Former world champions clash on Saturday night when David Benavidez takes on David Lemieux with the interim WBC super middleweight championship on the line. The action from Gila River Arena in Glendale, Arizona and airs live on Showtime starting at 10 p.m. ET.
The winner of the fight also becomes one of several mandatory challengers for Saul "Canelo" Alvarez, putting another potentially huge prize on the table.
Benavidez (25-0, 22 KO) has proven repeatedly that he is one of boxing's brightest talents but his own missteps have set him back from bigger things in the past. He has twice lost the WBC super middleweight championship, once after testing positive for cocaine and once for missing weight. Had Benavidez not been stripped for missing weight, he'd almost certainly have already met Alvarez in the ring on the Mexican superstar's quest to unify all four world titles at 168 pounds.
With his size, power, toughness and high-volume output that includes a hammer of a jab, Benavidez will enter the ring a substantial favorite at -2000.
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Lemieux (43-4, 36 KO) was a monster puncher at middleweight, scoring a knockout of notably durable Gabriel Rosado in 2014 before winning the IBF middleweight world title with a decision over Hassan N'Dam N'Jikam that saw N'Jikam hit the canvas four times.
The reward for Lemieux's world title victory was a bout with the most feared man in the sport at the time, Gennadiy Golovkin. Things would play out poorly, however, as he was dominated before a stoppage in the eighth round. After continuing to campaign at middleweight, including a loss to Billy Joe Saunders in a WBO world title fight, Lemieux moved up to 168 pounds in December 2019.
Now, with a three-fight winning stream at super middleweight, Lemieux will look to knock off one of the division's best fighters and line up a potentially huge fight in his next outing.
The undercard for this tripleheader on Showtime also features an interesting showdown at super welterweight and featherweight. Things open up with Luis Reynaldo Nunez taking on Jonathan Javier Fierro at 126 pounds. Nunez is a perfect 16-0 with 12 knockouts so far in his career. Plus, Yoelvis Gomez takes on veteran Jorge Cota at 154 pounds. Gomez is an interesting prospect at just 5-0 with five knockouts on his resume. He's coming off a stoppage of Clay Collard in his U.S. debut in December.Benavidez vs. Lemieux card, odds
Odds via Caesars Sportsbook
David Benavidez -2000
David Lemieux +1000
Yoelvis Gomez -2000
Jorge Cota +1000
Luis Reynaldo Nunez
Jonathan Javier Fierro
The unfortunate reality for