Benavidez left with a split-decision victory and became the youngest 168-pound world titleholder in division history.
“He’s a tough opponent,” Benavidez said (h/t ESPN). “He came ready to fight last fight and I respect that. But I am ready to show everyone why I’m the best fighter in my division. I am not focused on anything except for this fight.
“He says it’s going to end in a knockout, but I promise you I will finish him with a knockout come fight night. I’m here to give the fans what they want, and that’s another great fight.”
“I think we’re definitely going to steal the show Feb. 17” Benavidez said of the rematch.
“It was a great fight last time and I have no doubt it’s going to be exciting again, as long as it lasts.
There’s only one way this fight ends and that’s with me knocking him out. We’ve been working really hard in training camp. We’ve made some adjustments off the last fight and I think I’m going to give an even better performance.
“I knew Gavril was a tough fighter the first time we faced each other. I didn’t take him lightly, but this time I feel even more prepared. I’m going to take advantage of everything I’ve been working on.”
“I’ve been working and training really hard for this fight. I still believe I did everything to win that last one, but I am ready to prove everyone wrong,” Gavril said at the workout. “Last fight I was able to figure him out toward the middle rounds. This fight I will be quicker to download his plan and attack.
“I proved that I have the skills in the first fight. Now I have to make my adjustments to get the win. I am here for a reason. It’s not going to be an easy fight for him. I feel quicker, stronger and more mentally prepared. I know he is going to try and switch up his game plan for this fight, but my team has been preparing me for anything that he may try and bring on fight night. I will be the next WBC super middleweight champion. Last fight was a battle, but this fight will end in a knockout.”