David Benavidez to return on March 13 versus Ronald Ellis
Former super middleweight titleholder David Benavidez will return to the ring on March 13 against Ronald Ellis in the main event of a Showtime tripleheader, at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut.
The Athletic’s Mike Coppinger was first to report the story.
Benavidez is a two-time WBC 168-pound titlist. However in both instances, the 24-year-old lost his belt outside the squared circle.
After defeating Ronald Gavril in September 2017 for the vacant strap and beating him in a subsequent rematch in February 2018, Benavidez tested positive for cocaine in a random out-of-competition drug test administered by the Voluntary Anti-Doping Association (VADA). As a result, he was stripped of the title and suspended by the WBC.
Benavidez scored a second round knockout of J’Leon Love before getting his chance at redemption. In September 2019, he knocked out former champion Anthony Dirrell inside nine rounds to win the WBC strap for the second time.
But his reign did not last very long.
Last August, ahead of what was supposed to be the first title defense of his second title reign against Roamer Angulo, Benavidez missed weight and was stripped again.
Benavidez went on to score a 10th-round stoppage of Angulo but the WBC title remained vacant until December 19, when Mexican superstar Canelo Alvarez outpointed Callum Smith to unify two 168-pound belts and win The Ring championship.
However for the time being, it appears Benavidez is back on track as training camp intensifies in Big Bear, California, where he recently earned a rousing endorsement from rising welterweight contender Vergil Ortiz Jr.
“I saw [Benavidez] spar yesterday and the dude has handssssss,” Ortiz tweeted Wednesday.
Benavidez will clash against Ellis (18-1, 12 KOs), who hails from Lynn, Massachusetts but has never boxed in a 12-round contest. That will all change on March 13.
The 31-year-old has won two straight bouts following a majority decision loss to DeAndre Ware in March of 2019.
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