Two-time super middleweight champion David Benavidez faces former world champion David Lemieux in the main event at Gila River Arena in Glendale, Arizona on Saturday, May 21. The pair battles it out for the interim WBC super middleweight title live on Showtime.
Ahead of the event David Benavidez held court in the same ballroom, as undefeated unified WBC, WBA and IBF super welterweight champion Jermell Charlo, who is set to meet WBO 154-pound titleholder Brian Castano in the rematch for the undisputed title live on Showtime from Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, California on Saturday, May 14. The athletes answered questions from media about their upcoming fights during separate media roundtables inside the Live! By Loews Hotel from Arlington, Texas.
Sitting to their right was Stephen Espinoza, President, Sports and Event Programming, Showtime Networks Inc., who offered his thoughts during an intriguing and wide-ranging discussion involving two of the most talented fighters today.
Check out below what David Benavidez and Stephen Espinoza had to say ahead of May 21 event.
Benavidez vs Lemieux tickets
David Benavidez vs David Lemieux tickets to witness all the action at Gila River Arena in Glendale, Arizona on Saturday, May 21 are on sale. Tickets can be purchased via TicketNetwork and Vivid Seats.
David Benavidez: It’s not going to be easy… It’s going to be a fun fight
On his aggressive style:
“Every fight I go into, I either want to get a knockout or a stoppage. I think I have five straight stoppages since I came back from my suspension. That’s the plan. I want to go in there and I don’t want to leave any doubt. The stoppage is always the main thing I go for.”
On facing David Lemieux:
“With the style that David Lemieux has, it’s basically tailormade for my style to go in there and stop him. But it’s not going to be easy. David Lemieux is really motivated too. He’s fighting for another title just like I am. He’s a big puncher. I’m going in there and I’m looking forward to it. It’s going to be a fun fight.
“As one of the best super middleweights in the world, you have to work around your opponents not trying to exchange with you. You have to learn how to deal with adversity. I don’t want to be like Edgar Berlanga who says I didn’t knock this guy out because he was running from me the whole fight. You’re going to get people that run from you the whole fight. It’s up to you to figure that out and try to knock them out.”
On moving up to light heavyweight:
“I feel like besides Caleb Plant or Jermall Charlo, Demetrius Andrade is the only other fight that makes sense. These other fighters I want are Caleb Plant, Jermall Charlo and even Edgar Berlanga. And if not, I think it might be time to go up to 175 pounds. I’ve been trying to make all these fights happen for a long time. I feel like right now, when I win the WBC interim title, I’ll have a little bit more leverage. But if I can’t make them happen, it’s because the fighters don’t want to make the fight with me happen.
On facing Canelo Alvarez:
“To be honest, right now I’m kind of forgetting about a Canelo fight because he’s over there doing his thing. He’s going to fight Bivol and then Golovkin. So, I feel like I have to take this route and fight everybody over here. At the end of the day, that’s going to give me the experience I need.”
“Canelo is where he’s at because he has experience. He’s fought a lot of great fighters, so if I go the same route and fight all these great fighters and beat them, then I’ll have enough experience to go in there and have the confidence to beat Canelo.”
On facing Caleb Plant:
“I hope Caleb Plant is serious about fighting in the second half of the year. I’m serious. We’ve let this fight marinate as long as possible. Now it’s going to be an even better position because once I get the WBC interim title against David Lemieux, there will be no excuse not to fight me. He said he wants the rematch with Canelo. Well, this is the best step to do it.”
On fighting in his home state of Arizona:
“I think fighting in Arizona again is going to be even better than last time. This time, it’s for the WBC interim title. A title fight against another great ex-champion. People out there love me. I have a lot of fans and supporters in Arizona. I’m excited. A lot of people are going to be there and I’m definitely going to put on a show.”
Stephen Espinoza: These are fights that need to be made. Life is short, so let’s do it
On a Benavidez vs. Plant matchup:
“It makes sense. I think one thing that the pandemic reminded everybody is that it can be taken away at any minute. This could all disappear. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that coming out of the pandemic, we have had no issue making tough fights. If you look at our schedule, it’s all tough fights. Nobody is getting easy fights.”
“I do think that this has had an effect on people. These are fights that need to be made. Life is short, so let’s do it.”
In the co-main event Cuban prospect Yoelvis Gomez battles Mexico’s Jorge Cota in a ten-rounder at super welterweight. Get Benavidez vs Lemieux full fight card and start time.