As a boxing writer, I try not to get too hyped up over a single performance by a rising contender. But even worse than reckless excitement is feigned apathy. It’s a bit annoying when fans line up to declare a guy with 20 fights the next pound-for-pound legend. But it’s far worse when some wannabe hipster stifles a yawn while refusing to be impressed. Boxing is a heroic endeavor. If you aren’t going to get excited about it, you have no business watching, so err on the side of sincerity, not cynicism.
And if you missed David Benavidez’s Round 8 destruction of Rogelio Medina last weekend, do yourself a favor and at least check out the highlights. This was tremendous performance by a fighter who is not yet old enough to order a beer in the United States. Benavidez hammered the veteran with thudding body shots and blistering uppercuts throughout the bout.
Realistically, it should not be a major surprise that Benavidez did well against Medina. The 20-year-old super middleweight has length and height closer to what you might find in the heavyweight division–6’1″ tall, with a 76″ reach. He came into this fight with a perfect 17-0 record and 16 KOs.
But Medina was most certainly his step up, and he has played spoiler before against undefeated, would-be stars. In August 2014, he stopped J’Leon Love. In April 2016 he lost a reasonably close decision to James DeGale, one of the top-three rated fighters in the division.
By handling him in such dominant fashion, Benavidez made good on some very high expectations. It is refreshing to see a fighter his age take care of his business to keep his career moving forward. After a fight like this, he is ready to line up the division’s top 10.