By: Hans Themistode
The long climb back up the super middleweight ladder just got incredibly longer for David Benavidez.
The former two-time 168-pound belt holder has been pulled from his showdown against former titlist Jose Uzcategui due to the 24-year-old testing positive for COVID-19. Originally, Benavidez (24-0, 21 KOs) and Uzcategui (31-4, 26 KOs) were set to face off on August 28th, in Phoenix Arizona.
Now, the two will wait patiently as a new date is currently being worked on.
For the undefeated hard-hitting former champion, Benavidez had hoped that he could build up a bit of momentum. Since losing his titles on the scale before his showdown against Roamer Alexis Angulo in August of 2020, Benavidez has gone on to stop former middleweight fringe contender Ronald Ellis. Benavidez pummeled his man throughout 11 rounds of action in mid-May earlier this year. The 24-year-old grew anxious as the days slowly ticked by towards his matchup against Uzcategui. Now, however, he’ll be forced to wait.
While Benavidez is ultimately disappointed with what has transpired, Uzcategui is none too pleased as well. At one point, the 30-year-old Venezuelan native was considered one of the rising young stars in the division.
After bulldozing Andre Dirrell in March of 2018 for the IBF interim crown, Uzcategui was elevated to full titleholder shortly after. He then went on to defend his title against Ezequiel Osvaldo Maderna. Following the lopsided victory, Uzcategui stepped into the ring with Caleb Plant. Although the former titlist was viewed as the betting favorite, he was dropped in rounds two and four before ultimately losing a wide decision.
The results for Uzcategui since then have been somewhat underwhelming. Following the defeat, the former belt holder stopped journeymen Roberto Valdez before picking up an expected decision loss at the hands of fringe contender Lionell Thompson.
Despite his recent shortcomings, Uzcategui is currently on a two-fight win streak. Just a few short months ago, the hard-hitting Venezuelan destroyed Jaime Hernandez Lopez, stopping him in the second round.