Boxing's youngest world champion was mourning loss of relative, battling sickness during championship victory back in September.

Jose Benavidez Sr. was emotionally torn.

His younger son, David, was a few weeks away from the most important opportunity of his blossoming boxing career. The powerful prospect also was in mourning, distracted by the devastating death of a family member.

Benavidez’s uncle, Moises Balladares, was shot to death by police during a standoff in Avondale, Arizona on July 26. Balladares brandished a gun after threatening suicide, which caused police to use force, according to what an Avondale Police Department spokesman told the Arizona Republic.

Balladares – the only brother of David Benavidez’s mother, Michelle Cruz – was a veteran who served multiple tours of duty in Afghanistan and suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder. He was just 33.

Understandably, Benavidez was having difficulty focusing on preparing for his fight against Ronald Gavril for the then-vacant World Boxing Council super middleweight title on September 8.

“I was very close with him,” said David Benavidez, who’ll battle Gavril in a rematch Saturday night in Las Vegas on a Showtime-televised card (10 p.m. ET/ 7 p.m. PT) that features a main event between former world champions Danny Garcia and Brandon Rios.

“He kind of helped raise me and my brother [Jose Jr.] when we were younger. He was like a second father figure. That’s what made losing him so tough.”

Jose Benavidez Sr., who trains his son, tried his best to keep David sheltered from the emotional aftermath of the tragedy while he was training in Big Bear Lake, California.

But phone calls from grieving family members made that almost impossible. To make matters worse, David Benavidez came down with a cold a little more than a week before he was to fight Gavril.

Jose Benavidez Sr. seriously considered postponing his son’s shot at a world title.

“I was really close to canceling that fight,” Jose Benavidez said. “Too many things had happened. That’s why I wanted to postpone it. But we said, ‘We’re warriors and we’ll just leave it up to God. And hopefully everything goes well.’ At that level, with it being a title fight, the decision was so hard to make. But we went with it.

“Him and his brother, they’ve been warriors since they were little. My other son [Jose Jr.] fought four fights with a broken hand. That was my mentality, that they’re warriors. I just felt something that told me we would win, and he did enough to win the fight.”

David Benavidez beat Gavril by split decision. He overcame a flash knockdown late in the 12th round to win on two of the three scorecards (117-111, 116-111, 111-116).

That victory made the 20-year-old Benavidez boxing’s youngest active world champion. Moises Balladares, one of his nephew’s biggest fans, would’ve been beyond proud.

“It was a difficult time for me when my uncle passed away,” David Benavidez said. “But he would’ve wanted me to keep working hard toward the fight and to just keep pushing forward. It was hard because I was really, really close to my uncle. But this was the biggest opportunity I ever had in my life. It was for a world title, so I really had to try to stay focused and I did the best I could.”

David Benavidez and Jose Benavidez Sr. didn’t discuss Balladares’ death before or soon after he fought Gavril. David Benavidez instead wore a patch honoring his uncle’s memory on the back of his trunks.

Their team has been talking a lot, saying they’re gonna knock me out,” Benavidez said. “I have a fire burning inside of me. I’m dealing with this anger and I’m gonna end this fight in a knockout. Super Middleweight World Champion David Benavidez

That patch will be visible again Saturday night, when the knockout artist from Phoenix hopes to produce a more convincing victory over Romania’s Gavril (18-2, 14 KOs).

David Benavidez (19-0, 17 KOs) hasn’t benefited from a more normal training camp for this 12-round rematch. The precocious champion challenged himself more in this camp as well by adding demanding strength and conditioning coach Alex Ariza to his team.

Ariza has helped improve his stamina, which was an issue in later rounds against Gavril, the first opponent to take Benavidez 12 rounds. Benavidez also has learned from spirited sparring sessions with unbeaten WBA light heavyweight champion Dmitry Bivol, undefeated light heavyweight contender Oleksandr Gvozdyk and Rogelio “Porky” Medina, who Benavidez stopped in the eighth round May 20.

“I feel like I could’ve taken him out, but I didn’t wanna gas out in my first 12-round fight,” Benavidez said. “That’s why I brought Alex into this training camp, so I could fight 15, 20 rounds with the same ferocity I fought with in the first couple rounds. I’m not planning to let it go to the scorecards this time.”

Seemingly in control of a competitive fight, carelessness cost Benavidez when Gavril landed a sneaky counter left that dropped him with 55 seconds remaining in the final round. Benavidez acknowledges Gavril gave him trouble at times, but nothing that prohibited him from agreeing to a rematch in his locker room immediately after their first fight.

“I felt like I was closing the fight out in the 10th, 11th and 12th rounds,” Benavidez said. “I just made a little error that I shouldn’t have made. I got dropped in the last round, but I wasn’t hurt at all. I jumped right back up, and with a smile on my face. It helped me grow mentally as a fighter. If I’m closing out the show like that, I have to do things in a little different way and be a little bit smarter.”

