Keeping up the early 2020 theme of “top super middleweights in underwhelming fights,” Mike Coppinger reports that former WBC champion David Benavidez will headline a March 13th Showtime card in Connecticut against ShoBox veteran Ronald Ellis.
The immensely talented but inordinately frustrating Benavidez (23-0, 20 KO) contrived to lose the title twice without ever tasting defeat in the ring. The first time around, he tested positive for cocaine, leaving Anthony Dirrell to fight Avni Yildirim for the now-vacant belt. Upon Dirrell’s victory, “El Bandera Roja” beat him down to reclaim the belt, and when the mandated Yildirim fight hit snags, he geared up to face Roamer Alexis Angulo in a voluntary defense.
Benavidez ended up missing weight, leaving him empty-handed despite a dominant performance. He had been pushing and still continues to push for a crack at IBF champ Caleb Plant, but between the former’s newfound lack of a bargaining chip and the latter’s pursuit of Canelo Alvarez, that seems unlikely.
Ellis (18-1-2, 12 KO), a longtime prospect, has struggled to score a breakout win. He drew with Junior Younan in 2018, dropped a close decision to DeAndre Ware the following year, narrowly beat Immanuel Aleem his next time out, then came in five pounds heavy for an injury stoppage over Matt Korobov last December. Though he said afterwards that he felt he belonged at middleweight, it seems he’ll have at least one more go at 168 pounds.
The card goes head-to-head with Matchroom’s own stacked event, which pits Juan Francisco Estrada against Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez in the main event.