Terence Crawford-Jose Benavidez: Stats & Stakes

by Cliff Rold

One week after UFC went about a 4 on the Bowe-Golota fight riot Richter scale, a building tide of trash talk and animosity ended with a highlight worthy hard sell in the boxing world on Friday.

A shove from the challenger, a just missing right hand haymaker from the defending titlist…tune in Saturday to see what happens next (ESPN, 10:30 PM EST).

It seems like the dislike is genuine between Terence Crawford and Jose Benavidez. Even if it isn’t, it’s close enough in appearance to make a fight few were asking for at least a little more anticipated.

This is the dilemma for Crawford. He might be the best welterweight, maybe even the best fighter period, in the world. The problem for the time being is whom he has to prove it against. With the signing of Manny Pacquiao onto the Al Haymon side of the block, Crawford remains at a shortage of realistic name welterweight opponents.

Keith Thurman, Shawn Porter, and Errol Spence hold the other three major titles. Pacquiao, even if he has ultimately crossed the street for a looming Floyd Mayweather rematch, and Danny Garcia round out the biggest available names at welterweight. They can all do a lot of business in tough, competitive fights without him, ESPN, or promoter Top Rank.

crawford-benavidez (2)_2

That leaves Crawford in a position where the best he can do, for the time being, is not just win but continue to dominate everyone put in front of him and hope the ESPN microphone works in his favor. He has to continue toward making himself valuable enough to render it impossible for everyone not to sit down and do business because that’s where business will be best.

Will Saturday be such an opportunity?  

Let’s get into it.

Stats and Stakes

Terence Crawford

Age: 31

Title: WBO welterweight (2018-Present, 1stattempted defense)

Previous Titles: WBO Lightweight (2014-15, 2 Defenses); Lineal/TBRB/Ring Lightweight (2014-15); WBO Light Welterweight (2015-17, 6 Defenses); Lineal/TBRB/Ring/WBC Jr. welterweight (2016-17, 3 Defenses); WBA Super Lightweight (2017); IBF Jr. Welterweight (2017)

Height: 5’8

Weight: 145 ½ lbs.

Stance: Orthodox

Hails from: Omaha, Nebraska

Record: 33-0, 24 KO

Press Rankings: #1 (BoxRec)

Record in Major Title Fights: 11-0, 8 KO

Last Five Opponents: 116-7-1 (.940)

Current/Former World Champions/Titlists Faced: Ricky Burns UD12; Yuriorkis Gamboa TKO9; Rey Beltran UD12; Viktor Postol UD12; Julius Indongo KO3; Jeff Horn TKO9


Jose Benavidez Jr.

Titles: None

Previous Titles: None (held interim WBA belt at 140 lbs.)

Age: 26

Height: 5’10 

Weight: 145 lbs.

Stance: Orthodox

Hails from: Phoenix, Arizona

Record: 27-0, 18 KO

Press Rankings: Unrated

Record in Major Title Fights: 1st major title opportunity (2-0, 1 KO in interim title fights)

Last Five Opponents: 134-26-4 (.829)

Current/Former World Champions Faced: 0

The Pick: The promotion of this fight might have added to its allure but it’s hard to shake the idea that this really won’t be all that close. Benavidez has faced one truly world-class fighter to date. He walked away with a controversial decision over Mauricio Herrera and hasn’t been matched near that level since. Instead, one could argue that he’s been protected based on his matchmaking.

The challenger has some pop, a height advantage, and quick hands. Crawford has the edge in almost every category besides height. He appears quicker, is more fluid, more experienced, and while listed as orthodox has shown he can go almost an entire fight as capably from the southpaw stance. He also carries the sort of old school mean streak that would make a James Toney proud. Benavidez did his part to help sell the fight. Crawford will do the rest. Stranger upsets have happened but this feels like an easy Crawford pick with Benavidez perhaps sticking around to hear his fate on points. 

This Weekend in the WBSS

The quarterfinals of the World Boxing Super Series continue with the second fight in the bantamweight tournament and first at cruiserweight…Color this corner intrigued by the bantamweight clash. WBO titlist Zolani Tete (27-3, 21 KO) is an obvious favorite but challenger Mikhail Aloyan (4-0) is hard to handicap. The former World Amateur champion and Olympic medalist has a deep pedigree in the unpaid ranks and home field advantage in Russia. This could go the way it looks on paper but Aloyan has the potential to surprise…At cruiserweight, we have the only battle of unbeaten fighters in the field. Andrew Tabiti (16-0, 13 KO) and Ruslan Fayfer (23-0, 16 KO) could produce a dark horse to win out in their field of eight.

