CHICAGO — Jose Benavidez Jr talked up a storm all week, but when it came time for the gloves to do the smacking, he turned out to be a harmless participant in last Saturday night’s WBO welterweight championship.
Terence Crawford didn’t just beat Benavidez, he abused him like a step-child in front of over 13,000 blood-thirsty fans at the CHI Health Center in Crawford’s hometown of Omaha, Nebraska.
According to compu-box numbers Crawford landed 186 total punches, 52 jabs, and 131 power punches. A nasty uppercut with seconds to go in the 12th and final round led to a violent fury that paved the way for Crawford’s impressive TKO win.
Against Crawford’s relentless assault, Benavidez offered token resistance and hit just 92 of 501 total punches, 28 of 290 jabs and 64 of 211 power punches. With that tepid connect rate, Benavidez must have felt like fighting a ghost. a useless pursuit in which he got paid $500,000 for the lame effort.
Benavidez, the 26-year old from Phoenix whose record dropped to 27-1 with 18 KOs, told ESPN, “He beat me. I have nothing bad to say.”
Loosely translated, it meant Crawford shut Jose’s loud mouth shut.
After the target practice, Crawford saw his record rise to 34-0 with 25 KOs. He also noticed a major bump in his bank account, thanks to a $3.6 million payday.
The bad news is that Crawford’s isn’t likely to collide with the world’s best welterweights who are stabled at Al Haymon’s camp. Why would they risk fighting a beast and divide the pie when they can have their own in-house brawls and keep 100 percent of the profit?
Crawford is now 31 years old, still in the prime of his fistic might.
And that’s why anyone weighing 147 pounds and owning a belt seems to be running away from him.
Homer D. Sayson is a veteran journalist with a rich experience in print, broadcast and television media. He is currently a columnist and the U.S. editor of SPIN.ph. He is also a columnist and NBA page editor at PhilBoxing.com.