David Benavidez dropped, beat up and finally stopped fellow 168-pound contender Demetrius Andrade at the end of the sixth round Saturday at Michelob Ultra Arena in Las Vegas.
Andrade (32-1, 19 KOs) got off to a strong start, beating Benavidez (28-0, 24 KOs) to the punch, generally outworking him and moving out of harm’s way as the naturally bigger man tried to walk him down.
Things changed radically in an instant in the final seconds of Round 4, when a right from Benavidez put Andrade down and hurt him.
It was all Benavidez after that, as he pounded a willing, but overmatched Andrade to both the head and body for almost all of the next two one-sided rounds.
Finally, after Round 6, Andrade’s corner said enough was enough and instructed the referee to stop the fight.
Benavidez was coming off a unanimous decision victory over the skillful, elusive Caleb Plant in March. That result snapped Benavidez’s knockout streak at six.
Andrade, a former 154- and 160-pound titleholder, was fighting at 168 for the second time.
A full report will follow shortly.
The fight has been stopped. Andrade’s corner instructed the referee to stop it after the sixth round to save Andrade from taking more punishment.
Huge round for Benavidez. He just walked down and pounded Andrade to both the head and body and received very little in return. It’s surprising that Andrade was able to stay on his feet. He took vicious, nonstop punishment.
A right hand put Andrade down in the final seconds of the round. Legit hard shot that hurt him. Andrade was having a good round to that point, outworking Benavidez. Benavidez just keeps coming, though. And the pressure paid off.
Has the fight turned already? Andrade controlled the first two minutes on the round but Benavidez seemed to hurt him later, as he unloaded several hard, accurate shots and slowed Andrade down. Close round overall, though.
Good round for Andrade. Benavidez is having trouble adjusting to Andrade’s awkward style, his speed and maybe his southpaw stance. Andrade outworked Benavidez that round. Benavidez isn’t fazed, though. He had some good moments too.
Good pace for an opening round, although both men obviously were trying to find their ranges and adjust to one another. Both landed some good, hard body shots. Love the energy from both guys.
The main event is next, David Benavidez vs. Demetrius Andrade.
Middleweight champ Jermall Charlo made a successful return, defeating a brave, but overmatched Jose Benavidez Jr. by a near-shutout decision in a 10-round bout.
The official scores were 100-90, 99-91 and 98-92. Boxing Junkie scored it 99-91, nine rounds to one.
Charlo (33-0, 22 KOs) was returning after a 2½-year layoff but didn’t look rusty, landing his effective jab consistently and following with sharp combinations and single shots to dominate the fight.
Benavidez (28-3-1, 19 KOs) was the naturally much smaller man but didn’t fight like it, attacking Charlo with some success at many junctures and absorbing many huge shots without going down.
However, the older brother of David Benavidez ate too many clean shots to win rounds.
The fighters agreed to a catch weight of 163 pounds but Charlo came in at 166.4. Benavidez decided to go through with the fight, presumably in part because Charlo had to add to his payday for him to do so.
Charlo hadn’t fought since he outpointed Juan Macias Montiel in June of 2021.
Subriel Matias beat up and then stopped Shohjahon Ergashev after five rounds to retain his junior welterweight title.
Ergashev (23-1, 20 KOs) got off to a good start, using his right hand as a range finder and landed many hard, accurate left hands.
However, by Round 3, Matias (20-1, 20 KOs), had worked his way inside and began to punish the Uzbek mercilessly with a variety of power punches.
Ergashev tried to fight back in the final few rounds — and clinched to slow Matias down — but he didn’t have the tools to keep the Puerto Rican slugger away.
Ergashev didn’t come out of his corner for the start of Round 6, complaining of an injury to his right leg.
Matias has now forced five consecutive to opponents to retire in their corners.
He was making the first defense of the title he won by knocking out Jeremias Ponce in five rounds in February.
Ergashev was fighting for a major title for the first time.
Lamont Roach Jr. defeated Hector Luis Garcia by a split decision to take Garcia’s 130-pound title.
One judge had Garcia winning 114-113 but the other two scored it for Roach, 116-111 and 114-113. Boxing Junkie scored it 116-112, eight rounds to four.
Neither fighter was particularly active but Roach (24-1-1, 9 KOs) kept Garcia on his heels most of the fight, jabbing and following with enough power shots to win rounds.
He was awarded a knockdown in the 12th round but the punch that put Garcia on the canvas, a left hook, landed behind his head and shouldn’t have counted.
Had Roach been awarded a 10-9 round — instead of 10-8 — the fight would’ve been a split draw and Garcia would’ve retained his title.
Garcia (16-2, 10 KOs) simply wasn’t active enough, as he spent more time waiting to counter than he did letting his hands go.
Unbeaten super middleweight contenders David Benavidez and Demetrius Andrade are scheduled to face off on pay-per-view Saturday night at Michelob Ultra Arena in Las Vegas.
The winner of the fight could be in line to challenge undisputed champion Canelo Alvarez in May.
Here are the other featured fights on the deep card:
Jermall Charlo vs. Jose Benavidez Jr., super middleweights.
Subriel Matias vs. Shohjahon Ergashev, junior welterweights (for Matias’ IBF junior title).
Hector Luis Garcia vs. Lamont Roach, junior lightweights (for Garcia’s WBA title).
The show is scheduled to begin at 8 p.m. ET / 5 p.m. PT.
Boxing Junkie will post live round-by-round analysis and updates immediately after those fights end. Simply return to this post and refresh when the time comes.
Full coverage – fight stories, analysis and more – will follow on separate posts the night of the card and the following day.
Enjoy the fights!