by Miguel Rivera
Undefeated Jose Benavidez is entering the final stage of his training camp for Francisco Santana. The fight takes place on July 23, and Benavidez already has in mind the name of his next target.
Benadviez (24-0, 16KOs) wants to get his hands on WBO welterweight champion Jessie Vargas, who is deep in negotiations to face IBF champion Kell Brook in a fall unification over in the UK.
If the negotiations with Brook fall apart, then Benavidez wants to step in to face Vargas.
"We've been training hard, I'm almost on weight and ready to show that I can be world champion once again. I respect my opponent but I'm only thinking about victory and getting a championship. I've waited for a long time to face Jessie Vargas. I know that if I win this fight I could fight him," Benavidez told ESPN Deportes.
The fight between Benavidez and Santana is part of the HBO Pay-Per-View undercard to Terence Crawford vs. Viktor Postol at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
"If Top Rank told me to do the fight with Jessie Vargas after this fight - I'd be willing, I'll be ready for any world champion at 147 pounds, it is a weight where I feel strong and you will see how well I'll be at that weight. We will achieve good things very soon."
Benavidez was last in the ring back in December, where he weighed 152-pounds (a big jump from his May fight where he weighed 139) and he won a ten round unanimous decision over Sidney Siqueira.