Jose Benavidez Jr. vs Jorge Paez Jr. Preview May 15th
Undefeated Jose Benavidez Jr. will be defending his WBA Interim Super Lightweight Title this Friday, May 15 in his hometown of Phoenix, Arizona when he takes on hard-hitting Jorge Paez Jr. Of Mexico. The 12-round bout will be taking place at the US Airways Center and will be shown live in North America on Tru TV. Paez is the son of former pro boxer Jorge Paez. The 27-year-old Benavidez will climb through the ring ropes with a perfect record of 22-0 along with 15 Kos while the 27-year-old Paez has a mark of 38-5-2 with 23 Kos to his name.
Benavidez won the interim crown in Las Vegas back on December 13 when he beat former champion Mauricio Herrera by a close and controversial unanimous decision. Benavidez enjoyed a fine amateur career and at the age of 16 won a 2009 National Golden Gloves title to become the youngest boxer ever to win a national championship. Benavidez didn’t waste any time turning pro as he did so the next year when he turned 17. He was the youngest pro boxer ever licensed by the Nevada State Athletic Commission as the commission recognized his exceptional boxing skills and exempted him from the minimum age requirement of 18.
Benavidez broke his hand in 2013 and sat out most of the year before returning in 2014. He fought four times last year and capped it off with the title win over Herrera. Benavidez stands 5-feet-11-inches tall, possesses a 73-inch reach and has fought 82 rounds since turning pro in 2010. Paez is quite a bit smaller as he gives up four inches in height at 5-foot-7 and his 70-inch wingspan puts him at a three-inch reach disadvantage. Paez has boxed 247 rounds since turning pro in 2005.
Paez is on quite a hot streak at the moment as he’s earned 11 wins and a draw in his last 13 contests. Two of those victories came against Omar Chavez, who is the son of hall of famer Julio Cesar Chavez and the brother of Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. His last outing came back on February 21 when he stopped Ronald Montes in the fourth round. Paez has been stopped once, which was at the hands of Ramon Guevara in the fourth and final round of their bout in 2007. His last loss was to Vivian Harris via a 10-round majority decision in March of 2014.
Some fans didn’t think too much of Paez’s potential when he started out in the pro ranks, but he’s improved immensely over the years. He’s a bit of a slugger with heavy hands and his chin has stood the test of time. He doesn’t have the greatest boxing skills, but is a tough opponent to beat. Benavidez also has good power and owns the better boxing skills. This has the potential to be a crowd-pleasing fight as Paez will come forward and Benavidez will try to nail him when he’s within firing range.
Benavidez will try to stay away from a brawl and utilize his superior boxing skills. He’ll need to use his size advantage effectively to keep Paez from working his way on the inside. The champion needs to use his speed and mobility to rack up the points in case the fight goes all 12 rounds. There’s a good chance it will, and if it does, look for Benavidez to keep the interim title via a close decision.
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