By Ryan Burton
On Saturday night former interim super lightweight title holder Jose Benavidez Jr. (26-0) will return to the ring for the second time since suffering gun shot wounds that kept him out of the ring for 18 months. The fight will be streamed on the ESPN+ app.
Across from him will be unbeaten Venezuelan Frank Rojas (22-0) who will be fighting in the United States for the first time.
"This is a big card, Crawford versus Horn at the MGM (in the main event) and hopefully I get the winner. I had a great camp and I am ready," said Benavidez.
The Phoenix native feels that after this fight he will be ready for the best in the world. In his most recent fight he stopped Mathew Strode in eight rounds to shake the rust off from his layoff.
"Hopefully this leads to the winner. Right now we are focused on fight on Friday night and we are focused on taking him out. I have been training hard and I know I can take over the 147 pound division,” Benavidez stated.
Benavidez and Crawford have exchanged words in the past and Benavidez said that a fight against the two-division champion were supposed to happen on more than one occasion. He claims that it was Crawford and his team’s fault that that fight has failed to materialize.
"I was supposed to fight Crawford twice but it didn't happen. We are here to fight the best. We don't duck or dodge anyone but Crawford still has to beat Horn first," Benavidez told BoxingScene.com.
Crawford vs. Horn and Jose Pedraza vs. Antonio Moran will stream live and exclusively in the United States Saturday, June 9 at 9:30 p.m. ET. on ESPN+. Undercards will stream live on ESPN+ beginning at 6:30 p.m. ET.
Send questions or comments to [email protected] You can follow Ryan on Twitter @ringsidewriter