By Jimmy James: David Benavidez’s promoter Sampson Lewkowicz clarified in a new interview with Golden Era Boxing that Demetrius Andrade does not bring anything to the table compared to other fighters like Canelo Alvarez.
“Jose [Benavidez Sr] and David, both do not care about the money part; they are not ducking andrade. They care more about boxing, and they are willing to fight for less money, but as a promoter have to look for the wellbeing of the money side,” said Benavidez’s promoter Lewkowicz to Golden Era Boxing.
Sampson says that casual boxing fans today buy many brawl-friendly fights rather than fighters that are more stylistically technical.
“Boxers like Andrade do not sell because they have a very boring styleand fans do not want to pay to watch a snooze fest,” Lewkowicz said.
“Myself and the ones who know about boxing like yourself appreciate Andrade’s style, but the average fan does not like boxers that don’t brawl,” Lewkowicz added.
Lewkowicz’s suggestion is for Andrade to CHANGE his boxing style and become more attractive to Latino fans.
When asked if boxers like Sugar Ray Robinson, Tippy Larkin, George Benton, Willie Pep, Tony Canzoneri, Ruben Olivares, James Toney, among other stylistically greats, would sell in today’s market, Lewkowicz said, “No, because of their style.
“Many of them had great defense but would not sell in a market that primarily sells to Latinos from Mexico, Argentina, Colombia, etc.
“They want to see boxers throw bombs at each other to entertain the public,” Lewkowicz said.
When asked about the African American market that produces stylistically brilliant boxers, Lewkowicz said, “I guarantee 80 percent [of the fans] don’t like Andrade’s style.”
Lewkowicz then admitted that Andrade is more of a risk and skillful boxer than Canelo Alvarez, and he blamed Demetrius’ promoter Eddie Hearn for wasting his talent.
“The biggest mistake Hearn has ever made was to sign Andrade and not have sufficient boxers with a pedigree to fight against him,” Lewkowicz said.
“He must not care for Andrade because he NEVER called me to make the fight against Benavidez and make us the same $7 million bid sent to [Jermall] Charlo. To only find out now such offer is not worth it,” Lewkowicz said.
Sampson also clarified his position with Caleb Plant claiming he wanted a Benavidez fight.
“He [Plant] Spoke to me, saying he wanted a fight against Benavidez before he was a world champion, but I told him to hold on a little longer,” Lewkowicz said about him declining a fight between Plant and Benavidez.
“He [Plant] never sent us a contract to fight against Benavidez once he became a world champion and didn’t want the fight,” said Lewkowicz about Plant never showing interest in a fight with Benavidez after he captured the WBC 168-lb title in 2017.
Lewkowicz also clarified his role as a promoter of Benavidez. “The promoters are the ones who choose the fights, but the final decision comes from the fighter, who is not obligated to take a fight if he doesn’t want to.”
With that statement, Lewkowicz left a door open for a possible fight between Benavidez and Andrade. It’ll come down to whether Benavidez truly wants the fight with Andrade or not.
On Thursday, Benavidez’s father, Jose Sr, said that “the money won’t be a problem,” which suggests that he wants the Benavidez-Andrade fight.
Sampson is correct in that boxing casual fans lost their foothold of the real art of boxing, which has been lost thanks to a dilution in the sport. The focus on “undefeated means all” and “If you lose, you are no longer relevant” has resulted in fighters not taking risks by facing the best competition.
The last great decade of boxing was in the nineties. Today, the demand for brawlers outbids the market of defensive boxers, showing why fighters like Guillermo Rigondeaux get booed, whereas Marcos Maidana gets applauded.
In this era, it is acceptable to duck a fighter whose style is suited to outthink you because it sells more to face an opponent with an action-packed style that will dramatize and excite the fans.
Even though I’m afraid I disagree with dissing out ultra-high defensive style boxing, it is boxing today in a nutshell and it’s here to stay.