David Benavidez looks to become youngest champion at super middleweight

Updated September 7, 2017 - 3:32 pm

Sparring against Gennady Golovkin has turned David Benavidez into boxing’s next knockout artist.

Benavidez, who has knocked out 17 of his 18 opponents, looks to continue his breakout 2017 with a victory Friday over Ronald Gavril, a Las Vegas resident, for the vacant WBC super middleweight belt. Benavidez and Gavril headline a Showtime-televised card at The Joint inside the Hard Rock Hotel. Doors open at 3:30 p.m., and the televised portion of the card begins at 7.

“I feel like he (Gavril) has a really good style for me to showcase my skills, like how I did against Rogelio Medina,” said Benavidez, who trains at The Summit Gym in Big Bear, California, where Golovkin trains. “With our sparring partners, we have brawlers and we have boxers, as well. Whatever style he fights on that night, I’m going to be prepared for it.”

Benavidez, 20, is aiming to become the youngest boxer to win a world title at 168 pounds. Darrin Van Horn currently holds the record when he won his belt at age 22 in 1991, five years before Benavidez was born.

The rising super middleweight contender could be taking two major awards at the end of the year — prospect of the year and knockout of the year.

Benavidez, a Phoenix native, recorded a sensational knockout against Medina, a super middleweight contender, four months ago. Benavidez landed a rare seven-punch knockout to put away Medina in the eighth round.

In the co-main event, Las Vegas resident J’Leon Love fights Abraham Han in a 10-round super middleweight bout.

Also on the undercard, former middleweight champion Peter Quillin faces Dashon Johnson. Quillin has been out of the ring since his first-round knockout loss to Daniel Jacobs in 2015.

Tickets start at $30 and are available on axs.com.

More boxing: Follow all of our boxing coverage online at reviewjournal.com/boxing and @RJ_Sports on Twitter

Contact Gilbert Manzano at gmanzano@reviewjournal.com. Follow @GManzano24 on Twitter.

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