realize it’s a whole different type of power. I want to see how he’s going to react to the power, combinations and speed. I’m going to keep doing what I do best and have fun.

“I’m not thinking about Canelo. I’m just thinking about Kyrone Davis. I’m excited to give my fans a good show. I worked extremely hard for this fight and trained like it was for a world title. I’m ready for whoever they want to give me to fight next.

“I’m always going to try to knock my opponent out. Not just Kyrone, but everyone who comes after him. I’m a warrior and I’m going to give the fans a war. It’s going to be a great night for me and my brother.

“My brother is still my role model. I still look up to him a lot. When we’re sparring, we try to take each other’s heads off and we might go days without talking, because it gets so serious. But he’s providing motivation for me every day. Especially the way that he came back from his injury.

“Kyrone Davis is a live dog. He knows what he’s up against. I’ve had a tremendous training camp and I’m going to make this a fun fight. We’re not scared of each other, and that makes it a great fight.

“It means the world to our whole family to be here in this position. I spent most of my childhood at Central Boxing Gym. The first mural out there was of my brother and I said that I wanted to be up there next. It’s really motivating knowing that Phoenix has our backs.”

KYRONE DAVIS

“Sometimes with stepping-stones, you trip. We’ve seen it happen plenty of times. My job is to make sure Saturday night isn’t his night. I’m looking to have a good time and put my all into it.

“I’ve been doing this my whole life. Stepping up on two weeks’ notice is nothing for me. A guy trying to cheat is disrespectful to the sport. It’s my duty to the sport to step in

“This is going to be a world class fight. I’m coming to fight and I’m coming to win.

“I showed that I can fight on this level against Anthony Dirrell. That performance put me in position to get this fight. I’m looking to put on a show. We’re going to have a good time.

“All good things must come to an end. His knockout streak is cool, but who you fight matters. I’m nicknamed ‘Shut It Down’, not lay down. He’s supposed to want to put on a great show, but I’m looking to do what I have to do to win.

“I’m always ready. When they call me and tell me it’s time to fight, I’m ready to go. I’ve had some experience taking fights on short notice. Every time we go through something, we take it and apply it to everything we do going forward.

“To see my name in the big lights, is a gratifying feeling. But it’s not just great to be here, I want to show what I can do at this level.

“I’m a smart fighter and my style changes depending on my opponent. We have a game plan and I’m going to follow it.

“I’ve never lost over 160 pounds. All of my losses were from shrinking down to 154 pounds. I’m feeling great at this weight and I’m ready for any way that this fight goes. I’m mentally and physically prepared.

“I can guarantee a great fight and that I’m going to win.”

Photos: Stephanie Trapp/SHOWTIME

Benavidez to face Kyrone Davis after Uzcátegui fails pre-fight drug test

Unbeaten two-time world champion David Benavídez will make his homecoming return to Phoenix, Ariz. against 168-pound contender Kyrone Davis in a 10-round match that headlines live on SHOWTIME Saturday, November 13 in a Premier Boxing Champions event from Footprint Center.

Benavídez was originally scheduled to face former world champion Jose Uzcátegui, who was forced to withdraw due to a failed pre-fight drug test.

The SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING® telecast begins at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT and will feature the much-awaited return of longtime contender José Benavídez, the older brother of David Benavídez, facing Argentina’s Francisco Emanuel Torres in the 10-round super welterweight co-main event

Still just 24-years-old, Benavídez (24-0, 21 KOs) enters this fight having knocked out his last four opponents, including a September 2019 knockout of two-time super middleweight champion Anthony Dirrell. Benavídez is trained by his father José Sr., alongside his brother and former title challenger, José Jr. In 2017, he became the youngest super middleweight champion in boxing history by defeating Ronald Gavril on SHOWTIME at just 20 years old. Representing his native Phoenix, and returning to fight there for the first time since 2015 on November 13, Benavídez went from a 15-year-old prodigy sparring with Gennady Golovkin and Peter Quillin, to world title contender with a 10-fight knockout streak from 2015 through 2017, including a highlight-reel knockout of Rogelio Medina with a seven-punch combination that earned him his first title opportunity.

A native of Monmouth, N.J., Davis (16-2-1, 6 KO) most recently won an exciting September clash against Martez McGregor, triumphing by decision after eight action-packed rounds. Davis had previously been impressive against the toughest test of his career, as he fought two-time super middleweight champion Anthony Dirrell to a split-draw in February. It was the 26-year-old’s debut at super middleweight, after beginning his career at middleweight. Davis had won five of his six previous outings heading into the Dirrell clash. He is trained by renowned coach Stephen Edwards in Philadelphia, Pa. alongside former unified world champion Julian Williams.

Dirrell: ‘He hit gloves a lot; I knew it was going to be a draw’

After 12 rounds, it appeared that two-time super-middleweight champion Anthony Dirrell(33-2-2, 24 KOs) did enough to defeat Kyrone Davis(15-2-1, 6 KOs), but when the scores were read, Dirrell’s fight with Davis ended in a split-draw in a WBC super-middleweight title elimination bout on Saturday night from the Shrine Auditorium and Expo Hall in Los Angeles(FOX).

Judge Patrick Russell scored it 115-113 for Dirrell. Judge Lou Moret had it 115-113 for Davis, and Judge Zachary Young had it 114-114 even.

“I thought I won the fight. I pushed the fight, hit him with cleaner punches,” Dirrell said. “He hit gloves a lot; I knew it was going to be a draw—as soon as they said it was going to be a split decision. I can’t control what the judges do, and I respect them all because they have different perspectives and angles on what is happening.

“I was pressing the fight; I wasn’t tired at all. My jab was working. But I can’t stop what the judges think. Davis fought well. He did what he was supposed to, came in with a good game plan. He was boxing; he normally doesn’t do that. But we pressed the action.”

The 36-year-old Dirrell was coming off a hard-fought loss to former champion David Benavidez, but at this point, he wants a belt and has no interest in a rematch with Davis.

“I’m looking for a title. I’m not looking for just another fight. I’m looking for a big fight. That’s the plan,” Dirrell said. “I’ll take whoever has a belt, whoever we can get. I’ll take a Canelo or a Caleb Plant.”

Like Dirrell, Davis, whose biggest win was against Marcos Hernandez, felt he won the fight.

“I thought I won the fight, 116-112. It was a great opportunity, he said. They doubted me. They told me he was going to knock me out. This was supposed to be a showcase for him, but it wasn’t,” Davis said. “My body felt well. I felt good. Anthony Dirrell is a two-time world champion. I really wanted to make a statement. A draw is not as bad as a loss, but I really don’t like breaking even.”

It was a close fight, and while it appeared Dirrell won, this was not a robbery. However, going forward, both guys will probably go in different directions. 

Photo:  Sean Michael Ham/TGB Promotions