David Benavidez may not end the year as the WBC super middleweight champion after failing a drug test a few months ago, but his first fight in 2019 will be on one of the biggest boxing shows of the year thus far.
Benavidez will fight on the pay-per-view card of Errol Spence Jr.'s IBF welterweight title defense against Mikey Garcia. The event will take place on March 16, 2019 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.
Promoter Sampson Lewkowicz told ESPN of Benavidez's plans to fight on the event and the plan is to have him face a top super middleweight contender in anticipation of a potential shot at the title later in the year.
"We're looking for a top contender for David to fight," Lewkowicz said. "He doesn't need a tune-up. He fits perfectly on this card. People are interested in how he is coming back. People are curious."
As for what is the fate of the WBC super middleweight title, the title will have a new champion when Anthony Dirrell and Avni Yildirim compete for the vacant title. The two are currently scheduled to fight at the Minneapolis Armory in Minnesota on February 23 in the main event of PBC card on Fox Sports 1.
It was announced in mid-September that Benavidez tested positive for benzoylecgonine, the central compound found in cocaine, and not a performance-enhancing drug in a drug test administered by VADA. As a result of the positive test, the WBC moved Benavidez to "Champion in Recess" and ordered Yildirim and Dirrell to fight for the vacant title.