Benavidez remains undefeated but not currently champion having lost his title twice – first for cocaine use and the second for missing weight.
At 27-0 with 23 stoppages, many feel that it won’t be long until he makes himself a three-time belt-holder, and he’s been vocal in his pursuit of a shot at Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez’ undisputed world title.
Whilst it’s widely believed that he represents Canelo’s toughest test in the division, ‘Iron’ Mike Tyson believes that’s not the case in reverse.
Speaking to the media recently, Tyson highlighted undefeated Cuban David Morrell as the man to push Benavidez the hardest.
“Best Mexican fighter right now? Listen, Benavidez is half Mexican. He’s very exciting. I like the way he fights, he throws a lot of punches and it’s gonna be tough to beat him.
The toughest fight he may have is the guy Morrell, the Cuban guy. He’s a really hard puncher, and if he hits somebody he can knock them out. But then again, Benavidez is a really good boxer. He slugs a lot, but he’s really good.”
A standout amateur, Morrell has had just nine professional fights, winning all-but-one by knockout. He has earned the WBA’s Regular Championship belt and is, alongside Benavidez, now knocking on the door of Canelo.
Despite the gulf in professional experience, Benavidez has said he is open to the fight, and may even pursue it if a mandatory shot for Canelo’s WBC belt doesn’t come off next year.
First up for the 26-year-old is a tough test against Demetrius Andrade.