Quijano: Benavidez takes on Andrade

Last Round
Quijano.
Quijano.File photo

The super middleweight division right now is one of the deepest in the sport. Of course, sitting at the apogee is Saul Alvarez, arguably the sport’s flagship fighter.

But you don’t have to go too far down the rankings to find top notch competition in this division. And this is why today’s match up between David Benavidez and Demetrius Andrade is both timely and intriguing.

Timely because Alvarez is probably at the final stages of his peak. He is still at the top of his game, and that’s why the fans want him to fight all the best contenders out there while he still can.

Intriguing because both Benavidez and Andrade are evenly matched and this fight can easily be won by either man.

BENAVIDEZ. “EL Bandera” is undefeated, with 23 of his 27 wins coming via the abbreviated route. He has been penciled to fight Canelo a few times before, but it never materialized.

In his last fight, he was tested severely by Caleb Plant but emerged victorious via unanimous decision.

He is a volume puncher and likes to come forward throwing punches in bunches. You don’t have to be a genius to figure out that his kayo percentage tells you he has fight-ending power in either hand.

ANDRADE. This southpaw is probably the division’s dark horse. He is also undefeated, with 19 stoppages in 32 starts. He also calls himself “Boo-boo.”

The knock on Andrade is that he has been known to slow down in the latter stages of a fight.

This could pose a problem against a volume, high energy puncher like Benavidez. And that’s probably why the oddsmakers have pegged him to be the underdog in this fight.

MY TAKE. I have this fight closer than most people think. Benavidez is young, strong and fast, but his footwork can be terrible at times.

I have seen Andrade take advantage of an opponent’s momentary lapse in defense and land that sneaky left hand.

I think the first four rounds will be close but Benavidez will come out strong.

Andrade will start to make him pay by the middle rounds and by Round 9 this fight will be even.

The championship rounds will be won by whoever wants this the most, and this is where Andrade’s stamina issues could pose a problem.

I’m always partial to underdogs and so my heart goes out to Andrade on this one, but candidly, I say it without much conviction as Benavidez is one tough machine to crack.

VERBATIM. “We’ve never seen anything like him. A guy as big as he is, that has a motor that runs the way he runs, hand speed like a middleweight, can go to the body, puts a ton of pressure on you. An incredible skillset.” - Tim Bradley on David Benavidez via Social Boxing.

LAST ROUND. It’s on Jasmine Pages, better half of my fellow columnist and presently Cebu City Sports Commission Chairman John Pages, who turns a milestone today. Happy birthday and cheers!

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