Benavidez believes that knockdown has made the 31-year-old Gavril, who’s promoted by Floyd Mayweather Jr., and his handlers overconfident as their rematch nears. The determined champion promised that they’ll pay for that miscalculation on Saturday night.

“Their team has been talking a lot, saying they’re gonna knock me out,” Benavidez said. “I have a fire burning inside of me. I’m dealing with this anger and I’m gonna end this fight in a knockout.”

This week on PBC Jabs, Danny "Swift" Garcia checks in ahead of his February 17th matchup against Brandon Rios.

Plus, we've got all the details for our back-to-back fight cards this Saturday on Fox and Showtime!

Former super middleweight contender talks about his Feb. 17 fight, recovering from knee surgery and what it was like to portray Roberto Duran in a movie.

Rodriguez vs Seals Full Fight: November 13, 2015.

Edwin Rodriguez has a lot on his plate. He rebounded from his first-ever stoppage loss with a knockout victory of his own last July; then in between those two fights he had surgery to repair an ACL tear in his right knee and somehow also found the time to portray Roberto Duran in the 2016 movie Bleed for This.

Now, he is about to step in the ring against Lionell Thompson.

Rodriguez of Worcester, Massachusetts will face Thompson in a 175-pound clash of 32-year-olds on the undercard of the Danny Garcia-Brandon Rios main event airing on Showtime (10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT) from Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, Nevada on Feb. 17.

What do you know about Thompson and how important is this opportunity?

I’m excited about my first time fighting in Las Vegas, which is a great venue for boxing and a good opportunity. I’ve known Lionell since the amateurs, and he’s got good boxing skills.

I’m training hard with Ronnie Shields and looking forward to taking advantage and to continue my career with this fight on the big stage and move on up. This fight will do that for me.

How critical was your knockout of Melvin Russell following your stoppage loss to Thomas Williams and the knee injury?

It was pretty important. After the loss to Williams, I suffered the knee injury and it was important to come back right away and to insert myself into contender status.

Getting a knockout in my last fight was not as important as being able to get into the ring, move around and be mobile getting the job done, looking good and feeling good doing it.

Was your knee a factor before or during either of your fights with Williams or Russell?

My right knee injury was something I had been struggling with before the Williams fight. But after the fight, my ACL was completely gone and I had a meniscus tear.

I had had issues before the Williams fight, but after that, it got worse. So I had surgery in June of 2016 to replace the ACL and to repair the meniscus.

Was the injury a factor in your 15-month ring absence between the Williams and Russell fights?

The biggest battle I’ve endured over the past 15 months is working hard in general to maintain my conditioning and getting myself healthy.

I was working hard on the rehabbing of my knee, trying to stay in shape so much so that my knee is much stronger than it was before.

Basically, I’m to the point where I’m ready to get back in there, and I’m looking forward to showcasing my talents again on February 17.

That was like a dream come true. It was not only the opportunity to just to be in a movie, but to portray someone that I have looked up to in Roberto Duran since I started boxing. Edwin Rodriguez on his portrayal of Roberto Duran in Bleed For This

What did it mean to you to portray Roberto Duran in “Bleed For This?”

That was like a dream come true. Roberto Duran and Sugar Ray Robinson are my two of my favorite fighters of all time.

It was not only the opportunity to just to be in a movie, but to portray someone that I have looked up to in Roberto Duran since I started boxing.

I’ve studied Roberto Duran because I have all of his fights, and I especially like the way that he delivers shots to the body.

I have sat and watched Roberto Duran for hours, so being able to portray him in the movie was an amazing feeling.

Was it at all intimidating portraying a legendary figure?

I wasn’t intimidated at all, man. Like I said, it was just fun trying to be somebody that you look up to. I was Roberto Duran for three months, and I refused to get out of character.

I got the chance to be Duran in the way of his attitude, his will to win, and just overall how good he was in every aspect of his style. 

I sometimes pattern myself after him because he had a combination of power and skills that changed as he rose into different weight classes as he went up.

Have you ever met or spoken Duran?

I’ve met Duran a few times, just to say hello and stuff like that. I haven’t seen him since my portrayal, but hopefully soon, and maybe in Las Vegas. I hope he thinks I did a good job. 

How was Miles Teller’s performance as Vinnie Pazienza, how much input did you have on technical aspects of boxing and was Teller helpful to you as an actor?

Miles Teller is a professional, and I thought he did a great job. He had a choreographer who helped him and who worked on the Muhammad Ali movie starring Will Smith.

But I also helped Miles to feel comfortable because working with someone else who was a little more amateurish at one point, Miles got bruised up a little bit. At first, Miles was a little intimidated by me.

