Jose Benavidez Sr. knows precisely what his son is up against heading into his next fight.
The younger Benavidez was tabbed as the opponent of choice for Danny Garcia’s junior middleweight debut, which headlines a July 30 Showtime tripleheader from Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. The event will mark the ninth headliner at the famed venue for Philadelphia’s Garcia (36-3, 21KOs), a former two-division titlist who topped the first boxing show at Barclays in his repeat win over Erik Morales in October 2012.
Benavidez Jr. (27-1-1, 18KOs) will make his venue and New York debut, having never previously fought east of Chicago thus far in his pro career. Philadelphia’s Garcia has emerged as Brooklyn’s adopted son through his ten years at his home away from home and is also a favorite among the Premier Boxing Champions (PBC) brass. The dangerous assignment coupled with the greater name recognition that Garcia still carries leaves the Benavidez side with a clear mission heading into fight night.
“It’s an honor to fight Danny Garcia. To be honest, he’s one of my favorite fighters,” Benavidez Sr. noted during a virtual press conference to formally announce the July 30 show. “But at the end of the day, we have to give the fans what they want, a good fight. I predict there’s going to be a knockout. We need the knockout to keep progressing and keep up in the rankings.
“[Jose Jr.] truly has to look impressive. He can’t just win the fight, he has to look impressive. I know Danny and his team are looking for the same thing. Both fighters need this fight but we’re ready to go to war.”
Benavidez is at a career crossroads as he enters the fight with Garcia. The 30-year-old boxer is the older brother of David Benavidez, an unbeaten former two-time WBC super middleweight champion who remains viewed as right behind undisputed champion Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez as the division’s top fighters.
Not as much can be said for Jose Jr., who has not won a fight in more than four years and who’s only fought once since a 12th round knockout to WBO welterweight champ Terence Crawford in October 2018. The lone appearance since that night came in a disappointing draw with Francisco Torres in a homecoming fight last November in Phoenix, with David claiming a knockout win in the main event.
Garcia also enters following a loss as well as a long layoff, having been out since dropping a 12-round decision to Errol Spence Jr. (28-0, 22KOs) in their December 2020 WBC/IBF welterweight title fight. The fight with Benavidez is his first at junior middleweight for Garcia, though still being treated as the same elite fighter who ruled the junior welterweight division at his peak.
“Danny has a great left hook, he’s powerful,” acknowledges Benavidez Sr. “We’ve seen what he’s done to all these fighters. We know what we’re getting into. We don’t run from nobody. We’re facing an animal, a fuckin’ monster. We’re ready for that. We’re ready to give the people what they want.”
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox