David Benavidez gained some invaluable experience against a tough opponent Friday night. The teenager also picked up another knockout, too.
David Benavidez went deeper into a fight than he had ever been before the 19-year-old power puncher earned a 10th-round TKO of southpaw Denis Douglin in a 168-pound bout at the 2300 Arena in Philadelphia.
Douglin (20-5, 13 KOs) was able to smother the 6-foot-2 Phoenix native for much of the fight despite giving away six inches in height, but Benavidez (16-0, 15 KOs) finally broke through with a knockdown in Round 9 before gaining the stoppage in the final frame.
“I knew it was going to be a tough fight. I knew he wasn't going to go out without a fight,” said Benavidez, who is trained by his father, Jose Benavidez Sr.
“I came in here and started slower than I usually do, just using my jab a little bit more. I hurt him a lot of times, but I kept my cool. I knew I was going to get him out of here sooner or later, and that's exactly what I did tonight.”
Benavidez’s length and power really began to take their toll on Douglin in the ninth, when the teen landed a left uppercut to begin a four-punch volley that dropped the 28-year-old southpaw with 15 seconds left in the round.
It was more of the same to begin the 10th as Benavidez punished Douglin with an array of uppercuts and hooks before referee Gary Rosato stepped in and stopped the fight 35 seconds into the round.
"I was in this fight, I just got winded. I was in great shape and everything, but I got winded there towards the end,” said Douglin, who is trained by his mother, Saphya, and nicknamed “Momma’s Boy.”
"Benavidez is a tough, young fighter. He was able to make me stay in there longer than I wanted to, but I feel good and I'll be back."
It was the eighth straight knockout for Benavidez, but just his fourth time fighting past four rounds, eclipsing his seventh-round TKO of previously unbeaten Francy Ntetu in June as the longest fight of his career.
Douglin controlled the first couple rounds of the fight as the Marlboro, New Jersey, resident worked inside against his much taller opponent and landed some solid shots as he was able to position Benavidez against the ropes.
Benavidez began to alternate from orthodox to southpaw after that and dug in for a pair of body shots before landing a mouthpiece-jarring right hand in Round 6.
Midway through the seventh, Benavidez bounced against the ropes and nearly collapsed to the canvas as the support for the top rope came unattached and had to be repaired, causing a 2½-minute delay.
With Rosato holding the ropes at times afterward to negate the weight of the fighters, Benavidez started to wear down Douglin, who was stopped for the fourth time in his career.
“It was important to me to get the stoppage and show everybody that I am just as strong in the late rounds as I am early on,” Benavidez said. “I love this. This is what I signed up for. I want tough fights. This is a good victory for me.
“Douglin is a tough veteran. He started fast and swinging wildly, and his offense probably looked better on camera than it was, but he did what he had to do to survive until the final round.”
In the co-main event, Alejandro Luna (21-0, 15 KOs) earned a 10-round unanimous decision in a hard-fought 144-pound bout against late replacement Naim Nelson (13-2, 1 KO).
For a complete look at Benavidez vs Douglin, visit our fight page.