But after a while, I was able to help him out with the boxing and he helped me out with my acting as far as the camera angles, where to be for the positioning and to make the most of the best shots.

We worked on a bunch of different scenes together and he was able to see my professionalism, knowing I wasn’t going to really hit him and stuff. It was fun.

What top three fights are you most proud of in your career and why?

I would say my first-round knockout of Denis Grachev in Monte Carlo. He had never been stopped before I did it. 

The fight against Will Rosinsky was another good one. We were both undefeated and it went back and forth for the full 10 rounds, all competitive rounds. 

I think the fight with Donovan George was another good one because I was able to box well and he wasn’t able to get comfortable or land any significant shots. I think that was one of my best performances. 

Given that you turn 33 in May, how long will you remain in boxing?

It’s not something that you want to have on your mind on a daily basis, but that’s something I’ll know when the time comes. 

There are some fighters who don’t know when to call it quits, but I’ve surrounded myself with good people who will help me with that decision when it’s time. 

It’s not something that’s here, right now, but when I get to that point, and we think it’s time to retire, I’m sure that I’ll listen to them.

For a closer look at Edwin Rodriguez, check out his fighter page.


Mikey Garcia won his fourth world championship by defeating previously unbeaten 140-pound IBF titleholder Sergey Lipinets by unanimous decision in San Antonio.
Garcia vs Lipinets Round by Round Fight Summary. Rounds are displayed numerically as columns. Each row will display one of the following: W for win, L for loss, KO for knockout, or TKO for technical knock out. An empty column means that data is not available.
Fighter Name 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
Garcia No data available No data available No data available No data available
Lipinets No data available No data available No data available No data available

Mikey Garcia joins Manny Pacquiao and Juan Manuel Marquez as the only fighters in history to win titles at 126, 130, 135 and 140 pounds.

Garcia vs Lipinets

(Amanda Westcott/SHOWTIME)

SAN ANTONIO — Mikey Garcia captured a world title in his fourth weight division, outpointing previously undefeated Sergey Lipinets to win the IBF Junior Welterweight World Championship Saturday on SHOWTIME from Freeman Coliseum in San Antonio.

With the victory, Garcia (38-0, 30 KOs) joined Manny Pacquiao and Juan Manuel Marquez as the only fighters in history to win titles at 126, 130, 135 and 140 pounds.

“It’s a great feeling. Winning this fourth title in a fourth division is an honor,” Garcia said.  “To get to be mentioned with Manny Pacquiao and Juan Manuel Marquez is a huge honor for me. It just leaves a little chapter in boxing with my name, my brother, my dad. I think people will remember the Garcia family for ages to come.”

Garcia, who was fighting for just the second time at 140 pounds, relied on a steady diet of combos to back up Lipinets, who was making the first defense of the IBF title he won last November on SHOWTIME. Garcia floored Lipinets for the first time in his career, connecting on a counter left hook midway through the seventh in a rousing moment that sent the pro-Garcia crowd at Freeman Colisuem to their feet.

Garcia, who won by scores of 116-111 and 117-110 twice, connected on 46 percent of his power shots compared to 36 percent for the defending champion.

 Despite being the defending champion, Lipinets (13-1, 10 KOs) was fighting in just his 14th professional fight. The Russian, who was born in Kazakhstan, delivered a valiant effort against one of the best pound-for-pound fighters in the world.

“It was probably experience that took over at some point,” Lipinets said. “Mikey is a great fighter, he can obviously crack. It was just experience that I was lacking. 

“I want to go back in the gym and work on the problems I showed in the ring. There are a couple of holes I need to close. I’ll be back. It’s a learning experience.”

Bringing you the best of boxing

Fight Night: Sat, Mar 03, 2018 - Barclays Center, Brooklyn, New York

Dirrell vs Uzcategui

Jose Uzcategui scores TKO victory to win interim IBF super middleweight title after Andre Dirrell's corner calls the fight off after eight rounds
Dirrell vs Uzcategui Round by Round Fight Summary. Rounds are displayed numerically as columns. Each row will display one of the following: W for win, L for loss, KO for knockout, or TKO for technical knock out. An empty column means that data is not available.
Fighter Name 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
Dirrell No data available No data available No data available No data available
Uzcategui No data available No data available No data available No data available

Jose Uzcategui defeats Andre Dirrell to capture interim IBF 168-pound title

Jose Uzcategui

Jose Uzcategui celebrates winning the IBF interim super middleweight title on March 3, 2018 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. (Amanda Westcott/SHOWTIME)

In the co-featured event Jose Uzcategui (27-2, 23 KOs) defeated Andre Dirrell  (26-3, 16 KOs) via TKO two seconds into round nine, upon the request of Dirrell's trainer, Virgil Hunter. The win, which makes Uzcategui the interim IBF Super Middleweight World Champion, puts the hard-hitting Venezuelan in position to fight for the super middleweight title that Caleb Truax earned via a majority decision over James DeGale in December.

