WBC President Sulaimán has Empathy for David Benavidez
When David “Red Flag” Benavidez (23-0, 20 KO’s) recently lost his belt on the scale, it was easy to poke fun. It’s was the second time that the young Arizonian lost the WBC world super middleweight title for his antics outside the ring.
The first time, in 2018, Red Flag was flagged for having cocaine in his system. Following a quick two-round obliteration of J’Leon Love (24-3-1, 13 KO’s), Benavidez was able to swiftly recapture his belt from Anthony “The Dog” Dirrell (33-2-1, 24 KO’s) on September 28, 2019.
Now, in his very first fight after Dirrell, he lost the slippery title to the scales. In the aftermath, Red Flag was the butt of quite a few jokes. Unsurprisingly, his number one divisional rival, IBF world super middleweight champion Caleb “Sweethands” Plant (20-0, 12 KO’s), was quick to mock his setback on social media. Yet, not everyone was throwing stones at Benavidez.
Sulaimán did not offer any manner of special sanctions in the situation to Benavidez. Yet, the WBC president was rather sympathetic to his plight. Knowing all the details of the matter, Sulaimán didn’t believe that Red Flag was malicious in intent or unprofessional in his behavior as he told Boxing Social.
“Always when a fighter loses the title on the scales its very disappointing; especially when we have put all these different procedures to help the fighters make weight. The 30-day weigh-in, the 14-day weigh-in, 7-day. He was on track to make weight on the 7-day weigh-in, he was precisely on the limit.
And what he has confirmed, and it’s understandable, when he went into the so-called Bubble he did not have the proper, usual methods that he can use like sauna, steam room and a proper gymnasium to really work out in those last days. The nutrition was also different being in the hotel and having these limitations.
But there is no excuse. I feel very sorry, he is a very special champion. He overcame adversity when he had a cocaine found in the Clean Boxing Program, out of competition. And he took it and he really followed the WBC’s path with a psychologist, with a nutritionist, he moved to another state and he regained his title. And he lose it by the situation of the weight. The pandemic has created many problems to all, it’s not an excuse but we can have empathy with his problem.”
It will be interesting to see what fight Benavidez pens next; especially since WBA super world middleweight and regular WBA world super middleweight champion Saul “Canelo” Alvarez (53-1-2, 36 KO’s) is gunning for the vacant WBC super middleweight strap.
By: Bakari Simpson