By Ryan Maquiñana
Junior welterweight prospect Jose Benavidez Jr. will have a new opponent in the Top Rank Live co-feature this Saturday in Parker, Ariz., according to the fighter’s father and trainer, Jose Benavidez Sr.
“The guy had lost three straight times, and I think the rules in the Arizona commission don’t approve a guy immediately after that, but I’m not sure,” Benavidez Sr. said of original foe Angel Rios. “I’m still waiting to hear who Junior will get next.”
“It’s alright,” Benavidez Jr. (12-0, 11 KOs) said. “This isn’t the first time an opponent has pulled out last minute. I think I was supposed to fight four different guys for this fight but they all pulled out, so I guess I’ll just wait until the weigh-in before I'll know for sure.”
Rios (9-7, 6 KOs), the original opponent, was instead tabbed to fight Terrance Crawford in Atlantic City on the Gamboa-Ponce de Leon undercard last weekend, leaving the slot open for this Saturday's bout, which will take place at the BlueWater Casino.
Sources tell BoxingScene.com the new opponent will likely be Jorge Pimentel of Guaymas, Sonora, Mexico (23-12, 17 KOs), who was stopped in three by Mercito Gesta in July on the Rios-Antillon undercard.
Meanwhile, Benavidez is coming off a fourth-round TKO of Corey Alarcon in June. The 19-year-old phenom recently returned to Hollywood’s Wild Card Gym to train after a stint back home in Phoenix.
Ryan Maquiñana is the boxing correspondent at Comcast SportsNet Bay Area. He’s a member of the Boxing Writers Association of America and The Ring’s Ratings Advisory Panel. E-mail him at [email protected], check out his blog at www.maqdown.com or follow him on Twitter: @RMaq28.