It's a battle of KO artists as undefeated rising star David Benavidez squares off versus Alexis Angulo in a headlining 168-pound world title showdown Saturday night on SHOWTIME.
This Saturday, August 15, live from a crowdless Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut, SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING and Premier Boxing Champions return with a three-fight card (9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT) headlined by a world title firefight in the red-hot super middleweight division.
In the co-feature, 24-year-old rising lightweight star Rolando “Rolly” Romero takes on fellow undefeated contender Jackson Maríñez in a 12-round contest for the interim WBA lightweight title. Also, Otto Wallin and Travis Kauffman meet in a clash of tenacious heavyweight battlers.
David "El Bandera Roja" Benavidez will be coming into this contest after nearly a year off due to the Covid-19 shutdown of boxing.
A boxing child prodigy of sorts, Benavidez was born into a boxing family and started training at the age of three. Too young to make his pro debut in the United States, a 16-year-old Benavidez began his career in Mexico and had his first seven bouts there. In 2017, he became the youngest boxer to win a world title at super middleweight.
Forced to relinquish his WBC belt and sit out a suspension for a failed drug test, he came back strong and eventually recaptured the title by stopping the tough two-time world champ, Anthony Dirrell, in nine rounds.
Considered one of the brightest young stars in the game, the Phoenix, Arizona native hopes to pick up where he left off before the pandemic put everything on hold.
Alexis Angulo is getting his second chance at a world title and gambling on his one-punch power to establish himself as a main stage presence. Having competed in nine countries over the course of a 10-year pro career, the 36-year-old has earned a reputation as a battle-hardened road warrior. A spirited, but ultimately unsuccessful effort to win a super middleweight title from Gilberto Ramirez in 2018 has been followed by a three-fight winning streak, with two of those victories coming against undefeated foes. In his last bout, he decisioned the highly-regarded Anthony Sims Jr.
At stake is Benavidez's WBC super middleweight title. Saturday's winner also moves forward in pursuit of major super middleweight showdowns with the likes of Saul Alvarez, IBF champ Caleb Plant, WBA titlist Callum Smith, and WBO belt holder Billy Joe Saunders.
Benavidez is a natural in the fight game. Mature and poised well beyond his years, the 6-foot-2 offensive technician hurls punches in bunches—most of them perfectly thrown and impeccably placed. He masterfully varies punch selection, placement, and velocity to make for an offense that is equal parts hard to defend and difficult to resist.
Tall and long, he works best from an arm's length, setting up his heavy-handed, high-end offensive repertoire with a thudding jab.
Defensively, Benavidez's work is underrated. He rolls with punches, moves his head, and picks off shots with his gloves and arms.
“ I feel like I can take advantage of some openings in his defense and look for the knockout like I do every fight. ” Undefeated Two-Time World Super Middleweight Champion - David Benavidez
Angulo, meanwhile, comes from a long tradition of Colombian fighters who are short on nuance, but blessed with massive one-punch power.
Physically strong and heavy-handed, pretty much everything he does on offensive-- including an ugly, pawing jab-- is built around his big right hand. Although he can also bang with his left, the right has been his most potent weapon throughout his career.
In his title shot against Ramirez, Angulo managed to buzz the defending champ several times and in his bout with Sims, the mere threat of the right hand was enough to keep the undefeated contender in constant retreat.
Defensively, there's just not much there. Angulo's best defense is the respect his powerful right hand demands.
“It’s been almost a year since the last time I fought, so I’m very eager to get back in the ring and give the fans a great fight. Training camp has been amazing. Fortunately, my dad opened his own gym just before the pandemic, so we’ve had private training and been able to safely bring in sparring partners to help me work. I’m facing a very tricky and rugged fighter, so I’m taking him very seriously. I feel like I can take advantage of some openings in his defense and look for the knockout like I do every fight.”
“I’m ready for anything that happens in the ring on Aug. 15. This is going to be a great fight for the fans because of the style I bring to the ring. Benavidez is a strong champion, but my style will be too much for him and I will have my hand raised on fight night.”
Stylistically, this is a Lamborghini vs. dump truck matchup. Both Benavidez and Angulo are built for power, but they represent two very different kinds of power.
Benavidez will have a perfect canvas with which to paint another offensive masterpiece. Angulo is limited in much of what he does and not at all difficult to figure out. The Colombian can be touched and he will be touched by the young champion. This much we know.
Angulo is used to this dynamic. He is willing to take shots and push through rough patches because he's supremely confident in the might of his right hand and its ability to turn a fight around in an instant.
While Benavidez may be the classier fighter and may be capable of winning every moment of every round, Angulo will never be out of the fight. He'll carry with him the ability to change the tide of battle, or even end the fight, with a single punch at any point.
This makes Saturday's title bout an intriguing matchup. Benavidez will likely be in command, but he'll never be 100% safe. Expect an explosive, edge-of-seat affair for as long as it lasts.
For a closer look at Benavidez vs Angulo, check out our fight night page.
- Benavidez vs Angulo