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Benavidez Annihilates Andrade



David “El Monstruo” Benavídez lived up to his nickname and billings as perhaps the sport’s most destructive offensive weapon as he defended his Interim WBC Super Middleweight Title and blitzed former two-division champion Demetrius “Boo Boo” Andrade with a stoppage after the sixth round in the SHOWTIME PPV main event Saturday night headlining a Premier Boxing Champions event from Michelob ULTRA Arena at Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas.



The ending came after Andrade’s trainer wouldn’t allow him to leave the corner to start the seventh round after Benavídez, fighting his first southpaw in seven years, bloodied and pounded Andrade in perhaps the signature performance of his career. Benavídez (28-0, 24 KOs) remained undefeated as Andrade (32-1, 19 KOs) suffered his first loss.



“I think I just solidified myself as a dominant force here,” Benavídez said. “I just reminded everyone who the real champion at 168 is. Who wants to see me versus Canelo? I'm going to be super middleweight champion of the world, three-time world champion. Now, just give me the fight that we all want to see. Who wants to see Benavídez versus Canelo?”



Benavídez punctuated his performance with an embrace of Mike Tyson outside the ring following the stoppage. Tyson famously dubbed Benavídez the “Mexican Monster.”



"I just told Mike Tyson that I love him and thank you so much for the motivation he's given me,” Benavídez said. “It's not every day a boxing legend like Mike Tyson gives people nicknames, so I just want to live up to my name.



“Everybody says I'm not this, I'm not that, I'm flat-footed, I have no defense. This guy probably applied one of the best defenses. He's really good offensively. He could barely even hit me, so I think that says a lot on its own. I just have to keep beating who they put in front of me. I'm the best. I'm going to be the best. I'm going to be a legend by the time I'm done, so whoever you keep putting in front of me, I'll keep knocking them down.



"Let's give the people what they want to see. They want to see Benavídez versus Canelo."



Just as he did against Caleb Plant in March, Benavídez grew stronger and more dangerous as the fight wore on. After Andrade held his own in the opening rounds, Benavídez broke down his 35-year-old opponent with breathtaking efficiently. A looping right hand from Benavídez to the side of the head dropped Andrade for the third time in his career with seconds left in the fourth round. Andrade crumpled to the canvas and rose on shaky legs to survive the round.



Benavídez hurt Andrade again with a left to start the fifth round as he continued to walk Andrade down and land hard punches. Andrade’s right eye started to close midway through the frame as Benavídez teed off on him with a right uppercut and an assortment of short, stinging shots. Andrade took a stand with a minute left in the sixth, uncorking a right uppercut but Benavídez hurt Andrade, a former 2008 U.S. Olympian, with left that had him stumbling across the ring.



It was a far cry from the start of the fight when Andrade was able to smother Benavídez’s punches, darting in and out and winging shots from odd angles that found their mark. Andrade looked sensational in the first two rounds, while Benavídez bided his time, carefully picking his shots. Andrade started to slow down in the third, allowing Benavídez to unload his brand of destructive, compact punches before the knockdown turned the tide overwhelmingly in Benavídez’s favor.



“I’ll be back – back to the drawing board,” Andrade said. “I moved up in weight classes. I’ll work on my body a little more and I’ll be right back at it. I thought overall I did everything I needed to do to get the bigger man off me. David's definitely a hell of a fighter. Nobody was even willing to get in the ring with him. I tried to become a three-division world champion. That's not far-fetched. David was the man tonight. Benavídez is the bigger man.”



