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David Benavidez earns title shot with Medina stoppage

Photo by Naoki Fukuda
20
May

Super middleweight prodigy David Benavidez earned a shot at the WBC title with a brutal eighth-round stoppage of inhumanly tough former title challenger Rogelio Medina on Saturday in Laredo, Texas.

Benavidez (18-0, 16 knockouts), a native of Phoenix, Arizona who is only 20 years old, repeatedly got the better of the vastly more experience Medina (37-8, 31 KOs), a 28-year-old pressure fighter from Sonora, Mexico, in a grueling, fast-paced battle of attrition.

Benavidez handled Medina when pressed to the ropes, rocked the veteran with an uppercut in Round 4, scored a technical knockdown (ruled by referee Jon Shorle after Medina was staggered into the ropes) in Round 6, dropped the Sonora native with a solar plexus shot at the end of Round 7, and finally pummeled the older man to the canvas and nearly out of the ring one minute into Round 8. Shorle had seen enough and waved the bout off in Round 8.

In truth, despite Medina’s amazing resolve and fighting spirit (he raged back with sheer pressure and volume every time Benavidez hurt him), the fight could have been stopped after Round 6 or 7. The stoppage was impressive given that Benavidez hasn’t beena pro for four years yet and Medina gave James DeGale all the current IBF titleholder could handle in a decision loss last April.

With the victory, which was televised on Fox Sports Net, Benavidez is guaranteed a shot at the winner of the Anthony Dirrell-Callum Smith fight for the vacant WBC belt on Sept. 9.

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