Benavidez continues rise, halts Medina in title eliminator
Unbeaten rising contender David Benavidez (18-0, 17 KOs) of Phoenix, Ariz. knocked out exciting former title challenger Rogelio “Porky” Medina (37-8, 31 KOs) from San Luis Rio, Mexico in a super middleweight world title eliminator that headlined a special Saturday night edition of Premier Boxing Champions on FS1 and FOX Deportes from Laredo Energy Arena in Laredo, Texas.
The action-packed main event opened with several crowd-pleasing exchanges in the first pair of rounds. Round three offered more of the same as the rugged pair of pugilists went toe-to-toe giving and receiving each other’s best.
In the fourth round, Benavidez caught Medina with a left uppercut and then followed with a flurry that backed Medina up, but amazingly Medina stayed upright. Medina fought back and engaged Benavidez, but Benavidez landed a sensational seven-punch combination to close out the round.
At the end of round six, Benavidez damaged Medina with an onslaught of offense that buckled Medina into the ropes with referee Jon Shorle ruling it a knockdown. Medina survived the round, but only to eat another bombardment of punches and get dropped for a second time at the end of the seventh round due to a right uppercut to his solar plexus.
Round eight brought a close as Benavidez landed one final eight-punch combo that dropped Medina for a third time and caused Shorle to stop the action at 1:01 into the eighth round.
Benavidez said, “This is just a glimpse of what I can do. I’ve never fought a fighter that pushed me to the full extent like this. Porky Medina is a tremendous fighter. It took everything for me to knock him out, but it was an amazing fight.”
Benavidez continued, “My biggest advantage tonight was my jab. I didn’t throw it as much as I would have liked, but just enough to set him up. I’m looking forward to getting back in the gym and coming back even stronger.”
A disappointed Medina said, “I did my best tonight. The plan was to win, work him from beginning to end, but he moved a little bit more than I anticipated. (Benavidez) did his job and hit me with a few good shots. But I’m going to keep training for my shot at a title and hopefully it will come.”
The win elevates Benavidez into the mandatory position to challenge for the vacant super middleweight world title that will go to the winner of the agreed to Anthony Dirrell vs. Callum Smith clash.
Benavidez concluded, “This makes me more humble and gives me more motivation to work harder. There has never been a super middleweight champion at 20-years old, but I’m going to be the first to do that.”
Televised coverage kicked off with unbeaten featherweight contender Jorge Lara (29-0-2, 21 KOs) of Guadalajara, Mexico defeating Mario Briones (28-6-2, 22 KOs) from Aguascalientes, Mexico by third round knockout in their scheduled 10-round contest.
In the first round, Lara worked to establish an aggressive pace and punished Briones. The second round began with more of the same, Lara hitting Briones with punches in bunches. Briones was able to hold his ground initially, but a straight left with a little less than one minute remaining in the second frame sent Briones to the canvas. Lara then knocked Briones down for a second time with a wild right hand at the close of the round, but Briones quickly regained himself after time expired and was allowed to continue.
The third round opened with Lara mixing it up to the body before landing an overhand right that further dazed Briones. Lara, smelling blood in the water, swarmed Briones with a barrage of punches and forced referee Lee Rogers to stop the bout at :58 into the third.
Not resting on the win, Lara said, “I felt great to get back in the ring tonight. This was a fantastic win for me, but there are four champions out there in my division. I’m ready to fight whoever asks me out of those four belt holders.”
The swing bout featured Austin Dulay (10-0, 7 KOs) of Hermitage, Tenn. winning a unanimous decision (59-52, 59-52, 59-52) in a six-round junior lightweight fight against Jose Esquivel (10-6, 2 KOs) from Laredo, Texas.
The final televised fight of the evening showcased Adam Lopez (7-0, 3 KOs) of Glendale, Calif. defeating Jordan White (4-1, 3 KOs) of Landover, Md. by unanimous decision (59-55,59-55, 60-54) in a six-round bantamweight bout.