David Benavidez is a natural super middleweight who has knocked out 85 percent of the opponents he has faced in 10 years as a professional prizefighter.
Demetrius Andrade has competed only once at the super middleweight limit of 168 pounds, and he defeated Demond Nicholson by unanimous decision in that 10-round bout. Andrade is still confident that he not only can beat Benavidez on November 25 in Las Vegas, but that the undefeated southpaw can stop Benavidez inside the distance.
Andrade (32-0, 19 KOs), of Providence, Rhode Island, explained his rationale to Showtime’s Brian Custer during an episode of his “The Last Stand Podcast,” which premiered Monday on Showtime Sports’ YouTube channel.
“I definitely feel like I can hit him with shots where, you know, I can probably put him out – for sure,” Andrade said. “And it will do damage, and I think he will be surprised on the type of power, the movement I have, where he could wanna take his time more. And it could go the distance. You know, he’s a big kid. He is a big kid, so I know I have to wear him down, have to wear him down.”
The 35-year-old Andrade has won only three of his past nine fights by knockout. Each of those three victories came against huge underdogs in WBO middleweight title defenses (Artur Akavov, Luke Keeler and Jason Quigley).
The 26-year-old Benavidez (27-0, 23 KOs) went all 12 rounds in his last fight – a 12-round, unanimous-decision win against former IBF super middleweight champ Caleb Plant (22-2, 13 KOs) on March 25 at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. That points victory snapped Benavidez’s six-fight knockout streak.
The awkward Andrade represents a different type of test for Benavidez, though. The Phoenix native hasn’t faced a left-handed opponent since he stopped Denis Douglin in the 10th round of their August 2016 bout at 2300 Arena in Philadelphia.
DraftKings sportsbook has established Benavidez as a 4-1 favorite to defeat Andrade, a 2008 U.S. Olympian and former junior middleweight and middleweight champion, in their Showtime Pay-Per-View main event. Benavidez-Andrade will headline a four-fight show from Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino’s Michelob ULTRA Arena.
“It’s easier said than done, but I know I’ve been doing this for a long time as well,” Andrade said. “I been a professional 15 years now. Haven’t been hurt, haven’t been like hurt bad, haven’t been down, you know? … You can never go to a fight and say Demetrius Andrade been hit hard and down, and he’s all over the place. So, I’m fresh.”
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.