In the co-main event, Jermall Charlo returned to the ring for the first time in 29 months with a spirited, workmanlike and ultimately dominant performance against a very game and durable José Benavídez Jr., the older brother of David Benavídez in their 10-round non-title bout contracted at 163 pounds. Charlo, who holds the WBC middleweight title, was the much larger man, and he pushed Benavídez around the ring with his pole-like jab and hard right hands. It all added up to a wide decision for Charlo by scores of 100-90, 99-91 and 98-92 as Charlo remained undefeated at 33-0 with 22 KOs, while Benavídez dropped to 28-3-1 with 19 KOs. Charlo weighed in at 166.4 pounds at Friday’s weigh-in, compared to Benavídez at 161.2 pounds, but the fight was allowed to continue after both camps agreed. Charlo landed 116 of 334 total jabs for a 35% connect-rate and landed 127 of 279 power punches for a 46% clip.



“I'll be back stronger, just know that,” Charlo said. “I thought about everything that I've been through every round. God's got me. I want to thank everybody who never left my side. I want to thank Al Haymon for understanding me. I know when you're a man it's hard to explain to somebody what you stand for, but I'm happy that I went through what I went through because I showed myself that anything can be done.”



Benavídez, who was stopped by Terence Crawford in the 12th round for a welterweight title in 2018 and was an amateur prodigy, performed well against the larger foe, displaying a granite chin. But after a rusty first round, Charlo took control, exhibiting the skills that have made him one of the most entertaining and skilled fighters in the sport.



“He’s a good fighter, I’m not going to make any excuses,” Benavídez said. “I came to fight. He said he was going to back me up and I didn’t back up. I kept coming forward. The best man won tonight. It’s boxing. I thought it was way closer than the judges said it was. At the end of the day, I lost, and I’m not going to make any excuses. I don’t know if his extra weight had anything to do with it. Maybe. Maybe not. I came prepared. I gave my best.”



Charlo hurt Benavídez with a straight right hand toward the end of the first round after Charlo started slowly, the result of his long layoff. Charlo landed a sharp right uppercut midway through the second. Benavídez briefly hurt Charlo to start the third with a jab-right hand combination, but Charlo responded with an overhand right that snapped Benavídez’s head back with a minute left in the frame, and Charlo unloaded on Benavídez in the fourth as Benavídez covered up under Charlo’s heavy jabs and lefts. Charlo snapped Benavídez’s head back with a right uppercut with 40 seconds left in the sixth, and Charlo hurt Benavídez in the 10th round with a snappy right, as the two exchanged words and eventually buried the bad blood between them when the fight was over and embraced.



In other PPV undercard action, IBF Junior Welterweight champion Subriel Matías broke down, battered and stopped previously unbeaten Shohjahon Ergashev in a brutal and entertaining slugfest that has become a staple of Matías’ career. After absorbing a barrage of punishment and looking completely overwhelmed and winded, Ergashev refused to come out of his corner to start the sixth round, as Matías notched his 20th stoppage in 21 fights and his fifth straight retirement stoppage. The official time of stoppage was two seconds into the sixth round, and it ended another dominant, ruthless showing from Matías, who improved to 20-1 with 20 KOs in his first title defense, while Ergashev dropped to 23-1 with 20 KOs.



“When I started feeling [Ergashev's] punches in the first round, I knew he didn't have the power to knock me out. That's when I started attacking,” Matías said. “For left-handed southpaw fighters, I just need three or four rounds to decipher them. Then, what happened tonight, usually happens. Teofimo Lopez, Gervonta Davis, Devin Haney, if you want that, come over here and fight."



“I felt a pain and wasn’t able to move,” Ergashev said. “I just couldn’t move around the ring in the last two rounds. Once I got hurt, I wasn’t able to display any offense, and I couldn’t use my defense because once my legs gave out on me, I couldn’t stick to the game plan. I wasn’t able to move around the ring and use angles like I did in the first two rounds.”



The victory was nearly a mirror image of Matías’ fifth-round stoppage of Argentina’s Jeremias Ponce that capped a wild brawl in February on SHOWTIME that saw Matías soak up a ton of punishment before turning the tide and battering Ponce to win the vacant title. This time, it was the southpaw Ergashev who started fast, driving Matías into the ropes with a left to the body early in the first round as all three judges gave Ergashev the opening frame.



