Why did David Benavidez lose his title? Reason why the boxer was stripped of his belts

David Benavidez has established himself as a force to be reckoned with inside the squared circle [Image courtesy: Getty Images]
David Benavidez has established himself as a force to be reckoned with inside the squared circle [Image courtesy: Getty Images]

David Benavidez is regarded as one of the most skilled and powerful boxers in the world today. The American fighter, of Mexican and Ecuadorian descent, is undefeated as a professional boxer thus far. He has amassed a pro boxing record of 28 victories, 24 of which have come via KO/TKO.

'The Monster' aka 'The Mexican Monster' is viewed by many as a terrifying knockout artist. The Arizona-born fighter has competed in the light heavyweight (175-pound) and super middleweight (168-pound) divisions in the professional boxing realm. A two-time WBC super middleweight champion, David Benavidez currently holds the WBC interim super middleweight title. With his highly-anticipated upcoming boxing match against Oleksandr Gvozdyk fast approaching, let's take a look at why Benavidez was stripped of his WBC super middleweight title twice.

Why did David Benavidez lose his title?

Of the big four (WBA, WBC, WBO, IBF) titles, David Benavidez has managed to win one thus far. He captured the vacant WBC super middleweight title by defeating Ronald Gavril via split decision in Sept. 2017. Their rematch in Feb. 2018 witnessed 'The Monster' retain the title, as he bested Gavril via unanimous decision.

Following that, in Sept. 2018 the boxing world was set abuzz by reports that Benavidez had failed a drug test and was stripped of his WBC super middleweight title. Apparently, he had failed a drug test administered by VADA (Voluntary Anti-Doping Association) on Aug. 27, 2018, with his urine sample testing positive for benzoylecgonine (cocaine's primary metabolite).

Under the WBC Clean Boxing Program, a WBC-VADA partnership entailing random drug testing, Benavidez was subject to a random drug test conducted by VADA. The positive test got him a four-month-long suspension that ended in Feb. 2019.

Benavidez returned and beat J'Leon Love via second-round TKO in March 2019. 'The Monster' later defeated Anthony Dirrell via ninth-round TKO to win the WBC super middleweight title in Sept. 2019, commencing his second WBC super middleweight championship reign.


Heading into his next fight, David Benavidez missed weight and was stripped of the title for the second time in his career. He weighed in at 170.8 pounds (i.e. 2.8 pounds overweight) for his scheduled WBC super middleweight title defense against Roamer Alexis Angulo in Aug. 2020. Angulo weighed in at 167.6 pounds, making him eligible to win the title if he were to defeat Benavidez.

While Benavidez was ineligible to win the title, he dominantly defeated Angulo via 10th-round corner stoppage. He then scored an 11th-round TKO victory over Ronald Ellis in March 2021 and a seventh-round TKO win against Kyrone Davis in Nov. 2021.

'The Monster' followed it by beating former IBF middleweight champion David Lemieux via third-round TKO to capture the vacant WBC interim super middleweight title in May 2022.

David Benavidez subsequently defended the interim belt by beating Caleb Plant via unanimous decision in March 2023. Benavidez defended the title again by besting Demetrius 'Boo Boo' Andrade via sixth-round stoppage in Nov. 2023. Presently, the 27-year-old is booked to compete in the co-headlining match of the Gervonta Davis vs. Frank Martin card on June 15, 2024.

Many had lobbied for Benavidez to face boxing megastar Saul Canelo Alvarez in their long-awaited grudge match at super middleweight. Earlier this year, 'The Monster' spoke about moving on from the potential Alvarez fight and pursuing undisputed champion status at light heavyweight.

Benavidez's fight on the Davis-Martin card will see him return to the light heavyweight division against former WBC light heavyweight champion Oleksandr Gvodzyk. The much-awaited Benavidez-Gvozdyk showdown will have the WBC interim light heavyweight title at stake.

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