David Benavidez signs on to fight for interim light heavyweight title, could still face Canelo Alvarez in 2024

David Benavidez signs on to fight for interim light heavyweight title, could still face Canelo Alvarez in 2024
David Benavidez signs on to fight for interim light heavyweight title, could still face Canelo Alvarez in 2024
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David Benavidez is done waiting around at supper middleweight for a shot at undisputed champion Saul "Canelo" Alvarez. WBC president Mauricio Sulaiman announced Thursday night that Benavidez, the WBC interim super middleweight champion, will move up in weight to fight former champion Oleksandr Gvozdyk for the interim title at light heavyweight.

Benavidez's promoter confirmed the news to boxing reporter Dan Rafael as well, noting that the bout agreements were signed for a fight in "early June" and that this move up does not prevent Benavidez from returning to 168 pounds to potentially challenge Alvarez later this year.

Benavidez has twice held the WBC super middleweight title, losing it once for a failed drug test for cocaine and again after missing weight. Alvarez eventually captured all four world titles at 168 pounds without having to step in the ring with Benavidez, the consensus top super middleweight other than Alvarez.

The Alvarez team has never seemed particularly keen on their man facing off with Benavidez and as they are seeking an opponent for a May date, Benavidez has not seemed in the running. Instead, Alvarez has been connected to fights with Jermall Charlo, Jaime Munguia and even welterweight champion Terence Crawford. Given Alvarez's status as arguably the biggest star in boxing, the WBC has not seemed interested in forcing Alvarez to fight his mandatory challenger in Benavidez, as they do for almost any other champion.

Benavidez capturing the WBC interim belt at light heavyweight would make him a mandatory opponent for the winner of the highly-anticipated clash between Dmitry Bivol and Artur Beterbiev to crown an undisputed champion, meaning Benavidez would be the top contender for two different undisputed champions, with a shot at one or the other hopefully coming in the near future.

Gvozdyk won the first 17 fights of his career, eventually capturing the WBC light heavyweight title. He faced IBF champion Beterbiev in 2019, losing a grueling battle by stoppage in Round 10 before retiring from the sport.

Gvozdyk ended his retirement in 2023 and has won three consecutive

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