At the young age of 20 years old, David Benavidez is already a boxing world champion.
Benavidez won the vacant WBC super middleweight title after a close split decision win (117-111, 116-111, 111-116) over Ronald Gavril on a Showtime-televised card.
The fight was a tightly-contested one with both fighters making their cases as the winner of the fight. Gavril even had a chance to win the fight in the final round when he knocked down Benavidez. The knockdown ultimately proved futile in the scorecard as Benavidez already had a wide lead in two of the scorecards.
Gavril certainly thought he had won the fight when he was interviewed after the fight.
“I feel I won the fight. I dominated the fight. I can’t say nothing. It’s the judges,” Gavril said. “The only thing I can do is a rematch.”
The title got vacated earlier this year when former champion Badou Jack decided to move up to light heavyweight after frustrations stemming from what he thought was bad judging in his last couple of fights and struggles making the 168-pound limit. Jack has since won the WBA "regular" light heavyweight title on the Floyd Mayweather vs. Conor McGregor pay-per-view card back on August 26.
The title was supposed to be fought between Anthony Dirrell and Callum Smith. Once Smith decided to instead fight in the World Boxing Super Series, Benavidez filled the role as Dirrell's opponent, but once Dirrell got injured, Gavril was selected as Benavidez's opponent.
With the win, Benavidez becomes the youngest super middleweight world champion in the history of the sport. Other boxers in their early 20s have also won their first world title in the past year, including Gervonta Davis and Kosei Tanaka.