By: Hans Themistode
David Benavidez was originally taken aback by the amount of vitriol aimed in his direction from WBC middleweight belt holder Jermall Charlo. Just a few months ago, the former two-time super middleweight champion stated that if Charlo were to move up in weight, a clash between them would be must-see television.
Unappreciative of his words, Charlo (31-0, 22 KOs) lashed out in a fit of rage, claiming he would stop Benavidez if the two met in the ring. From there, the war of words between them began. Not a fan of the back and forth rhetoric, Benavidez simply offered to take Charlo on in his next bout. While the Phoenix, Arizona resident was confident that their showdown would materialize, he quickly realized that Charlo was all talk and no action.
“There were no negotiations,” said Benavidez during an interview with ESNews. “I told him let’s fight and he started talking shit and spitting everywhere and yelling like how he does but there was no effort to make the fight.”
Charlo, 30, is currently preparing to defend his middleweight crown against fringe contender Juan Macias Montiel on June 19th. Although the Houston native has expressed an eagerness to move up in weight to face unified super middleweight champion, Canelo Alvarez, he isn’t willing to do the same for a clash with Benavidez.
In the mind of Charlo, moving eight pounds north to face Benavidez (24-0, 21 KOs) doesn’t make any sense. For starters, Charlo is reluctant to drop his middleweight title. Furthermore, with Benavidez currently beltless, he believes he gains nothing from challenging the 24-year-old. With that said, Benavidez views the words of Charlo as nothing more than excuses.
While Charlo has stated that he has nothing to gain from fighting him, the eyes of Benavidez lights up with dollar signs. Although the official purse of Charlo and his fifth title defense hasn’t been revealed, Benavidez is confident that the Houstonian would have seen a substantially larger payday for their clash instead.
“He could’ve made the fight happen. Who is he fighting? He could’ve fought me. He could’ve been fighting Benavidez for triple the money but he didn’t want it.”