There are several weekends throughout the calendar year that Boxing fans look forward to every year. Whether it be on the fourth of July weekend, Cinco De Mayo, or Mexican Independence Day weekend to name a few, there is always at least one Boxing event that draws interest. One holiday weekend that is normally associated with great food, parades, NFL Football, and of course, shopping as the official beginning of the Christmas holiday season, is Thanksgiving weekend here in the United States. While the aforementioned activities will always be first in mind for many, one aspect of Thanksgiving weekend that at times can be overlooked is that it has periodically also been a destination for Boxing.
The 2023 Thanksgiving weekend will be headlined by a battle between two undefeated former world champions in an intriguing Super-Middleweight elimination bout. Former WBC Super-Middleweight world champion David Benavidez will meet former two-division world champion Demetrius Andrade in a WBC elimination bout to determine the next number one contender as far as the WBC is concerned for current Undisputed Super-Middleweight champion Saul “Canelo" Alvarez. A fight that will take place at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, NV that can be seen in the United States on Showtime Pay-Per-View in the main event of what will be the final pay-per-view card produced by Showtime Sports before the network exits the sport of Boxing at the conclusion of 2023.
In some ways, this fight, though not for a world championship, brings together two fighters who have each been regarded as both among the best in the sport and arguably two of the most avoided fighters as well. Fighters with styles like Benavidez and Andrade are indeed viewed by some as a high risk, low reward scenario. This is due to both being crafty, elusive boxers, each with the ability to box, but also having solid hand speed and punching power. Such attributes have rightfully earned both the label as a dangerous option for potential opponents to take and many including for the moment, Alvarez, have for whatever reason chosen other options rather than face either Benavidez or Andrade.
Thus, it has created a unique and somewhat rarely seen scenario where two fighters labeled as both “Dangerous" and “Avoided" have the option of facing each other in the hope that a victory will allow them not just an opportunity to fight for another world championship, but also the potential for a significantly lucrative payday by potentially facing Alvarez. Perhaps such a scenario points out a flaw that can unfortunately exist from time to time in the sport of Boxing in that, despite being a former world champion and being among the highest skilled fighters in the sport as both Benavidez and Andrade are, it does not necessarily equate to getting the most lucrative opportunities, at least without going through significant hurdles beforehand.
Nevertheless, the fight between the two does present what should be an interesting clash of styles where the question going into the fight might be who will take the initiative. Although both fighters can do many of the same things inside the ring, a small wrinkle that some might point to that could give Andrade an edge is that David Benavidez is traditionally a slow starter. While the counter argument is that by starting slow it allows Benavidez an opportunity to assess what his opponent has, against a fighter like Andrade, starting slow might ultimately work against him if Andrade is able to find his rhythm early and dictate the tempo of the combat.
Where Benavidez’ strength is, is as a fight progresses, he picks up his offensive output and tends to throw punches at a significantly high volume. This could be a key if the fight gets into the middle and late rounds because Demetrius Andrade has not to date faced a fighter with the type of hand speed or punching power that his opponent in this bout Benavidez has in his arsenal as he will likely be trying to apply pressure that Andrade has not experienced before in the middle and late stages of the fight. By the same token, Benavidez has not faced a fighter with either the hand speed or power that Andrade has and he has never faced a fighter with Andrade’s skill.
What this creates for the Boxing fan is a true case of the element of the unknown as there is a legitimate question as to what will happen when the two fighters get in the ring because for all intents and purposes, this looks to be an even fight at least on paper. As interesting as this fight appears to be, it will be taking place under the shadow of Showtime’s impending exit from the sport after thirty-seven years as one of the powerhouses in Boxing.
Although this observer will have more thoughts about that subject as we get closer to the end of 2023 in an upcoming column here on The Boxing Truth®️, one might wonder with the network having announced their impending exit in October, if that will hurt or perhaps help the potential pay-per-view buys for this bout. While there is significant evidence to suggest that the overuse of an outdated and overpriced model of pay-per-view has led to Showtime and to be more specific it's parent company Paramount Global seeking to leave the sport, it is still a shame that a fight like this, which deserves significant attention, has not been given the same type of promotional pudh as some previous Showtime Pay-Per-View events. Even if this fight as many others before it would likely have more eyes viewing it if it were available live on Showtime's cable network or even Paramount's streaming network Paramount+ than it probably will on pay-per-view, it nevertheless has the potential to be a great fight.
“And That's The Boxing Truth."
Benavidez vs. Andrade takes place on Saturday, November 25th at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, NV. The fight can be seen in the United States on Showtime Pay-Per-View beginning at 8PM ET/5PN PT for $74.99. The pay-per-vieq broadcast will be available on traditional cable/satellite telco providers as well as streaming pay-per-view platforms such as FITE and PPV.com. Contact your local cable/satellite provider for more information.
To order and stream on the FITE app on mobile, tablet, and connected streaming devices/Smart TVs Click here to order and for additional instructions on how to download the FITE app.
To order and stream on the PPV.com app on mobile, tablet, and connected streaming devices/Smart TVs and for instructions on how to download the PPV.com app Click here.
(*Check your local listings Internationally.*)
(*Card and Start time Subject To Change.*)
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