Roberto Bentitez Returns September 30th in New York!
By Ken Hissner, Doghouse Boxing (Sept 29, 2009)    
Between 1996 and 2002 New York’s Roberto Benitez won tournament after tournament. On September 30th he will return to the ring for the first time since October of 2006. The well celebrated boxer won all his 5 professional fights, 3 by knockout from April 2005 to his final fight 18 months later. Hand injuries had plagued him. He will be featured on Joe DeGuaria’s Star Boxing’s second installment of VIP boxing at the beautiful Russo’s On the Bay at Howard Beach, New York.

Benitez won the American Boxing Classic in 1996; US under 19 Gold in 1997; US Challenge Gold in 1998; US Nationals Gold in 1999; Everlast US Championships 2000 and went to the finals of the Olympic Trials coming up short to Jose Navarro. He would have to settle on being the Olympic alternate. In 2001he won the Everlast US Gold and the US Challenge Gold; In 2002 Everlast US National Silver; In 2003 Golden Gloves Bronze and the American Boxing Classic Gold; In 2004 Everlast Gold and US Nationals Gold and another shot in the Olympic Trials. This time he came up a winner, but only 8 of the members would go to Greece in 2004 and Benitez was not one of them. He was in 21 tournaments and won12 Gold medals.

He came to Marquette and also attended Northern Michigan University in 1996 and boxed on the team with such boxers as DaVarryl Williamson, Dominick Guinn, Clarence Vinson, David Jackson, LeChaunce and Teaunce Shepher, Malik Scott, Sechew Powell, Chad Aquino, Dennis Hasson, Francisco Palacios, Jaidon Codrington, Jermain Taylor and current world champion’s Brian Viloria and Tim Bradley, right up to the 2004 Olympics. “NMU was a great opportunity for boxers that want to advance their career and further their education especially inter-city kids inside and outside as a person,” said Benitez.

In April of 2005 Benitez won his pro debut over Jenkens Alvarez in the super bantamweight division in Miami. In September he stopped Jorge Lucas in 3 rounds in Duluty, GA. In November he scored a 1st round stoppage of Nick Shaheen in Dorchester, MASS, all in 2005. In April o f 2006 he stopped Yamin Mohammad in Tampa and in October won over Vineash Rungea in White Plains.

“I feel good and ready to display the New and improved Benitez. I’m ready to put on a good show and come out with a victory”, said Benitez. He will be in a 6 rounder against Angel Paneto, 4-5-2 (2). Paneto is from Puerto Rico and lost a 6 round decision to Cuban Yan Barthelemy, 3-0, and in April defeated Josean Figuroa, 5-0-1. He started his career in December of 2006 about the time Benitez had his last fight. Benitez’s fellow teammate from the 2004 team, Devin Vargas will headline the show against Terrell Nelson in an 8. Former top amateur Yathomas Riley will be featured in a 6 rounder.

For those of us who have been wondering “whatever happened to Roberto Benitez?” Well, he’s back!

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Ken at: kenhissner@yahoo.com




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