Benavidez Dismantles Andrade: Will Canelo Be Next?


By Arne K. Lang

SHOWTIME aired its final pay-per-view event tonight with a show that aired from Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas. The four-fight PPV card included world title fights in the 140 and 130-pound divisions, plus an interim title fight at 168 and the return of former two-division title-holder Jarmall Charlo. The interim title fight was a battle of unbeatens between David Benavidez and Demetrius “Boo Boo” Andrade and that was the featured attraction.

Benavidez, 26, is big for the weight class and lived up to his new nickname, “El Monstro.” He had too much firepower for the 35-year-old Andrade, a 2008 Beijing Olympian who began his pro career at 154 and had won world titles in two lower weight classes. His big moment came in the waning seconds of round four when he knocked Andrade to his knees with a sweeping right hand. The fight turned brutally one-sided at that point although one of the judges had Benavidez ahead by only one point when the sixth round ended. But there would be no seventh round. Andrade’s corner wisely stopped the fight.

A consensus 7/2 favorite in man-to-man betting, Benavidez (28-0, 24 KOs) began his pro career in Mexico at age 16. In his post-fight interview, he called out Canelo Alvarez while brashly predicting that he would be a legend before he left the sport (and you'll get no argument from this corner). It was the first pro loss for Andrade (32-1).


Jermall Charlo returned to the ring after a 29-month absence and scored a lopsided 10-round decision over Jose Benavidez Jr. The judges had it 100-90, 99-91, and 98-92.

This bout was slated for the catch-weight of 163 pounds. Charlo came in overweight (166.4) but the match went ahead. Benavides Jr, a world title challenger during his days as a welterweight, had his moments, but was outclassed by Charlo who advanced his record to 33-0 (22). Benavidez falls to 28-3-1.


In what shaped up as the most action-packed fight of the night, 31-year-old Puerto Rican Subriel Matias retained his IBF 140-pound title, battering Shohjahon Ergashev into submission in a match that was halted by Ergashev’s corner two seconds into the sixth round. The heavy-handed Ergashev, who was undefeated heading in, dominated the first round-and-a-half, but Matias (20-1, 20 KOs) gradually wore him down.

Matias, who avenged his lone defeat to Petros Ananyan with a dominant showing in the rematch, had become something of a forgotten man in the talent-rich 140-pound weight class, but tonight he showed that he belongs among the elite in the division. It was the first pro loss for Egrashev (23-1, 20 KOs), a southpaw from Uzbekistan who fights out of Detroit and had SugarHill Steward (formally Javan "Sugar" Hill) in his corner.


In the pay-per-view opener, Lamont Roach (24-1-1, 9 KOs) wrested the WBA 130-pound title from Hector Garcia (16-2) with a well-earned split decision. The judges had it 116-111 and 144-113 for Roach with the dissenter favoring Garcia 114-113.

A 32-year-old Dominican southpaw, Garcia was making the first defense of the title he won from Roger Gutierrez, a belt he was allowed to keep after moving up to lightweight to challenge Gervonta Davis, a bout he lost on a ninth-round stoppage. Roach, an underdog in the betting making his first start in 16 months, had come up short in a previous world title fight, losing a decision to Jamel Herring in 2019.

Roach was trailing on two of the scorecards through 10 rounds in what had been a ho-hum fight. But he cranked up the juice in the homestretch, rocking Garcia in the 11th and flooring him with a right hook in the final stanza. Take away that knockdown (an illegal punch as it landed behind Roach’s head), and Garcia would have retained his belt with a draw.


In his first start at 140 pounds, Puerto Rico’s Michel Rivera rebounded from his first pro loss (a wide decision at the hands of Frank Martin) with a unanimous 10-round decision over Sergey Lipinets. The judges had it 96-94 and 97-93 twice. Rivera, who improved to 25-1 (14) patterns his style and his persona after Muhammad Ali with whom he bears a strong facial resemblance.

It was the first fight in 16 months for the 34-year-old Lipinets (17-3-1), from SoCal via Kazakhstan. He rarely took a backward step but it wasn’t effective aggression.

In the opener on Showtime’s YouTube channel. 21-year-old super welterweight Vito Mielnicki Jr, now trained by Ronnie Shields, scored the best win of his career, advancing to 16-1 (11 KOs). The pride of Vineland, NJ, Mielnicki had Alexis Salazar on the canvas three times before the match was halted at the 2:27 mark of the opening stanza. Guadalajara’s Salazar (25-6) had been stopped only once previously.

Photo credit: Amanda Westcott / SHOWTIME
Saw this TKO result coming like the foregone conclusion it always was. Andrade has avoided any/all meaningful matchups for his entire professional career and this beatdown by the better man is the natural consequence of it. Benavides is a real fighter and real fighters make avoidant pretenders such as Andrade quit. Don’t think for one second that Andrade will be back. He’s all done son. Benavides deserves the big Canelo fight next.