Jose Benavidez Jr. and his father Jose Sr. felt that Jermall Charlo’s physical appearance looked unusual during this week’s virtual press conference to discuss their ten round fight at the Michelob Ultra Arena in Las Vegas. Jermall looked like someone who hadn’t slept in many days and needed a long rest to recover. It was alarming.
(Photo credit: Victor Ren/SHOWTIME)
Charlo didn’t appear to be mentally engaged until Benavidez Jr. angered him with his trash-talking, but even then, he looked like he was close to nodding off. It was refreshing to see Jermall back to his snarling self, but he still appeared badly fatigued & haggard.
Towards the end of the virtual press conference, Jermall looked more or less like his old self, except for his physically fatigued appearance. It’s unclear whether Jermall has been working too hard in camp because he didn’t look good.
While Jose Sr. noted that Jermall (32-0, 22 KOs) looked like he was on something, Benavidez says he looked “pretty rough,” like he’d just been arrested for trespassing.
Jermall hasn’t fought in over two years, and there’s no way of knowing how well he’ll perform against a hungry, motivated Benavidez Jr, who clearly views him as a way to open the doors for a big fight.
This is Benavidez Jr’s Super Bowl because his career is going nowhere right now, and he needs a win like this to put him in a position to challenge for a world title, be it at 160 or 168.
Is Jermall ready for Benavidez Jr?
“That was fun; I was having fun. He’s known for talking s**t and not making sense. All I heard was mumbling,’ said Jose Benavidez Jr. to Fight Hub TV about his virtual press conference with Jermall Charlo this week.
“I said what I had to say, and what I say, I’m going to do. I’m focused and ready, and I’m motivated. I’m motivated to be on pay-per-view and motivated to be on the card with my brother,” said Benavidez.
The version of Jermall that we saw dominate Sergiy Derevyanchenko in 2020 would stomp Benavidez Jr and make it look easy, but that was three years ago, and he looked cogent back then. Charlo looked alive back then.
Comparing Jermall’s appearance in the press conferences to how he looked this week, it was like two different people. Jermall was wide awake, alert, and enjoying himself in the build-up to the Derevyanchenko fight.
This week, Charlo didn’t look well, and you have to wonder if he needs more time off to rest or something because if he goes out there and fights Benavidez Jr. looking the way he does now, he might lose, and that would be disastrous for his career because this guy is cupcake compared to the predators in the 168-lb division.
“It’s going to be a great night. My whole team has got my back. I’m surrounded by nothing but positive vibes,” said Benavidez Jr. “Let’s keep this going. I don’t buy all his excuses. Everyone in life has troubles. We all have our ups and downs, but we don’t post it out there and make videos to get attention.
“We don’t cry to try and make people feel bad. We do what we got to do. He did look pretty rough,” said Benavidez Jr. about the appearance of Jermall during their virtual press conference. “He looked like he’d just gotten arrested for trespassing and let out that same day.
“I wish him the best regardless of what he has to say. I’m going to do what I have to do that night. He’s going to see.
“I’m still trying to think what to make about that comment,” said Benavidez Jr. when asked what his thoughts are about Jermall, saying that he’s going to start training camp this week.
Benavidez Jr thinks Charlo is taking him lightly
“I don’t know what to think. I’ve been in camp, but maybe he wants to take me lightly,” said Benavidez Jr about Jermall, saying he’ll be starting camp this week. “He’s going to see. I’m going to be the hardest puncher he’s ever faced. Whatever he has going on, that’s his decision, his camp.”
Jermall appeared to be messing with Benavidez Jr. when he said he would start camp this week, but with the deadpan way that he said it, you didn’t know whether he was serious. He had this flat affect about him while making that remark, making it difficult to know if he was serious.
“In my camp, we’re waking up at six in the morning, dedicated, focused, training, running five, six miles, and sparring with nothing but the best,” said Jose Jr. “I’m not really worried about what he’s got going on. In Team Benavidez, we’re working hard, and that’s what we do.
“I’ve actually fought at that weight a couple of times. Ten years ago, there was a fight that I fought at 158, 160. There’s been a few times. A lot of people say I’m smaller than him. I’m six feet tall. I’m not that much smaller than my brother.
“My brother is way bigger than him. I walk around at 180. I’m a solid 160-pounder. I don’t know how I fought at 147. I fought at 140 as an amateur at 14, 15-years-old. When I fought Crawford, it was hard to make that weight,’ said Benavidez Jr.
It doesn’t matter that Jose Jr. fought at 160 ten years ago because he’s still going to be out of his league if Jermall is anywhere near the level he was during his best years.
However, if Charlo’s appearance this week is any indication of how he’s going to look on fight night, he could lose to Benavidez Jr, and that would be a massive blow to his career because he can’t afford to lose to a guy at this level.
Benavidez Jr. is a decent scrapper, but you can’t throw that guy in with the likes of David Morrell Jr., Carlos Adames, Caleb Plant, or Janibek Alimkhanuly and expect him to stay above water. Those guys would sink his ship, and it wouldn’t be pretty.
“When I fought at 154, I thought it was going to be easier. It was a bit easier, but I’m still too big for that. At 160, I feel good,” said Benavidez Jr. “In this training camp, I feel strong. I feel good at every training camp, but towards the end at the weigh-in, I feel kind of drained.
Jose Jr. vows to beat Jermall’s a**
“This time, I feel my pop, my strength, and pop is there. I have a whole different vibe,” said Benavidez Jr. “I’m positive. I’m not angry. I’m usually angry. It’s cutting the weight. I’m happy and motivated, and I’m excited more than anything.
“I’m ready to take this mother f***er out. I found out a couple of weeks ago. He says he’s dedicated, no excuses, but why not fight for the [WBC middleweight] title? He’s been out for a long time. He hasn’t defended it, he hasn’t done nothing,” said Benavidez Jr. about Jermall.
The only way Jose Jr. knocks out Charlo is if he’s just a shell of the fighter he was in the past, because even the last version of him that we saw in his last fight against Juan Macias Montiel in 2021, he’d be too much for him.
Montiel took an awful amount of punishment from Jermall to go the twelve round distance in this fight, and Benavdie Jr. won’t be able to eat those kinds of shots without falling apart.
“I’m easy, I’m a piece of cake, I’m a bum, whatever, he wants to say, but he doesn’t want to fight me [for his WBC 160-lb title]. It doesn’t make sense. It doesn’t add up to me. Whether I fight for the belt or not, I’m still going to beat his a**,” said Benavidez Jr. about Jermall.