Yesterday was quite an exciting day for boxing fans. We were treated to several title/title eliminator bouts, some of which ended with a surprise. After the dust settled from HBO and Showtime boxing’s cards, I have to say that the fight of the night happened on good old fashioned cable.
David Benavidez (18-0 17KO) of Phoenix AZ, took a big step up in class against the rugged, busy and powerful Rogelio “Porky” Medina (37-8 31KO). Medina has been in with high-tier competition, defeating the then undefeated J’Leon Love by KO in 2014 and giving Super-Middleweight Champion James DeGale all he could handle over 12 rounds in 2016. He was a fighter picked to give the up and coming Benavidez a taste of world level opposition, and expose any flaws in his game. Those flaws were far and few. Benavidez brought a systematic break down of Porky. The early fight saw Medina pushing forward with a high guard, throwing punches in bunches, most of which Benavidez dampened or avoided altogether following with crisp counters.. By mid fight, Benavidez stepped up his pace, timing Medina well and throwing powerful, creative combinations that were as effective as they were flashy. He knocked Medina down in rounds 6 and 7 with hook-uppercut combos that would’ve made any typical super-middleweight crumble to the canvas. Medina’s chin was his best asset in the fight, but in round 8, that was taken from him as Benavidez’s fast combination sent him through the ropes, causing the fight to be halted. Benavidez was very impressive (and made a fan right here last night) and finds himself as the manditory challenger for the WBC Title. I see him being a problem for any of the top fighters in his class as the 20-year old continues to develop. If I had to find anything for him to improve on, I would say keep that chin protected. As he moved away from Medina, he tended to drop his guard and raise his chin. Medina isn’t fast enough to take advantage, but somebody else will be. Congratulations to Benavidez for the great win, and everybody else, keep your eyes on this guy!
Thanks for taking the time to read my thoughts, if you would like to contact me or talk shop about boxing, follow me on Twitter @TheGreatToddMan or email me at PugilistsParadise@columnist.com.