As Dmitry Bivol prepares to return to the ring, there is one undefeated fighter who claims to have gotten the better of him in sparring.
The Russian has had a quiet year after being named the 2022 Fighter of the Year last term, although he is set to break his spell of inactivity with a voluntary defence of his WBA world title against Lyndon Arthur in December.
David Benavidez has fast-become one of the most talked about fighters in the sport, as the super-middleweight continues to dominate each and every 168lbs rival in pursuit of a showdown with the undisputed champion of the division, Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez.
As a two-time champion in the division, the allure of a clash with Canelo appears to be the only thing keeping ‘The Mexican Monster’ at his current weight, and he has continued to mention a move up to the light-heavyweight scene in the not-so-distant future.
In an interview with ES News, the 26-year-old mapped out his targeted opponents and appeared confident of becoming the first man to topple Bivol, revealing that he has already ‘broken him down’ in sparring in the past.
“Canelo first, and then go up to 175lbs and beat Bivol, then maybe [Artur] Beterbiev, I know that it is possible and I can accomplish that.”
“I’ll beat all of them. I find ways to win, which makes me so dangerous because I can break down any type of style, you have seen me break down Bivol.”
The interviewer then confirmed he had seen the pair spar.
Benavidez is confident that his dominant fighting style will transfer to a heavier weight.
“If I go up to 175lbs, the scary thing is that I am going to be even stronger. That is why I am so interested in that weight-class, there is a lot of good fighters but I am not scared of nobody, I really do want to put myself in these tough situations.”
For now, Benavidez is set to remain at super-middleweight, and is keen on facing Jermall Charlo in May before hopefully landing the blockbuster showdown with Canelo in September 2024.
A win for Bivol over Arthur on December 23 will have him once again seeking an undisputed fight with Artur Beterbiev.