The sport of boxing continues to struggle to get cards to go off as planned during the COVID-19 pandemic. David Benavidez has failed to make weight for his planned WBC super middleweight title defense against Roamer Alexis Angulo. Benavidez weighed in at 170.8 pounds, missing the mark by 2.8 pounds for his title defense and losing the championship on the scale.
"I'm very disappointed," Benavidez said after missing weight. "Obviously, this is my first time missing weight. Like I said, very disappointed losing the title on the scale, but I've still got a job to do tomorrow. I lose the title, but I'm still going to win tomorrow."
The fight between Benavidez and Angulo is scheduled to headline Saturday's Showtime Championship Boxing card from Mohegan Sun Casino in Uncasville, Connecticut. It will be Benavidez's first fight in nearly a year, last fighting in September 2019 when the 23-year-old knocked out Anthony Dirrell.
Benavidez took the blame for missing weight, but did cite some of the restrictions in place due to the pandemic as throwing him off his game in the final stretch of cutting weight.
"I put the blame on myself," Benavidez said. "Those last three pounds wouldn't come off. Maybe not having the proper things I need, you know, sauna and I was only able to go to the gym for an hour a day since I got here. It's just a couple different things, but obviously I'm very disappointed."
While a fight between Benavidez and Caleb Plant has been teased for Benavidez, his promoter recently stated that the plan after the Angulo fight would be to fight WBC mandatory challenger Avni Yildirim next. The fight with Angulo is an optional defense before handling the mandatory defense. Being stripped of the title could open up other options for Benavidez aside from a fight with Yildirim.
Angulo is entering the fight riding a three-fight winning streak, including knocking off the previously-undefeated Anthony Sims Jr. by split decision in his most recent fight in January.
This is not Benavidez's first stumble in his young career, having served a suspension and being stripped of the WBC title after testing positive for cocaine in late 2018.