Benavidez vs. Paez: Staff Predictions

By Jake Donovan

There are those who argue that Jose Benavidez didn’t deserve the nod in his title-winning effort over Mauricio Herrera last November. A far more popular opinion is that Jorge Paez Jr. doesn’t deserve the title shot he is receiving tonight.

Given that, you can make the case that they do in fact deserve each other as Benavidez and Paez Jr. meet in Friday’s headlining act on truTV. The bout airs live from the US Airway Centre in Phoenix, Arizona. 

Benavidez (22-0, 15KOs) makes the first defense of the secondary title he claimed last year, and also enjoys his first fight at home since a two-minute blitzing of Henry Auraad last July.

Paez Jr. (38-5-2, 23KOs) managed a win in his last fight, stopping Ronald Montes in four rounds this past February in Chiapas, Mexico. The victory was his first in more than a year, having suffered a shocking majority decision to badly faded Vivian Harris last March. 

A more impressive showing came in his follow-up fight, an entertaining slugfest with Aaron Herrera which ended on an accidental foul. Paez Jr. was in the process of throwing an overhand right when Herrera turned his back, catching the blow on the base of his skull and collapsing to the canvas. 

Somehow, the fight was targeted as means for Paez Jr. to face Jessie Vargas, a bout that never materialized. Instead, he gets Benavidez. The sanctioning of the fight is bizarre, as Paez Jr. hadn’t fought at 140 lbs. in more than six years, which showed as he looked frail and drained in barely making weight. 

Benavidez looked healthy at the scales, and—fighting on this his 23rd birthday tonight—has a bright future ahead as long as he can avoid an upset. 

Read on to see how the staff at believes the action will go down.


Ryan Burton (Benavidez KO11): He's simply the better fighter and I expect him to put to all together after a close and questionable win over Mauricio Herrera. 

Jake Donovan (Benavidez TKO8): I can’t see how a skeletal version of an underserving title challenger does any good for the sport. Benavidez should have no issues with overmatched and weight-drained Paez Jr.

Takahiro Onaga (Benavidez TKO9): I actually hate this match. Paez has done nothing to deserve such a big fight and Benavidez got the title gift wrapped. Still a big gulf between the two. Benevidez too good for Paez Jr.

Cliff Rold (Benavidez TKO): Last time out, Benavidez lost and got the call. This time, he wins and the scorecards won't matter.

Victor Salazar (Benavidez TKO): Benavidez will be in a fun fight, one in which he should dominate and gain a TKO victory.

Alexey Sukachev (Benavidez UD): Benavidez—clearly the more talented fighter of the two—had his off-night against Mauricio Herrera. It looks like he has overcome those difficulties and it will result in a more convincing win in his favor, maybe even with a couple of knockdowns.

Benavidez - Six
Paez Jr. - Love

Jake Donovan is the Managing Editor of Twitter: @JakeNDaBox
User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Comment by Boxfan83 on 05-15-2015

Dang this isnt Rod Salka bad but Herrera makes Champs take steps back in their career...

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