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Valley boxing champ ready for fight night in Glendale

David Benavidez (25-0, 22 KO) has a chance to win his third world championship on Saturday, May 21.

PHOENIX — There's a lot of history within the walls of Phoenix's Central Boxing Gym and this weekend one of its greatest products aims to keep his perfect record intact and earn a third world championship.

David Benavidez (25-0, 22 KO) will face Montreal's David Lemieux (43-4, 36 KO) at 168 pounds at Gila River Arena in Glendale on Saturday, May 21, with the interim WBC Super Middleweight Title on the line. 

Leading up to fight night, Benavidez returned to his home gym in downtown Phoenix where a mural of him with his older brother, Jose Jr., and his father, Jose Sr., decorate the entrance.

"I was in this gym for a long, long time. I spent my whole childhood here so it makes me really proud that I'm finally getting the recognition that I feel like I deserve," Benavidez said.

Benavidez comes from a boxing bloodline after training with his father and older brother, who is also a pro. Benavidez started boxing at just three years old and his young son, Anthony, is already showing interest in the sport.

"He's been boxing since nine months! He already has his routine going so he's already beaten me in that sense," Benavidez said.

Benavidez is proud to be an inspiration for young, aspiring boxers in the Valley. After gaining and losing over 100 pounds as a teenager, the 25-year-old has remained focused on his goals in the ring.

"I've been professional for 10 years now... It hasn't happened overnight. I've put in the work," Benavidez said. "I've been a number one contender, I've been champion twice. I'm just excited to be able to fight for another title back at home."

Boxing fans expect Benavidez vs. Lemieux to be a battle between two of the most powerful punchers in the sport. Experts are predicting the winner positions himself for a matchup with Canelo Alvarez in the near future.

"If anything I want to go out there and make even more of a statement so this fight is definitely one you're not going to want to miss," Benavidez said. "I've been training for about four months for this fight. The work has been done, the miles have been ran, the pounds have been lost so I'm just ready to go in there and give the fans a great fight."

Fans can watch Benavidez vs. Lemieux on Showtime’s main card scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. Saturday night. Timing is subject to change due to the length of the other bouts.

Follow the conversation with Lina Washington on Twitter: @LWashingtonTV. If you have a sports story idea, e-mail Lina at LWashington@12News.com.


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