Showcase fights don't get much bigger for the "A-side" than David Benavidez's fight with Kyrone Davis, which takes place Saturday night and airs live on Showtime at 10 p.m. ET. With a win, Benavidez could earn a fight against the biggest star in boxing, lined up as potentially the last super middleweight who could challenge undisputed champion Saul "Canelo" Alvarez.
Benavidez (24-0, 21 KO) was originally lined up for a fight with Jose Uzcategui, which Benavidez would have entered as a heavy favorite, but Uzcategui failed a drug test and Davis got the call to step in on short notice, replacing one opponent Benavidez was expected to run through with another.
Benavidez, a big, strong, heavy-handed fighter, may well have already scored a fight with Canelo had he been able to stay out of his own way. His first reign as WBC super middleweight champion came to an end in September 2018 after he tested positive for cocaine. A second run with the same title came to an end in August 2020 when Benavidez missed weight ahead of a title defense against Alexis Angulo. Maintaining his championship status would have put Benavidez directly in Canelo's path as the Mexican superstar was on his way to unify all four world titles at 168 pounds.
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Davis (16-2-1, 6 KO) is a fighter very much of the quality Benavidez has spent much of his career handling with ease. A PBC on Fox main event against Anthony Dirrell earlier this year put Davis on the map a bit, as he battled Dirrell to a draw. Rather than effectively build on the momentum of an impressive performance on a big stage, Davis stumbled badly against unheralded Martez McGregor in September. Davis would have lost the fight on the cards had McGregor not picked up point deductions that allowed Davis to sneak out with a decision victory.
Opportunity has now knocked for Davis for a second time, landing an unlikely second major broadcast main event in 2021.
A familiar face gets positioned in the co-main event here as Benavidez's brother, Jose Benavidez Jr., is back for the first time in three years. The super welterweight is set to take on Francisco Emanuel Torres in his first bout since a title opportunity against Terence Crawford in October 2018. Benavidez Jr. is unbeaten beside the loss to Crawford on the title level with 27 wins and 18 knockouts to his name. He gets a softer touch for his return to the ring as Torres carries a 17-3 mark, but with just five knockouts on his resume.
Plus, rising super lightweight prospect Rock Dodler Myrthil is back in a featured contest when he takes on Ladarius Miller. Myrthil, the native of Haiti, brings decent power to this contest as he has earned 13 knockouts in 17 career wins while keeping his record spotless. He earned a unanimous decision in his most recent appearance in February 2020. Myrthil faces a solid challenge in Miller, who owns a 21-2 and has never been stopped. Miller lost a decision in his last appearance in October 2020.
Here's the latest fight card for Saturday night along with odds from Caesars Sportsbook.
Benavidez vs. Davis card, odds
David Benavidez -3000
Kyrone Davis +1300
Jose Benavidez Jr.
Francisco Emanuel Torres
Rock Dodler Myrthil
Jonathan Javier Fierro
Elijah Lorenzo Garcia
Jesus Abel Ibarra
Hector Ruben Ambriz Suarez
Benavidez is simply the better fighter here and isn't taking the fight on short notice. Davis had a fine showing against Dirrell in the "opponent" role. But Benavidez is not Dirrell and this fight isn't likely to play out nearly as nicely for Davis. Especially knowing what could be on the line in a shot at Canelo, expect Benavidez to come out trying to make a big statement in an attempt to secure the Canelo bag. Pick: David Benavidez via TKO5