No Detroit Love Lost for J’Leon Love & David Benavidez on March 16
By Robert Brizel, Head Real Combat Media Boxing Correspondent
The best bout on USA Fox at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, on Saturday evening, March 16, 2019, could be the preliminary bout to the Errol Spence Jr. versus Mikey Garcia WBC Diamond Welterweight World title super fight main event.
A super middleweight explosion will occur in which David ‘El Bandera Roja’ Benavidez is predicted to fight an anything goes action packed 10 round split decision which could go either way against J’Leon Love in a critical 168 pound crossroads bout. Knockdowns could affect scoring in a close bout.
Benavidez, 20-0 with 17 knockouts, Phoenix, Arizona, the youngest world super middleweight champion ever at 22, has been inactive for 13 months, since winning the World Boxing Council World Super Middleweight title. Benevidez was stripped of his world title after testing positive for cocaine in a random urine sample taken by the Volunteer Anti-Doping Association (VADA) under the WBC’s clean boxing program. World title defenses against Matt Korobov and Anthony Dirrell went out the window. Dirrell now holds the WBC World Super Middleweight title.
Love, 22-1 with 13 knockouts, Las Vegas, Nevada by way of Detroit, Michigan, fought twice in 2018, winning a 10 round decision over Jaime Barboza, and losing a 10 round decision to Peter Quillin. Love also fought an eight round technical draw with Abraham Han in September 2017 which ended on a cut due to an accidental head butt.
Benavidez has stopped Rogelio Medina, who knocked Love out. Benevidez has knockout power. The major issue for Benavidez’ promoter Sampson Lewkowicz is whether or not Benevidez has overcome substance abuse issues. Love is a skilled technical fighter with 10 decisions to his credit. Love has fought into the tenth round seven times in his career. The bottom line in this bout is the ultimate edge on fight night goes to the man who wants it more. It could be close, or not. Inactivity and substance abuse, as a general rule, does not help boxers. It all depends where the boxer is emotionally come fight time, making Benavidez a question mark. Love is coming off a loss, though, which generally puts a fighter at a disadvantage.
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