As promised, 18-year-old boxing prodigy David “El Bandera Roja” Benavidez made his ShoBox: The New Generation debut an unforgettable one at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada, Saturday night.
The granite-fisted Benavidez, now 11-0, 10 KOs, dug cruel hooks to the body and clubbing shots to the head while dropping opponent Felipe Romero three times on his way to a TKO 1 (2:00).
Fighting in the opening bout of a SHOWTIME tripleheader, Benavidez left fans wanting more, and Romero wanting no more, in a display of brutality that has put him on the boxing’s world’s radar in a big way.
Had Romero been a typical fall-guy, Benavidez’s destruction may not have been the “red flag” it was, but the Mexican veteran is typically no easy assignment.
During his 10-year career spanning from super middleweight all the way to heavyweight, Romero owns a pair of victories over former top contender Julio Cesar Gonzalez and lasted nine rounds against current cruiserweight champion Krzysztof Glowacki. In addition, Romero went nine rounds with former world heavyweight championship title challenger Alex Leapai, eight with top Russian light heavyweight prospect Dmitry Bivol and five rounds with 2012 Summer Olympic Gold Medallist Oleksandr Usyk.
“This guy who has gone many rounds with top heavyweights couldn’t last two minutes against ‘El Bandera Roja’,” said Benavidez’s promoter, Sampson Lewkowicz. “That was exactly what we wanted him to do, send up the red flag to boxing. This was an 18-year-old who did this to a very durable veteran. The entire world is going to want to see his next fight.”
Lewkowicz says he’ll keep his young prodigy active and already has him scheduled to return in January 2016.