Terence Crawford a big favorite over Jose Benavidez
By Sean McDaniel: WBO welterweight champion Terence ‘Bud’ Crawford (33-0, 24 KOs) is coming into tonight’s fight against fringe level challenger Jose Benavidez (27-0, 18 KOs) a monstrous 32:1 favorite with the oddsmakers for their fight on ESPN and ESPN Deportes at the Chi Health Center in Omaha, Nebraska.
The boxing fans are overwhelmingly picking Crawford to KO Benavidez. At this point it would be nice if Benavidez goes the distance to show that he can stand up to Crawford’s punching power. Crawford has a four-fight knockout record going back to 2016. The last fighter to go the distance with Crawford was Viktor Postol in 2016. Postol was knocked down twice in the fight in rounds five and 11.
This is one of those stay busy fights for Crawford, according to Top Rank president Todd Duboef. Crawford, 31, likes to stay busy by fighting as often as possible, but unfortunately interesting fights aren’t always there for him. As such, Crawford will be fighting the unheralded 26-year-old Benavidez tonight. Although Benavidez is still unbeaten, his resume is filled with novices and journeyman for the most part.
Benavidez, 6’2″, has shown no fear of Crawford in the lead up to tonight’s fight. At the weigh-in, Benavidez shoved Crawford hard, and just narrowly avoided getting hit by a right hook. Benavidez has some boxing fans believing that he’s going to win, but the reality is likely to be much different. Benavidez is an excitable fighter, who makes a lot of noise before and in between his fights. Unfortunately, he hasn’t had the opposition to to show how good he is. He’s been matched against one fighter with passable skills during his career in Mauricio Herrera, and he performed less than what he should have in winning a questionable 12 round split decision.
Benavidez’s younger brother is WBC super middleweight champion David Benavidez (20-0, 17 KOs), who is a big puncher. Jose Benavidez lacks the power that his 21-year-old brother David possesses, even though he’s five years older than him and the exact same height. Jose just wasn’t born with the same kind of power that David has going for him. That’s unfortunate because if Jose could punch like his younger brother, Crawford would be in big trouble tonight. There aren’t too many welterweights that would be able to stand up to the punching power of David Benavidez if he somehow was able to fight at 147.
This will be the first time that Benavidez will have fought a true world class fighter tonight. Although Benavidez has obviously sparred against top level contenders, he’s never fought anyone and there’s a huge difference as he’s about to find out tonight. Benavidez would very likely lose to a number of guys that Crawford has beaten during his career. It’s hard to imagine Benavidez being able to beat these fighters: Viktor Postol, Yuriorkis Gamboa, John Molina, Felix Diaz, Indongo, Ricky Burns and Raymundo Beltran.
A blowout win tonight for Crawford is going to make his promoters at Top Rank look bad for having matched him against Benavidez. Top Rank should think twice about continuing to match Crawford against poor opposition because it’s not helping his career, and it’s obvious that he’s not being put in against the best.