David Benavidez Stops David Lemieux
Esther Lin - SHOWTIME
Once again, undefeated
David “El Bandera Roja” Benavídez didn’t disappoint the
hometown crowd as the Phoenix native became a super
middleweight champion for the third time in dramatic
fashion, scoring a third-round TKO against former world
champion David Lemieux to win the vacant Interim WBC World
Title on Saturday night at the Gila River Arena in Glendale,
Ariz., on SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING® in an event
presented by Premier Boxing Champions.
Benavidez (26-0, 23 KOs) beat and battered a gutsy Lemieux
(43-5, 36 KOs) from the opening bell knocking him to the
canvas for the fifth time in his career midway through the
second round on a massive uppercut that nearly sent Lemieux
through the ropes. Lemieux somehow survived the onslaught of
Benavidez’s power punches and returned to action in the
third round. But Benavidez went right to work dishing out
more and more punishment as Lemieux’s corner stepped in and
signaled surrender to referee Harvey Dock, who waved off the
fight with 1:31 remaining in the third round.
"Mike Tyson gave me the name ‘The Mexican Monster', what do
you think I'm gonna do?” Benavidez told Jim Gray after the
fight. “I just feel like I'm the strongest 168 pounder. No
one can mess with me.”
Benavidez staggered Lemieux in the closing seconds of round
one, the big blow a left hook that sent Lemieux into the
ropes with Benavidez pouncing with a 10-punch combination of
uppercuts, hooks and straight jabs. Dock later said he was
about to stop the fight had the bell not rung to end the
"Lemieux is a special type of breed,” said Benavidez, who
landed 49 percent of his total punches and 52 percent of his
power punches. “This guy was swinging until the end. I had
to be on my p's and q's. He's a tough champion, so my hat's
off to him. He's the only one with the guts to face me.”
Lemieux never backed down and told Gray he was impressed
with Benavidez. "I'm good, Benavidez is a hell of a
fighter,” Lemieux said. “I congratulate him. After the first
round I was okay, he had gotten me with some good shots. I
tried to come back, but he's a very good fighter.”
Benavidez said he wants the best the 168-pound division has
to offer. "I'm waiting for [Caleb Plant, Jermall Charlo,
David Morrell] to sign the contract. Them bitches know
what's up. I’m right here waiting for them. I'll put myself
up against everyone. I guarantee I'm knocking everyone out.
"I can get better everywhere. You can always learn. It only
gets better from here. I'm just going to keep working.
Facing tough guys like Lemieux just pushes me to keep moving
to the next level."
In the co-feature, hard-hitting Cuban prospect Yoelvis Gómez
had his knockout streak ended at five, but still dominated
Mexico’s Jorge Cota in a 10-round super welterweight
shutout. The scores were 100-90 three times.
Now living in Las Vegas, the 24-year-old Gómez (6-0, 5 KOs)
went the distance for the first time in his young
professional career. He staggered Cota at times with
unrelenting body shots and effective power punches.
"I wanted to steal the show, but I know that all Mexican
fighters are warriors, and Cota was a warrior tonight and
was able to take me the distance,” said Gómez, who was
fighting for the first time with noted trainer Ismael Salas
in his corner.
Gómez, the son of an Olympic Gold Medalist, threw almost 100
more jabs than Cota on the night. "I found out today that
you have to be ready to go for all 10 rounds,” said Gómez,
who had fought just seven rounds in his five pro bouts. “The
knockout didn't come tonight, but I was conditioned and
prepared to go the distance.
"On Monday I'll start up again with my trainer to see what I
can do better in my next my fight. Thank you to all the fans
tonight, I love Arizona!"
The 34-year-old Cota (30-6, 27 KOs) said he was hurt by
Gómez’s hard-hitting body shots. “The judges’ decision was
what it was, it’s pointless to talk about it now. Yoelvis is
a strong fighter and he hit me hard on my left rib, I think
he hurt me there. I’ll get some x-rays to see what the
damage was. He kept up his consistency and his punching
power throughout the entire fight. I was at 50 percent after
the rib injury, but credit to him for having fought like he
Rising Dominican prospect Luis “The Twist” Núñez danced his
way to a unanimous decision over fellow unbeaten Jonathan
Fierro in an exciting and close 10-round featherweight bout
in the SHOWTIME opener. The scores were 96-94 in favor of
Núñez on all three judges’ scorecards.
The 22-year-old Núñez (17-0, 12 KOs) landed 44 percent of
his power punches along with 47 body punches as the game
18-year-old Fierro (13-1, 12 KOs) from Guadalajara, Jalisco,
Mexico, tasted defeat for the first time in his young
“I kept my distance, hit him when I had to and built up my
equity round by round,” said Núñez. “Now, I’m ready for
anybody they want to put in front of me next. Bring them
Núñez, who is promoted by Sampson Lewkowicz, was victorious
over his third-straight undefeated fighter. He had won his
two previous fights on the popular prospect series SHOBOX:
The New Generation®.
It was a fight marred by several clash of heads that cut
both fighters but didn’t do major damage and ultimately
didn’t have an effect on the outcome.
“I felt I beat him,” said Fierro, who went to the body early
on and used his left jab effectively throughout the fight.
“The ref was clearly on his side – constantly interrupting
the fight. I would have knocked him out, otherwise.”