Additional Weekend Picks

Zolani Tete TKO Mikhail Aloyan

Andrew Tabiti TKO Ruslan Fayfer

Angel Acosta KO Abraham Rodriguez

Rold Picks 2018: 37-15

Cliff Rold is the Managing Editor of BoxingScene, a founding member of the Transnational Boxing Rankings Board, and a member of the Boxing Writers Association of America.  He can be reached at [email protected]

User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Comment by Plick647 on 10-13-2018

32 to 1 odds?????? homeboy better try to KO Bud from the starting bell #goodluckwiththat

Comment by Fists_of_Fury on 10-13-2018

[QUOTE=Bardamu;19189802]I thought for sure this was all a joke. But apparently this is real. Benavidez last two opponents were Frank Rojas- ranked 342 at ww- and Mathew "Mayhem" Stradon- ranked 448 at ww. I am fairly certain that this Mathew…

Comment by Bardamu on 10-13-2018

I thought for sure this was all a joke. But apparently this is real. Benavidez last two opponents were Frank Rojas- ranked 342 at ww- and Mathew "Mayhem" Stradon- ranked 448 at ww. I am fairly certain that this Mathew…

Post a Comment - View More User Comments (3)
Top Headlines De La Hoya: GGG 3 Happens When We Say, We Call The Shots! News: Don King, Charlo Brothers, Filip Hrgovic, More Richard Commey Very Confident Ahead of Chaniev Eliminator Hearn: If Wilder Cares About Legacy, He'll Fight Joshua Next Daniel Jacobs: I Want Canelo in May - Let's Do This! Loma Thinks Pedraza Would've Beaten Davis If He Prepared Better Wilder Laughs: Joshua, Hearn Definitely 'Begging' Now To Fight! Emmanuel Rodriguez To Train in Cuba For Naoya Inoue Clash PBC, ITV Reveals Details of Three Year Content Deal Charlo: All Monroe Has To Worry About is Getting Knocked Out DiBella: Big, Strong Commey Would Be Live Underdog With Loma Andrade: Canelo in For a Rude Awakening When We Fight! Photos: Alvarez, Kovalev - Face To Face at Rematch Presser Photos: Kubrat Pulev Comes on Board With Top Rank Presser Alexander Flores Aims To Knock Joseph Parker Out Hearn: I Think Anthony Joshua Knocks Deontay Wilder Spark Out Canelo is Aiming To Win Rocky Fielding Fight By Knockout Photos: Pacquiao Continues Hard Work in Camp For Broner Filling Out Some Future Hall of Fame Passes Gamboa's Manager: Top Rank Knows Yuri Can Beat Lomachenko! Mares, Garcia share coach, similar challenges in Davis, Spence Hearn Shoots Down, Rejects Tyson Fury's 'Lineal Title' Claim Jermall Charlo To Put 'Money' Jab Where Monroe's Mouth Is Jeyvier Cintron, Victor Bisbal, Clayton Laurent Get Wins in PR Photos: Tony Harrison's Holiday Toy & Grocery Giveaway Conte's SNAC Introduces The New 'Fighter Training Stack' Joshua Will Be Ringside, Scouting The Whyte-Chisora Rematch Dmitry Bivol Has No Problem With Oleksandr Gvozdyk Clash Frank Warren: If Hearn Was My Kid - I'd Slap Him Down! Hearn: Wilder-Fury PPV Number is Terrible, Absolutely Terrible News: Kem Ljungquist, Henderson Shocks Robinson, Landeros Frampton: Warrington's Arrogance Bubbling Under The Surface Wilder 'Would Love' For Barclays Center To Host Fury Rematch Broner Coach To Roach: Shut The F*** Up, Carry The Spit Bucket! Pedraza: Lomachenko 'Definitely' Better Than Gervonta Davis Wilder Will Add Weight For Fury Rematch; Targets 245 Pounds Hearn Maintains Big Offer on Table For Khan To Face Brook Lebedev Targets Usyk Mandatory Fight as Final Career Bout Danielito Zorrilla May Return on Machado Card After Big Win Amir Khan Ready To Impress: Tyson Fury Gives Me Inspiration

Latest Active Forum Threads