Long-time HBO boxing commentator Jim Lampley says that Saturday’s super middleweight clash between David Benavidez and Demetrius Andrade is “a MUST matchup for the continuation of a logical narrative in both the 168 lb. weight class and the pound for pound sweepstakes in the sport.” The winner, he says, “looks forward toward large horizons, the loser can argue he is not eliminated from the picture, but rather has accepted a setback by taking on a particularly difficult style matchup for him and his specific skill set.”
Lampley is taking a keen interest in the matchup, taking place at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas, as he will again be ringside for PPV.com, continuing a role he originated with another super middleweight showdown, between Saul “Canelo” Alvarez and Jermell Charlo in September.
He sees challenges and opportunities for both men in the ring on Saturday.
"To win, Benavidez must go forward aggressively and impose his advantages in size and power, while Andrade must make Benavidez miss and then make him pay, employing superior elusiveness and counterpunching. Their styles are made for each other,” he says.
"Benavidez is a young, confident, charismatic destroyer with unusual straight-ahead power and aggressive fighting instincts. Andrade is a superbly conditioned, athletically gifted southpaw counterpuncher with guile, craft and experience.”
Both men have long been calling out Alvarez, and Lampley believes that victory only makes a showdown with the divisional kingpin that much more likely.
"In sum, the winner becomes a logical opponent for Canelo Álvarez at 168 lbs., as both Benavidez and Andrade have been circling Canelo and hunting this opportunity for the past couple of years,” he concludes.