David Benavidez Counting Down the Days Until ‘El Monstruo’ Comes Out

LAS VEGAS – There was nothing but respect between David Benavidez and Oleksandr Gvozdyk as they went head to head at today’s final press conference.

They meet in Las Vegas on Saturday at the MGM Grand, with Benavidez making the leap from super middleweight for his first substantial challenge at 175 pounds.

Benavidez and Gvozdyk even shared an embrace as they posed for pictures, although by then both had promised victory at the MGM Grand. 

Benavidez said it was the easiest weight cut of his life, without having to shed the extra seven pounds, and said he would be faster, stronger and have more endurance.

“I know Oleksandr really well,” he said. “I’ve put together a great game plan, and on Saturday I’m going to steal the show. I know Gervonta [Davis] and Frank Martin are going to try and put on the best show they can, but this is gonna be the David Benavidez night.”

Gvozdyk claimed he would not have the edge because he is an established light heavyweight, and believes the extra poundage could suit Benavidez. 

“He’s a big fighter and he was just a huge super middleweight,” said Gvozdyk. “Right now, we’re an even size. I don’t see any advantage regarding size. Basically, I think he’s supposed to feel very comfortable in this weight division.”

Gvozdyk admitted he has enjoyed seeing his face all over Las Vegas on the billboards, posters and electronic displays alongside those of Benavidez, Davis and Martin. 

“I’m just going to resist the monster,” said Gvozdyk, when asked how he planned on coping with Benavidez’s vaunted power.

Benavidez was asked about the move up in weight, and said he had grown tired of hanging around for the titles at super middle.

“I didn’t feel like there was any reason to stay at 168 any longer. My main goal was to win all the belts at 168,” he said. “Canelo [Alvarez is] holding all the belts hostage, and like I said, it’s the perfect time. I’ve been at 168 the past 10 years, so naturally my body is getting bigger. So I think this is just the perfect time to come up and I’m just looking to capture all the titles at this weight class and give the fans the best possible fights that I can. I’m going to be just as dominant as I was in the super middleweight division. I’m staying here, I’m looking to campaign here and take all the belts. I really don’t care about Canelo. If he doesn’t want to fight at 168, then I’m at 175 now and we’re looking to face the best here.

“I’ve prepared very well for Oleksandr Gvozdyk. I know he’s in the best shape of his life and we’ve got warriors going up against each other. We had a helluva sparring session – actually, three sparring sessions, when we were in Oxnard [California] – so I’m very excited to be able to bring this to the people. And we’re definitely going to steal the show Saturday.”

Asked what the sessions were like, Benavidez quickly replied: “You guys have got to pay the pay-per-view to see.”

The likeable Benavidez said he has seen the momentum build around his career and thanked those in his team for making it happen. 

“You have to have patience,” Benavidez explained. “I’ve put in all the groundwork. Last year was my first pay-per-view, and I’ve been a professional for 10 years. You have to have patience. I feel like I’ve got another 15 years left in me for this professional game, so I’ll make the second half of my career the best half.”

Then, asked about being on top of the sport, and being told that he was the favorite fighter of some of the sport’s leading stars, Benavidez replied: “It’s always been my dream since a little kid to be that fighter. I didn’t have the titles at 168, but I do feel like a champion in my heart, and day in and day out I’ve been giving it my all. The fans pay good money to see these fights, and I’ll put my heart on the line and you’ll get the best of David Benavidez every time.

“Now we’re here, this is a big card, I’m very excited for this. Oleksandr Gvozdyk is a great fighter. I go for the knockout every time. This fight’s going to be no different. We’ve got two days until ‘El Monstruo’ comes out.”