While everyone is focused on the heavyweights this week, PBC & FOX announced the return of former WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder (42-2-1), who will be facing Robert Helenius (30-3) at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn on October 15th. The co-feature on this card has former IBF super middleweight champion Caleb Plant (21-1) going up against Anthony Dirrell (34-2).
This is where things start to get a little interesting as many thought we would get the long-awaited match between David Benavidez and Caleb Plant, but instead, it’s the latter against Dirrell. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a solid fight, but it wasn’t the one we all really wanted to see. The documented history between Benavidez and Plant is a spicy one and a story that could be used to drive huge interest in their fight. I know this has to be frustrating for Benavidez, who is coming off of blasting David Lemiuex in a fight that resembled Tommy Gunn destroying Union Cain in Rocky V.
Given our world, I simply posted the current WBC rankings as Benavidez holds the interim title and asked to see where he goes as the top ten names aren’t all that interesting. In a move that resembled Doc Holiday’s famous quote, “I’ll be your huckleberry,” from the film Tombstone, twenty-nine-year-old super middleweight contender Demond Nicholson (26-4-1) answered the call with a simple tweet.
He can fight me, I’ll keep him real busy 😮💨😊 https://t.co/CfwdtDrKNf
— DBest@It (@DemondNicholson) August 18, 2022
I checked in with Nicholson to follow up on his tweet and see what is new with him and why he likes this particular fight. But before getting into that, Nicholson’s story, both in and out of the ring, has seen plenty of highs and lows. Back in 2019, after a weigh-in for a fight that he was scheduled for on the Julian Williams vs. Jarrett Hurd card, Demond suffered a kidney failure and was rushed to a local hospital, where he spent a considerable amount of time fighting for his life. (CLICK HERE for more on that story)
After returning late in 2019, he beat Mike Guy by decision in February 2020 and took the rest of the year to work his way back and stay ready for whatever was next. The call came for the fight against Edgar Berlanga (20-0), and Nicholson finally felt it was his time to shine. Many saw that it didn’t go his way as he suffered multiple knockdowns, but the fight lasted long enough to hear the final bell, which was a first for the young Brooklyn prospect Berlanga. Some may say that Berlanga’s fight with Nicholson gave away some clues on how to challenge him, as the knockouts haven’t reappeared since then.
Nicholson shared something that hadn’t been mentioned to anyone about the days leading up to the Berlanga fight. Nicholson told NYF, “This is the right time to speak on that Berlanga fight. So, my kidneys failed in 2019, and when I was getting ready for Berlanga the week of the fight (Monday), I started cramping up again like I did back in 2019. Me, going through what I went through last time with my kidneys, I told my dad that we needed to go to the hospital. Coach Calvin, Coach Kenny, my dad, and one of my friends drove me to the hospital. I’m in the car laying down, cramping up, scared because I’m thinking my kidneys are failing again.”
Nicholson continued, “Once I get to the hospital, they give me an IV, check my blood, and I told them I went through kidney failure before, so they rushed and did everything to check on that. The doctors told me my kidneys were fine, but I had zero potassium in my body. So, they told me I had to take these pills for potassium. After taking the pills, my body stopped cramping, made weight, and fought on that Saturday night. We all see what happened; I was dropped and hurt. My body just didn’t feel right, but me having the will to fight, I just wanted to fight. Afterward, I researched potassium and the human body. The average human needs 4700 mg of potassium for their body to function correctly. I was taking 1,000 mg, and with the food I was eating, I still wasn’t 100% against Berlanga. It was a lesson learned, but I’m 100% now.”
After revealing that, it reminds you that fighters aren’t robots; they are human beings who go through things like everyone else. Even with that, Nicholson carries a positive aura about himself and looks forward to the future. What is that future? Is it a fight against Benavidez? And when could he be ready to fight him?
Nicholson told NYF, “I would fight Benavidez next week (laughs). Seriously, I would be able to fight him anytime in October. What I love about that fight is that Benavidez is the boogeyman of the division. He stops everyone because he puts fear into people’s hearts. Boxing is about skill, and that is something I do have. Also, I’m not scared. I think the fight can happen. It’ll be all on Benavidez if he wants to take the fight. I understand it’s high risk with low reward, but we are fighters at the end of the day. I’m ranked #9 in the WBA, so it shouldn’t be hard to make. He has to be willing to take the fight.”
My Three Cents
Well, fight fans, there you have it. If David Benavidez is looking for a dance partner, Demond Nicholson is willing and able to get it on with him for a date in the fall. The question now becomes, does David Benavidez want the fight, or will he look in a different direction? Only time will tell, but for now, Nicholson wanted to “shoot his shot” because we all know a closed mouth doesn’t get fed, especially in the fight game.
You can follow Abe on Twitter @abeg718 and subscribe to “The Boxing Rush Hour Show” podcast on all streaming platforms.