Saturday night's fight was a rematch of the hotly contested May 2017 bout, in which Uzcategui was disqualified for landing a punch after the bell sounded to end the eighth round. In the rematch, Uzcategui dominated the action from start to finish, using his powerful right hand to set the stage for the withering assault which led to Dirrell's corner stopping the fight two seconds into round nine. Uzcategui out landed Dirrell 169-141 in total punches, including a huge 112-51 discrepancy in power punches landed.

"I was a little surprised they stopped it in the ninth," said Uzcategui. "I had said it would be the third round that I would knock him out.  It took a little longer, but it finally came.

"I think it was very clear in the first fight that I did my job. In the second fight I showed even more, so there's going to be a lot of Uzcategui from now on."

Dirrell, a native of Flint, Michigan, found Uzcategui's length and aggression difficult to deal with.

"I've been in there with long fighters before, but he was especially long," said Dirrell. "I think I was a little heavier than I wanted to be tonight, but that's no excuse. Uzcategui did a great job.

"We knew we needed a knockout. The way it was going I needed to at least pick it up. I felt a little sluggish and he hit all the right shots. None of them really hurt, but he hit me where he was supposed to."

Bringing you the best of boxing

This week on PBC Jabs Devon Alexander checks in to discuss his February 17th fight against Victor Ortiz on FOX, as well as a battle he recently fought outside the ring.

Plus, we've got all the details you need to know about our February 17th FOX and Showtime cards.

This week on PBC Jabs, former welterweight champion "Vicious" Victor Ortiz checks in to discuss his February 17th matchup with Devon Alexander.

Plus, Showtime recently announced their incredible fight lineup for the first half of 2018—including 10 events, 12 world champions and 12 world title fights—and we've got all the details.

This week on PBC Jabs we check in with Polish heavyweight prospect Adam Kownacki following his impressive sixth round KO victory over Iago Kiladze on January 20th.

Plus, we recap the rest of the exciting fight action from that Showtime card—including IBF welterweight titleholder Errol Spence Jr.'s dominating victory over former world champion Lamont Peterson—and we reveal the recently announced co-main event on the March 3rd fight card headlined by the long-awaited heavyweight showdown between WBC world champion Deontay Wilder and Luis Ortiz.

See More: Sat, Jun 09, 2018

Santa Cruz vs Mares II

SAT, JUN 09, 2018

Leo Santa Cruz photo
Abner Mares photo

Featherweight World Champions Leo Santa Cruz and Abner Mares meet this summer in a rematch of their exciting 2015 title fight with Los Angeles bragging rights on the line.

    • Record
    • Leo Santa Cruz 34-1-1
    • Abner Mares 31-2-1
    • KOs (KO %)
    • Leo Santa Cruz 19 (53%)
    • Abner Mares 15 (44%)
    • Weight
    • Leo Santa Cruz 126 lbs (57.27 kg)
    • Abner Mares 126 lbs (57.27 kg)
    • Height
    • Leo Santa Cruz 5'" (1.71 m)
    • Abner Mares 5'" (1.64 m)
    • Reach
    • Leo Santa Cruz 69" (175 cm)
    • Abner Mares 66" (168 cm)
    • Stance
    • Leo Santa Cruz Orthodox
    • Abner Mares Orthodox
    • Age
    • Leo Santa Cruz 29
    • Abner Mares 32
Bringing you the best of boxing

Watch the Fight


Sat, Jun 9, 2018


Spotlight on Leo Santa Cruz
Spotlight on Abner Mares

See More: Sat, May 19, 2018

Stevenson vs Jack

SAT, MAY 19, 2018

Adonis Stevenson photo
Badou Jack photo

It's Canada vs Sweden when WBC 175-pound World Champion Adonis Stevenson battles two-division titleholder Badou Jack in Canada.

    • Record
    • Adonis Stevenson 29-1-0
    • Badou Jack 22-1-2
    • KOs (KO %)
    • Adonis Stevenson 24 (80%)
    • Badou Jack 13 (52%)
    • Weight
    • Adonis Stevenson 175 lbs (79.55 kg)
    • Badou Jack 168 lbs (76.36 kg)
    • Height
    • Adonis Stevenson 5'11" (1.8 m)
    • Badou Jack 6'1" (1.85 m)
    • Reach
    • Adonis Stevenson 77" (196 cm)
    • Badou Jack 73" (185 cm)
    • Stance
    • Adonis Stevenson Southpaw
    • Badou Jack Orthodox
    • Age
    • Adonis Stevenson 40
    • Badou Jack 34
Bringing you the best of boxing

Watch the Fight


Sat, May 19, 2018


Spotlight on Adonis Stevenson
Spotlight on Badou Jack


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