A Draw as Good as a Win
By Richard E. Baker on November 15, 2021
He had to lose about 70 pounds of candy and chips for the fight. (Photo: Richard E. Baker)
The most disappointing fight of the night came between Jose Benavidez Jr. and Francisco Torres. Benavidez had not fought in three years, and it showed. Many people thought he had taken too big a step with a comeback fight against Torres. Torres (17-3-0) is a very decent, crafty, and skilled fighter. What he lacks is power. Good thing for Benavidez who was served a decent three course meal of blows to the face.
For Benavidez the boos and taunts from the crowd had to be devastating. He is from Phoenix and was once their most interesting boxer. He had been anxious to make his comeback there. He is also a proud man and wanted to make a statement.
He was slow, inaccurate, poor timing, and off balance. Ring rust oozed from his pores. Torres started peppering him from the opening rounds and never stopped. Halfway through the fight the crowd switched allegiance from Benavidez to Torres. Crowds are always fickle.
Benavidez tried his best. He had to lose about 70 pounds of candy and chips for the fight. Hours spent watching “Days of our Lives” were difficult to shed.
When he accepted the fight with Torres people asked why he did not take a lesser opponent and work his way back up. He claimed he is a top fighter and wanted a decent fight, not a knock-over. It is a nice sentiment, not always a smart one.
Benavidez could not let his hands go nor could he catch the fast-legged Torres. Except for an occasional flurry, he was content to throw single shots, the same problem he had in his loss to Terence Crawford. The lay-off and shedding weight had taken everything from him.
Tension filled the arena after the fight finished and the decision went to the three hometown judges. The fight was declared a majority draw, much to the aggravation of the crowd and the commentators of Showtime. Teddy Atlas would have pitched a fit. When Torres raised his arm the crowd cheered.
Benavidez complained after the fight that it was difficult to fight someone who ran and would not fight. Apparently he does not understand that it is his job to overcome that situation.