When Jose Benavidez steps into the ring on November 16th in Laughlin, Nevada, for the first time in over a year, he’ll be looking to reignite his red-hot career and add another “W” to his résumé to move to 18-0. Benavidez is scheduled to face Abraham Alvarez Osuna, 16-4-1 (7), of Sinaloa, Mexico. After turning pro in Mexico in January of 2010, Jose ran off 17 wins in as many bouts and was quickly dubbed a “can’t miss” prospect by almost everyone in the boxing community who saw the Arizona-based welterweight ply his trade. After an exceptional amateur career, the 2009 Golden Gloves light welterweight champion looked to be channeling all his amateur magic into the pro game. Tall and lanky for the weight, Benavidez possessed exceptional defensive skills, a calm demeanour belying his age in the ring and very solid punching power. What he didn’t possess over the last year before his extended break were hands that held up to the stress he put them through while on the job.
In a recent interview, he talked about how he was “finally able to get a doctor in Los Angeles to repair the bone and tendon damage to my hand that I had to get fixed properly or it was just going to keep getting worse.” Jose had again hurt his right hand in his most recent fight when he defeated Pavel Miranda over eight rounds last October in Carson, California. At that point, he knew he had to get the injured right hand dealt with.
From the start of his career, Benavidez stopped 12 of his first 13 opponents but went the distance in three of his last four before taking time away to heal. While good in terms of getting in some rounds, the distance wins may have spoken to his compromised power hand as much as any fight-ending power Benavidez displayed up to that point. While the soft-spoken, California-born fighter is excited for his ring return, he knows patience and the proper fights are important after being away for such a long break. He is excited to return to work with a new right hand “that will feel much better and I don’t have to worry about it hurting it every time I throw it.”
Benavidez, who turned pro at 16 and has kept a busy schedule after starting to punch for pay, has a wealth of ring experience having sparred regularly with elite-level pros at trainer Freddie Roach’s Wild Card Gym in Hollywood, California. It is also a family affair with Jose as he is managed by father Jose Sr. Also, little brother David, whom Jose worked out with regularly during his down time, just followed his older brother’s blueprint. David also turned pro at 16 this past August in Mexico, picking up his first win. While there is no rush with Jose, already an experienced pro at just 20, something tells this writer that Junior will be itching to get the Benavidez bandwagon rolling fast and furious as soon as possible. While a running and cardio regimen has allowed the 6’0” 147-pounder to stay in fighting trim, nothing beats the real thing. “I have been involved in boxing during my time off, training with my brother and keeping in shape but it’ll be great to get back in the ring,” he said.