Ergashev continued to land unanswered punches in the second as Matías stood directly in front of Ergashev and took his best shot. But Matías started to loosen up in the third, as he landed a series of left uppercuts and followed up with a left to the body that hurt Ergashev toward the end of the frame. Matías, fully engaged and walking down his opponent, hurt Ergashev again in the fourth with a pair of right hands that pinned Ergashev against the ropes. Moments later, Matías again pinned Ergashev in the corner and raked him over with punches in the final minute of the fourth as Ergashev, who appeared on SHOBOX: THE New Generation four times between January 2018 and January 2020, appeared totally gassed and out of sorts.



Matías connected on 108 of 317 total punches for a 34% clip, compared to 44 of 235 and 19% for Ergashev, with 26 of Ergashev's total connects in the first two rounds. Over five rounds, Matías landed 71 power punches and 37 jabs to complete the dominant performance.



In the PPV opener, former title challenger Lamont Roach wrested away Héctor García’s WBA Super Featherweight Title in his second attempt at a belt, dropping García in the 12th round and winning a split decision by scores of 116-111, 114-113 and 113-114 in a highly technical and strategic fight. The knockdown in the 12th was the difference as Roach avoided a split-draw on Saturday with the left-hook that landed on the top of García’s head with 1:20 left in the frame and drove García into the canvas for the second time in his career.



“Man, I’ve been waiting to hear ‘And the new’ for a long time,” said Roach, who improved to 24-1-1, 9 KOs. “It’s about time though. All I needed was the spotlight. The first time I was a baby – I was 24 years old. Now I’m seasoned. I don’t think anyone can beat me. Nobody.”



On the knockdown that decided the outcome: "We've been working on this shot for a long time, that hook,” Roach went on. “I'm the best and I want to show I'm the best. Anybody who wants to fight let me know because I want to fight all of you. There's a lot of cool champions at 130. I'll take whoever."



In 2019, Roach came up short in his first title shot against Jamel Herring, also a southpaw, but made good on his second attempt on Saturday, while García (16-2, 10 KOs) was unsuccessful in his first defense of his WBA championship after he rose in weight and was stopped by lightweight titleholder Gervonta Davis back in January when García retired on his stool before the ninth round, complaining of impaired vision.



After feeling each other out for most of the bout, Roach came alive in the 11th round, hurting García with a right hand that pushed García into the ropes. The 28-year-old Roach followed up with a right uppercut that also stunned García. Roach connected on 118 of 490 total punches, a 29% connect rate, compared to 93 of 468 or 20% for Garía, according to CompuBox. Roach also held a 79 to 62 connect advantage in power punches and an edge in jabs 39 to 31.



Preceding the pay-per-view, exciting contender Michel Rivera (25-1, 14 KOs) recorded the biggest win of his career, upsetting former world champion Sergey Lipinets (17-3-1, 13 KOs) by three scores of 97-93, 97-93 and 96-94 in their 10-round super lightweight match in action streaming live on the SHOWTIME SPORTS YouTube channel and SHOWTIME Boxing® Facebook page. In his first bout at 140, Rivera was the sharper and more dynamic of the two as his superior hand and foot movement confounded Lipinets, who could never quite catch up to his fleet-footed foe. In other streaming action, top prospect Vito Mielnicki Jr. dropped Mexico’s Alexis Salazar three times in the first round, causing referee Robert Hoyle to stop the bout at 2:27 of the initial frame in a scheduled 10-round super welterweight attraction. Salazar was supposed to be perhaps the toughest opponent of Mielnicki’s career. Instead, the 21-year-old, with trainer Ronnie Shields in his corner for the first time, was razor shape and pinpoint with his punches as he improved to 16-1 with 11 knockouts, while Salazar showed little punch resistance and fell to 25-6 with 10 KOs.

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