By Keith Idec
Jose Benavidez Jr. didn’t waste any time beginning his campaign to fight Terence Crawford.
As soon as he won his comeback bout Saturday night in Corpus Christi, Texas, Benavidez took to social media to call out one of the best boxers in the world. Crawford, who watched from a front-row seat as Benavidez beat Matthew Strode by eighth-round technical knockout.
A day earlier, Crawford went face-to-face with Benavidez at the weigh-in for Saturday’s card and warned Benavidez to “focus on your fight before you don’t make it to your fight.” Crawford also challenged Benavidez to “go outside right now” in a video posted by FightHype.com.
Crawford dismissed Benavidez on Twitter on Sunday night by making it clear the undefeated welterweight isn’t worth discussing as a potential opponent. Crawford went as far as to state that Benavidez’s younger brother, David, is the only one in their family that can fight.
David Benavidez (19-0, 17 KOs), who’s just 21 years old, is the WBC super middleweight champion.
Here’s Crawford’s Tweet: Only Benavidez worth talking about is David. He the only one can fight thats it and I’m done talking about it.
Crawford’s criticism aside, Benavidez believes he is moving into position to challenge the Omaha, Nebraska, native later this year. If the heavily favored Crawford (32-0, 23 KOs) beats Australia’s Jeff Horn (18-0-1, 11 KOs) to win the WBO welterweight title April 14, Benavidez could become an option for Crawford because both boxers are promoted by Bob Arum’s Top Rank Inc. and Crawford would have to wait for title unification fights against IBF champ Errol Spence Jr. (23-0, 20 KOs) or WBA/WBC champ Keith Thurman (28-0, 22 KOs, 1 NC).
Here’s Benavidez’s Tweet following his win Saturday night: Got a win after a long Layoff, I feel great! I want some good work let’s do this @budcrawford402 don’t duck me for the third time.
In an Instagram post Saturday night, Benavidez reiterated that he was offered a fight against Crawford twice. He says he accepted both times, but the fight never materialized.
Amid emojis and curses, here’s essentially what Benavidez wrote on Instagram:
To all the Crawford [supporters] Fight was offered to me 2 times I said yes Your boy denied.
If I’m so easy, then why not take the fight?? All I hear is barking. Let’s make it happen. I’m not running or dodging. It’s ok if you scared little guy.
Crawford laughed during their brief encounter Saturday night when Benavidez claimed Crawford “dodged” him “twice.”
The 25-year-old Benavidez (26-0, 17 KOs) fought for the first time Saturday night since suffering a gunshot wound in August 2016 in his native Phoenix. Benavidez sustained serious injuries to his right leg that threatened his career during that unsolved shooting.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.