David Benavidez is Open to a Bout with IBO Champion Lerrone Richards
When it comes to two-time super middleweight champion David “Red Flag” Benavidez (25-0, 22 KO’s), it’s never difficult to figure out what is on his mind. Ask a direct question and the straight shooter will provide a direct answer. On May 21, Benavidez is slated to take on the aging David Lemieux, who he is highly favored to beat. Granted that Red Flag emerges victorious, he already has his hit list in order.
Of course Benavidez, 25, would love a showdown with undisputed 168-pound champion Canelo Alvarez, but then again, who doesn’t? Red Flag has made his desire to face the redhead well-known but those feelings have not been reciprocated. Instead of the boxing poster boy, Benavidez has shifted his attention to long-time rival Caleb Plant and WBO middleweight champion Demetrius Andrade.
THE POWER OF A BELT
Due to his personal grudge with Plant, Red Flag would relish the opportunity to sock him in the face the most. Yet, assuming that this bout remained unobtainable, Benavidez would happily dance with Olympian and two-division champion Andrade. His list of potential opposition does not stop there, however. The native Arizonan would also be very open to traveling across the ocean to face IBO super middleweight champion Lerrone “The Sniper Boss” Richards (16-0, 3 KO’s). This is what he explained to Fight Stars TV.
“Oh he beat Carlos Gongora? Oh wow, I didn’t know that, but I mean he must be really good because Carlos Gongora is a great boxer and stuff. So, like I said, […] I would love to get a fight with all these top guys. Especially if he has a belt, why not? We can make it happen!”
While the IBO is not one of the four major sanctioning bodies, if acquired, it still would put a strap around Benavidez’s waist. As he is undefeated, unquestionably one of the best in the division and very visible, adding the trinket to his long list of accolades certainly couldn’t hurt. In the end, whether there is a belt or no belt on the line, Benavidez is simply out to collect any and all scalps that help legitimize him as a serious boxer.
CHANCE OF A LIFETIME
Benavidez versus Richards would be by far the biggest prizefight that the Sniper Boss has been attached to. Even if he lost, so long as he didn’t just get run over, Richards could very well still enhance his recognition and marketability by leaps and bounds. Naturally though, Richards, who is ranked #10 (IBF) and #13 (WBC), would be looking to win and not simply get an “A” for effort. He has been calling for the top guys to face him, so perhaps this is his prayers being answered.
A loss could also easily fling the UK operator back into a black hole of obscurity. A win for Richards, 29, would change his life overnight and put him in a whole new class of fight opportunities. So in short, a duel with Benavidez would be the breathing definition of ‘high risk, high reward.’ It will be very interesting to see how these super middleweight match-ups pan out over the next several months.
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By: Bakari Simpson