David Benavidez may not be the WBC world champion at 168 pounds heading to his fight against J'Leon Love, but he still sees himself as the champion.
Benavidez spoke in a recent media conference call on behalf of Love to talk about his fight against Love. The fight is Benavidez's first since failing a drug test last year and losing his WBC super middleweight champion by the governing body. Fightful asked Benavidez about what he thinks about being stripped of the title and said no one defeated him to win the title and that he still views himself as the champion.
"I definitely see myself as the WBC champion. Nobody beat me. They've got to come get me, and they've got to come beat me to crown themselves champion. I definitely still see myself as WBC champion," Benavidez said.
Although Benavidez still feels as if he's the WBC champion, the physical belt is being held by Anthony Dirrell, the new champion recognized by the organization. With Benavidez being named the WBC's "Champion in Recess," he could potentially fight for the title next with a win over Love. When asked by Fightful if that is indeed the plan for him moving forward, Benavidez answered in the affirmative.
"That's definitely the plan, but for right now, my mind is 100 percent on J'Leon Love. He's still a veteran. He's still a dangerous fighter. So I can't overlook him at all. First things first, I've got to take care of business next week on March 16, and then we'll think about what's going to happen after," Benavidez said.
The fight between Benavidez and Love will be the co-main event to the March 16 pay-per-view card from AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. The main event of that fight is an IBF welterweight title fight between Errol Spence Jr. and Mikey Garcia. Benavidez's comments can be seen in the video at the top of the page.