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Merciless—Jose Benavidez Jr.

By Richard E. Baker on September 19, 2021

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Jose Benavidez Sr. studied as if he were at Harvard or Princeton. (Photo: Richard E. Baker)

Jose Benavidez Jr. is mean and nasty and he wants to hurt you. He loves to hurt you. He lives to hurt you. He will do anything he can to hurt you. He wants to drive his fist through your stomach. He wants to plow in and crush your ribs against your backbone. He is the meanest S.O.B. in the ring today and he is coming your way on a Showtime fight from Phoenix, Arizona, November 13th.


In training Benavidez has been accused of being lazy, combative, uninterested, unmotivated, and a general pain-in-the ass. He is all of that and much more. He prefers the nightlife of glitz and intrigue, an arsenal of weapons, fast cars, and gunfire. He was once shot in the leg from ambush while walking his dog, a wound that might have ended his career. He is too tough for that. Shot? He listens to no one. When doctors said the wound might end his career, he only laughed. Big deal. Only a coward shoots from ambush. He knows many cowards. He also knows many tough men. Men, taking their lives in their hands, face him in the ring and were sorry they did. He does not need a gun to totally batter your body and leave it bent and bleeding on the canvas. People call him Junior.


With the birth of his new daughter he has traded in the fast cars for a Range Rover. He likes the electric cooler in the console, just the right size for several beers. The lousy fuel mileage is a small price to pay for a cool one on a hot night. He has kept the guns.


He has given his father and trainer, Jose Benavidez, no end of trouble even though he would be nothing but a street thug without him. Benavidez Sr. has given up his life to support both his sons, Jr. and David. When the boys wanted to box, Benavidez devoted his life to learning all he could about the sport going from one gym to another and learning everything available from the best trainers in the world. He studied as if he were at Harvard or Princeton and learned so well that he was nominated as trainer of the year. That training has served his boys well, something they often forget.


Benavidez has even uprooted the family several times to keep his boys safe. When they were hanging with the wrong crowd in Phoenix and David started getting into drugs, he packed up the family and moved them to the safest place he could find, Burien, Washington. It has been a good move although boys will be boys and they have a tendency to slip into old habits. Jr. is bull-headed and refuses to take advice from anyone while David is gullible and often takes bad advice from anyone who offers it. Bad advice led to his losing the WBC super middleweight title twice: once for cocaine use and again for being overweight. His last fight was postponed because he caught covid. He had not taken the shots. He said he was confused by all the information: was it safe, was it not safe, were there after-effects, was the government telling the truth about the vaccine? He was concerned about his health, an interesting statement from a man who had no problem taking street drugs.


Although both young boxers are aggressive and skilled bangers, Jr. is just plain vicious in the ring. While preparing for a fight he likes nothing better than battering his various trainers unmercifully about the ring, bouncing them off the ring ropes like eight balls off the cushions. What he lacks is stamina. He hates roadwork and does as little as possible. He must take out an opponent within five rounds or his skills diminish.


Many people have doubts if his heart is still in the game. The skills of a boxer are short-lived. He has only a few years to earn big money and to make up his mind.


Jr. has too much pride to enter the ring after a three-year layoff with a local bit of limp asparagus. His scheduled opponent is 17-3-0 Francisco Emanuel Torres. Torres has won his last nine fights, all against winning opponents including Coeltis Pendarvia, Jonathan Sanchez, and Gonzalo Coria. With just five KOs he is not a power hitter, but he has a decent chin and has only been stopped once in 20 fights.


With this fight Jr. must decide if he wants to stay in the game and take his chance of earning millions, or decide that jogging in the morning is simply too difficult for a man of his age and he would rather put in his application as a waitperson at Denney’s.


One thing is certain—he is an abysmal and a deplorable brute and boxing fans cannot help but love him.

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