Benavidez: Hands Intact, Returns in Eight-Rounder 7/21

By Ryan Maquiñana

Almost two weeks after his 20th birthday, junior welterweight prospect Jose Benavidez Jr. unwrapped the best gift of all last Saturday following his unanimous decision win over Josh Sosa on Azteca America—a pair of healthy hands.

“Everything was good,” his father and trainer Jose Benavidez Sr. said.  “We were cautious, especially in the early rounds, and he said his hands felt good. Junior didn’t put him away, but we’re still happy with the way he dominated in there.”

Benavidez Jr. (15-0, 12 KOs), a promising 140-pounder from Phoenix, Ariz., whom Freddie Roach once called “the best prospect in the world,” has become the subject of concern in recent months among the Top Rank brass because of a surgically repaired right wrist and hand.

However, the diagnosis has been positive so far, and the plan is now for Benavidez to return to the Casino del Sol in Tuscon, Ariz., the same site of last weekend’s fight, for the July 21 Antonio Margarito-Abel Perry card.  This time, however, he’ll be doing something unprecedented in his early career.

“We talked about it with [Top Rank matchmaker] Bruce [Trampler], and the plan is to put him in an eight-rounder for the first time,” Benavidez Sr. said.  “We think he’s ready.  Junior will come back to Wild Card [Gym] on Monday and we’ll start training for that.”

Team Benavidez will likely head to Big Bear soon after arriving in Hollywood to spar with lightweight contender Mercito Gesta (25-0-1, 13 KOs), who is preparing for his own July 20 date on ESPN2.

Ryan Maquiñana writes a weekly boxing column for  He is a full member of the Boxing Writers Association of America and the Ratings Panel for Ring Magazine. E-mail him at [email protected], check out his blog at, or follow him on Twitter: @RMaq28.

User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Comment by {Pito} on 05-29-2012

Does being guided along fine actually translate to being protected and served apropriate fighters so as to build a future cash cow? Went pro at 17 huh? I guess benitez should be high up on a pedestal eith defeating a…

Comment by A-Wolf on 05-29-2012

Sure, move the kid into deeper water. Eight rounders, ect. The opponents he's been picking his teeth with have been doing very little for him. He's too damn good.

Comment by richardt on 05-29-2012

Wilder is an even bigger joke, it that is possible. He went out and threw one punch and the other guy folded. I won't stop anyone from stroking their stick while watching Benavidez fight another no hoper......I'll get my thrills…

Comment by CasualBoxingFan on 05-29-2012

Lol forget it Guys on here already have hate for no reason.

Comment by Luilun on 05-29-2012

Those complaining need to complain about Deontay Wilder now that's a cherry picker

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