Andrade praises Benavidez following stoppage defeat: 'He’s a hell of a fighter'

Two-weight world champion Demetrius Andrade (32-1, 19KOs) praised David Benavidez (28-0, 24KOs) despite Andrade failing in his attempt to become a three-weight world champion.

Despite a confident start to proceedings against Benavidez, Andrade suffered a knockdown in round four before ultimately being withdrawn from the contest following six completed rounds by his corner team. 

The fight saw Andrade fall to the first defeat of his career; however, Andrade insists that he will return to the drawing board and action despite being 35 years old. 

“I’ll be back – back to the drawing board. I moved up in weight classes. I’ll work on my body a little more, and I’ll be right back at it,” Andrade said.

“I thought overall I did everything I needed to do to get the bigger man off me. David’s definitely a hell of a fighter. Nobody was even willing to get in the ring with him. I tried to become a three-division world champion. That’s not far-fetched. David was the man tonight. Congratulations to him and his family. We move on, and we’re going to keep pushing.”

Andrade did start confidently in the opening rounds of the scheduled twelve-round contest, demonstrating his hand speed, technical superiority and flashes on combination punching. 

The whole momentum of the fight would swing in favour of Benavidez, dropping Andrade in round four courtesy of a shot high on the head of Andrade.

Despite returning to his feet, Benavidez would uphold the pressure on Andrade throughout rounds five and six, leaving Andrade’s corner taking matters into their own hands collectively and withdrawing the former 154lb and 160lb world champion from the contest. 

Despite defeat, Andrade insists that he is the more technically capable fighter but concedes that he could not handle Benavidez's size and power during the fight. 

“Benavidez is the bigger man. I wouldn’t say the better skillful man, but he’s the bigger man. I tried to go up to a new weight class. Congratulations to him, and I’ll be back. I have to go back to the drawing board and work on my body a little more. Then, I’ll be right back at it,” Andrade said.

“David is just a big dude. At the end of the day, he’s a hell of a fighter. I thought my skills would overwhelm him, but his size is what got his hand raised today.

“Listen, it’s not that David is a more skillful fighter than me. This is my third division trying to be world champion. I came to fight the bigger man. Nobody’s willing to get in the ring with me. Nobody’s willing to get in the ring with him. I showed what I got. I put it all on the line at 168 pounds, and I did what I had to do today.”