Jose Benavidez Jr. confident heading into bout in Terence Crawford’s backyard

Welterweight Jose Benavidez Jr. (standing) vs. Frank Rojas. Photo credit: Mikey Williams/Top Rank

Welterweight Jose Benavidez Jr. (standing) vs. Frank Rojas. Photo credit: Mikey Williams/Top Rank

 

WBO welterweight titlist Terence “Bud” Crawford, one of boxing’s pound-for-pound best fighters, will battle Jose Benavidez Jr. on October 13.

 

The two welterweights will meet in Crawford’s hometown of Omaha, Nebraska, at the CHI Health Center, live on ESPN.

 

Unless you live in the sun belt or the sunny climes of southern California, summer is turning to cooler autumn in most parts. However there is also a serious storm brewing in the Midwest.

 

The upcoming bout between Crawford, 33-0 (24), and Phoenix, Arizona’s former WBA interim junior welterweight beltholder Benavidez (27-0, 18 KO’s) has brought some frosty exchanges between the two undefeated fighters.

 

I’m going to take a shot here and say that the pre-fight pressers and this Friday’s weigh-in may have some heated back-and-forth between the two 147-pounders. For whatever reason these two boxers don’t seem to like each other much.

 

Jose Benavidez Jr. (left) vs. Francisco Santana. Photo credit: German Villasenor

Jose Benavidez Jr. (left) vs. Francisco Santana. Photo credit: German Villasenor

 

There has been a war of words on social media and, on the occasions when they have bumped into each other, that has cranked up the heat on what will be an interesting bout.

 

Make no mistake; Benavidez, who has been firmly entrenched in Crawford’s hometown for his last three weeks of training, will be in hostile territory heading into the Crawford-crazed Omaha. That said Benavidez seems unfazed by this, reveling in the opportunity to beat Crawford at home.

 

And Crawford, hot off the heels of signing a very lucrative new extension with Top Rank, hasn’t known defeat in the pros and he doesn’t plan to start now.

 

Benavidez held the aforementioned version of a junior welterweight title for six months from 2014 into 2015 and is looking to become a full, legitimate champion.

 

While Benavidez knows Crawford is a tough and talented fighter, often brought up in the mix of names as one of boxing’s very best competitors, Jose Jr. seems sure that he can pull off the win in Omaha.

 

WBO welterweight titlist Terence Crawford (right) vs. Jeff Horn. Photo credit: Mikey Williams/Top Rank

WBO welterweight titlist Terence Crawford (right) vs. Jeff Horn. Photo credit: Mikey Williams/Top Rank

 

In a recent interview, Benavidez made it clear that he is very confident going into the bout, doesn’t see any problems with Crawford and that his size and strength will allow him to leave Omaha as a two-time world champion.

 

In addressing Crawford’s strengths, which are considerable as one of boxing’s most talented boxer-punchers, Benavidez seemed unimpressed. He also seemed quite confident that his size will nullify anything Crawford brings to the ring.

 

“I don’t see anything special, to be honest. I see him running,” said Benavidez. “I’m the bigger guy. I am taller and stronger. I am naturally bigger; he is really a 135-pounder.”

 

At the time of the interview, Benavidez was wrapping up the final phase of an excellent camp. He usually has no trouble with weight and enters the ring feeling strong at welterweight. However be sure that Crawford will be looking across the ring at a big welterweight in Benavidez, who walks around at 165 to 170 pounds between bouts.

 

The California-born Benavidez, who recently relocated to Las Vegas from his longtime Phoenix home, also feels that, while Crawford is known for a strong defense and effective counterpunching, he will eventually get to the defending titlist and he won’t hear the final bell.

 

WBO welterweight titlist Terence Crawford with Top Rank CEO Bob Arum. Photo credit: Mikey Williams/Top Rank

WBO welterweight titlist Terence Crawford with Top Rank CEO Bob Arum. Photo credit: Mikey Williams/Top Rank

 

“I don’t do anything half-ass,” continued Benavidez. “I’m training to win. I’m training hard and am going to take this guy out. I’m taking that belt back home. All my Mexican fans: This fight’s for you. I’ve been wanting this fight for three years. I know I have what it takes to beat him and I am going to beat him.”

 

It is clear that Benavidez is nothing if not confident heading into the bout.

 

“Crawford has been running his mouth and saying I’m a nobody. I’m going to take full advantage of this opportunity. I train and I train to win, I don’t believe in second place,” said Benavidez. “I know I am the stronger fighter and I know I have a lot of tools to beat him. I want to show that I am the best in the world at 147 pounds. I want to fight the very best. I’m going to win. I am going to beat Crawford. Mark my words.”

 

 

 

Questions and comments can be sent to Bill Tibbs at hwtibbs@shaw.ca and you can follow him at twitter.com/tibbs_bill.

 

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