Who Won The Weekend: Mexican Monster Edition
Michael Woods: It may seem obvious, on the face of it, who won the week. Look at the faces of the two lads who collided in that super middleweight faceoff Saturday night. David Benavidez looking like he could do another three rounds, old school 15. And Caleb Plant bloodied, bowed to a degree… but holding onto his pride despite his visage showing his limitations versus a Benavidez who was not over-trained, and proved his in-ring acumen has much more than merely “power” as a foundational pillar.
Yes, David Benavidez won the week on my scorecard. Close second place goes to my friends at PPV.com, who allowed me and The Sarge to host their on-platform chat Saturday night. And what of the rest of the NYF squad?
West Coast Bureau chief Gayle Falkenthal, who won the weekend in your mind?
Gayle Falkenthal: While the Mexican Monster successfully teed himself up for the Canelo Alvarez sweepstakes, my winner is Canadian welterweight Cody Crowley.
At age 21, Crowley took a one-way flight from Peterborough, Ontario, to Las Vegas to pursue an unlikely boxing career. He struggled, dealt with addiction issues, and suffered the same suicidal thoughts that haunted his father. At the brink of giving up, Crowley's father encouraged him to keep his dreams alive. This weekend, the undefeated Crowley met his moment. He took out sturdy opponent Abel Ramos in a close-quarters battle and is now the WBC mandator challenger at welterweight.
Crowley couldn't help feeling emotional after the win, coming on his 30th birthday but without his father, James, who committed suicide in 2022. Not every athlete can channel their emotions into motivation, but Crowley fought through his own thoughts of self-harm and carried on. At the moment of realizing so many of his dreams, Crowley used the opportunity to send out a message of hope.
"Keep fighting and you will win."
An emotional @Crowley16LV speaks to @JimGrayOfficial after a big win. #CrowleyRamos #BenavidezPlant pic.twitter.com/aqf2C7g2gr
— SHOWTIME Boxing (@ShowtimeBoxing) March 26, 2023
If you weren't choked up after watching this, there's something wrong with you. Long after the specifics of the main event fade into history, we will remember Crowley's personal victory and his generosity in sharing his struggle to help others. Crowley set up a fundraiser for a suicide prevention program in his hometown. Perhaps you have a dollar or two to send their way.
Colin Morrison: I'm just going to be Captain Obvious here – David Benavidez. For me, he convincingly beat a worthy rival and now moves into position for some more tasty bouts in the future. Will we see him in there with Canelo eventually? I think there will come a point, possibly late next year, where this will be the fight boxing fans are shouting the loudest for. Let's look forward to that and enjoy watching Benavidez continue to position himself as Canelo's main rival at 168 in the meantime.
Marquis Johns: Who won my week?
The old folks home at the Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC) has my W for the weekend. This weekend had one of the most anticipated fights since the pre-pandemic, and these geriatric goofballs put on their good clothes to make it about them for Bingo night. Whenever it was the NBA-style break in the action for Jay Nady to look at knockdown replays, really questionable scorecards in the Chris Colbert-Jose Venezuela fight to whatever Kenny Bayless was doing, you'd have thought this was a card put on by NSAC and not Premier Boxing Champions. Until these BetaMax players upgrade and start streaming like everyone else in 2023, NSAC interference in shows will continue to look like showing great nana how to use the Smart TV like this past weekend.
Ryan O'Hara: Benavidez won the week with an impressive rally, barring Weisfeld's garbage tally. On the dishonor front, time for Kenny Bayless to retire. That was pathetic.
Lucas Katelle: Benavidez won the week. He lived up to his potential of being a capital G Guy in the sport of boxing.
Jacob Rodriguez: For me, Showtime Boxing won the weekend. It has again put on an outstanding card. Crowley and Ramos gave us a great match. Despite the terrible decision, Velazquez vs. Colbert was a great fight that showed me Colbert is willing to buckle down and fight when faced with adversity, unlike his performance against Hector Gracia. Ramos solidified his position within the junior middleweight division if he hadn't done so already.
Finally, Benavidez vs. Plant lived up to the pre-fight hype and expectations. Benavidez overcame Plant's exceptional footwork to eventually walk Plant down and deliver him a hellacious beatdown like most of us thought he would. Additionally, Benavidez kept composed and didn't let Plant's flagrant holding and Kenny Bayliss's poor performance frustrate him. Plant stuck to his game plan as long as he could and demonstrated that he could fight through punishment to see the final bell when most of us thought he would succumb to Benavidez's relentless attack. Showtime Boxing delivered an intense and exciting night of boxing. It got the win in my book.