The ending came after Andrade’s trainer wouldn’t allow their charge to leave the corner to start the seventh round after Benavídez, fighting his first southpaw in seven years, bloodied and pounded Andrade in perhaps the signature performance of his career. Benavídez (28-0, 24 KOs) remained undefeated as Andrade (32-1, 19 KOs) suffered his first loss.
“I think I just solidified myself as a dominant force here,” Benavídez said. “I just reminded everyone who the real champion at 168 is. Who wants to see me versus Canelo? I'm going to be super middleweight champion of the world, three-time world champion. Now, just give me the fight that we all want to see. Who wants to see Benavídez versus Canelo?”
Benavídez punctuated his performance with an embrace of Mike Tyson outside the ring following the stoppage. Tyson famously dubbed Benavídez the “Mexican Monster.”
"I just told Mike Tyson that I love him and thank you so much for the motivation he's given me,” Benavídez said. “It's not every day a boxing legend like Mike Tyson gives people nicknames, so I just want to live up to my name.
“Everybody says I'm not this, I'm not that, I'm flat-footed, I have no defense. This guy probably applied one of the best defenses. He's really good offensively. He could barely even hit me, so I think that says a lot on its own. I just have to keep beating who they put in front of me. I'm the best. I'm going to be the best. I'm going to be a legend by the time I'm done, so whoever you keep putting in front of me, I'll keep knocking them down.
"Let's give the people what they want to see. They want to see Benavídez versus Canelo."
Just as he did against Caleb Plant in March, Benavídez grew stronger and more dangerous as the fight wore on. After Andrade held his own in the opening rounds, Benavídez broke down his 35-year-old opponent with breathtaking efficiently. A looping right hand from Benavídez to the side of the head dropped Andrade for the third time in his career with seconds left in the fourth round. Andrade crumpled to the canvas and rose on shaky legs to survive the round.
Benavídez hurt Andrade again with a left to start the fifth round as he continued to walk Andrade down and land hard punches. Andrade’s right eye started to close midway through the frame as Benavídez teed off on his 35-year-old opponent with a right uppercut and an assortment of short, stinging punches. Andrade took a stand with a minute left in the sixth, uncorking a right uppercut but Benavídez hurt Andrade, a former 2008 U.S. Olympian, with left that had him stumbling across the ring.
It was a far cry from the start of the fight when Andrade was able to smother Benavídez’s punches, darting in and out and winging shots from odd angles that found their mark. Andrade looked sensational in the first two rounds, while Benavídez bided his time, carefully picking his shots. Andrade started to slow down in the third, allowing Benavídez to unload his brand of destructive, compact punches before the knockdown turned the tide in Benavídez’s favor.
“I’ll be back – back to the drawing board,” Andrade said. “I moved up in weight classes. I’ll work on my body a little more and I’ll be right back at it. I thought overall I did everything I needed to do to get the bigger man off me. David's definitely a hell of a fighter. Nobody was even willing to get in the ring with him. I tried to become a three-division world champion. That's not far-fetched. David was the man tonight. Benavídez is the bigger man.”