David Benavidez (21-0, 18 KOs) made a huge statement in stopping veteran fighter J’Leon Love (24-3-1, 13 KOs) in the second round of their matchup. The contest took place at the AT&T Stadium in Dallas, Texas on March 16, 2019.
This was the first time Benavidez was seen in the ring in over a year when he defeated Ronald Gavril. Following a positive test for cocaine use, Benavidez was stripped of the WBC Super Middleweight title.
Benavidez didn’t just need to win on Saturday night, he needed to make a statement. He did exactly that as he made quick work of Love.
During the build up of their matchup both fighters quickly grew a dislike for one another. Love, who is traditionally a boxer that fights on his back foot, came out aggressive. He paid for it as Benavidez landed a few big shots that had him rattled with just a few seconds remaining in the first round.
The second started with Benavidez picking up right where he left off by hammering away at Love who had little-to-no answer. A right hand seemed to have Love out on his feet. From there, Benavidez landed a few more shots before the referee stopped the contest.
Following the knockout win Benavidez didn’t seem surprised in the slightest with the end result.
“I expected to knock him out,” said Benavidez. “But when I hit him with the first good shot, I knew he wasn’t going to last. I tried to pace myself, but it wasn’t necessary tonight.”
Now that he is officially back in action he quickly turned his attention to Anthony Dirrell who is in possession of the WBC title that was stripped of Benavidez.
“I saw Anthony Dirrell with the WBC belt,” said Benavidez. “He can’t call himself champion until he fights me. That’s my belt. I’m going to go get it. It’s mine.”
Dirrell won the vacant title over Avni Yildirim in February of this year by technical decision to lay claim to the belt. A clash between these is wanted and needed.
Benavidez was never defeated in the ring for the belt so his belief that he is still a champion is warranted. Dirrell however thinks otherwise. A matchup would settle the debate. Let’s make it happen.