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Benavidez-Gavri: Youth will be served

benavidez-gavrin
benavidez-gavrin

By Allan Cerf


Event: It’s David “The Red Flag” Benavidez vs. Ronald “The Thrill Gavril” Friday, September 8, on Showtime/live from the Hard Rock in Las Vegas.

 

Background: David Benavidez (18-0, 17 KOs) is a throwback to a time when very young fighters were fighting for championships. Times change and we now hear fighters mature after 30.  Duran was a champ at 21 - Ali at 22. So, I’m to believe that because Showtime says it - fighters are now peaking at ages 31-37? Sounds screwy but what do I know - so I put this notion to a top boxing M.D. who abjectly denies it. According to her, boxers get - novices aside - worse, not better with age. Benavidez challenging for the vacant Super Middleweight belt at age 20 is for me, a great sign.

 

Benavidez’s opponent, Gavril, (18-1, 14 KOs) of Las Vegas by way of Romania had a solid but certainly not storied amateur career. He is within Showtime’s approved career arc - he should now, at 31, be entering his “prime.” To repeat the belief of some: Super Middleweight is a division that shouldn’t exist. 168 pounders should get their butts down to Middleweight or the hell up to Light-Heavy. I don’t agree, but - there it is.

 

Benavidez has a reach of 76 inches, thought it looks longer. He has a curious style: he keeps his arms pinned to his sides and throws deliberately under-extended punches much of the time. Weird. His flurries, while clearly effective - look like what drunks at parties think a flurrying boxer should look - and with a lot of hip movement thrown in.  His thin legs likewise take little, weird steps. His reflexes are excellent and there’s no denying his KO percentage.  

 

Gavril has had, in the opinion of most, very poor professional opposition. His career began late. His jab seems underutilized but I will say - his movement is more normal than that of Benavidez. He moves well. He’s taller than his opponent and is managed by Mayweather which must count for something.


Scorecards: (Speed, Power, Defense, Reach, Stamina, Age, Experience)

 

Benavidez: (Average of all) B

 

Gavril: (Average of all) C+

 

Reality check: Gavril stepped in as opponent when one of the hyper-talented Dirrell brothers (Anthony) once again mysteriously disappeared from boxing, in this case claiming an injury.  Someday I’ll learn “what really up” with the Dirrell’s, as their huge absences from the sport are truly unfathomable and disturbing. Gavril is no Dirrell. However, Benavidez, while touted for giant power certainly doesn’t evidence it - YET - to these eyes. Perhaps the Romanian can do himself a huge favor with an upset. Until one of these guys fights a opponent, it’s hard to rate them.

 

Personal: Gavril hobbies: swimming, horseback riding and Formula 1. Family comes first.  For Benavidez - TBD.

 

Prediction: Benavidez is the better fighter. He’s younger, (yes that matters) and faster. I see him winning by TKO in round 10.



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