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Sigmund Freud Talks Boxing

By Richard E. Baker on July 12, 2022

Jose Benavidez Jr.jpg

With his slick talk he might have been a successful politician. (Photo: Richard E. Baker)

The old story says styles make fights. Maybe. Personalities make fights may be more accurate. That is certainly the case when it comes to Daniel Garcia (36-3-0) and Jose Benavidez Jr. (27-1-1) who will meet on Showtime, July 30 at Barclay’s Center in New York. Two more different fighters would be difficult to find.


Daniel Garcia, a true Philly fighter, is a quiet modest man and is financially secure enough that he does not have to fight out of desperation to pay his bills. He is a “smart cookie” as they say. He has invested his boxing earnings wisely and is involved in many real estate deals, owns a barbershop, and has a clothing line. Those are just some of his financial adventures. Someone taught him to save his pennies and he listened. He has never wanted to be a destitute former world champion living off a fast forgotten reputation.


He is also a legitimate two-time world champion. And how did he get there? Practice. With a fight on the horizon he is always totally dedicated, first to arrive at the gym, last to leave. He leaves nothing to chance and never takes a day off. He spars often and with top sparring partners.


Garcia is an inspiration to others, not just because of his boxing skills and dedication, but because he is a loyal family man, something he does not need to talk about because it shows.


Garcia has fought every great fighter in his weight class including Errol Spence Jr., Ivan Redkach, Shawn Porter, Brandon Rios, Keith Thurman, and Robert Guerrero, and that is just the short list. Listing all the great fighters would fill up a page.


He knows he is on the physical downside because of his age but feels he can still capture one more title before he retires. Although he is moving up in weight, expect him to be in top shape when he enters the ring against Benavidez Jr.


Jose Benavidez is a world champion talker. He knows the right things to say to the press, little of which is true. Of course, truth is not a term used in boxing. He knows how to build up a fight and, if things do not go well, like the time Terence Crawford put him away, he knows how to be humble. Not that he means it but he understands that being gracious and not making excuses goes over well with the public. He lives in a fictional world created by him and passed along to those gullible enough to listen.


He has held the WBA Interim title, but has never held a full title. He took the Interim title by beating Mauricio Herrera on a controversial unanimous decision. ESPN had Herrera winning 117 to 111. Look at his other fights and few notable opponents pop up. His last fight against Francisco Torres (17-3-0) ended in a controversial draw. The crowd, at least, booed the decision feeling that Torres had been robbed. So did many of the reporters. He cannot fight boxers and does best with sluggers and tough guys.


Benavidez is a disappointment in many ways. He has all the skills to be a great boxer, just none of the will. He is lazy. He does not take advice. He hates to train. Of course he talks about always being in shape and that he welcomes a second chance at a world title fight after he beats Garcia. It is mostly bluff.


So far he has yet to go to a proper training camp and prefers hanging about his father’s gym. With the exception of Jose Valenzuela, a much smaller man, he has had no quality sparring and has been working with local amateurs, and club fighters. His favorite pastime at the gym appears to be telling jokes to many admiring pals blind to what they are seeing.


Money seldom reaches his pockets. He has not made much money in his career and what he has made has not been invested in any way, unless one considers a Range Rover, one of the most unreliable and repaired vehicles on the market, an investment. Of course the car looks good and impresses others.


He will come to fight and to fight hard. Unfortunately he will not fight up to his potential because he does not train up to his potential. He is impossible to dislike and seems to have no cares in the world. A smile sits constantly on his face. With his slick talk he might have been a successful politician.


What sounds good is what Jose Benavidez Jr. is all about. His is a fictional world and he may be fooling even himself.  No one can think himself into being great. Should the fight go the distance, boxing judges often live in a fictional world so the fight with Garcia is still up for grabs.

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