A detailed breakdown of Saturday night's high stakes clash as two-division champ Danny Garcia makes his 154-pound debut against the dangerous Jose Benavidez Jr. in a Premier Boxing Champions event on SHOWTIME.
On Saturday, July 30, live on SHOWTIME, in a Premier Boxing Champions event from Barclays Center in Brooklyn, former two-division world champion Danny Garcia (36-3, 21 KOs) makes his super welterweight debut against the dangerous and highly regarded Jose Benavidez Jr. (27-1-1, 18 KOs) in a 12-round showdown.
The SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING telecast (9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT) will also see Polish star, Brooklyn’s Adam Kownacki returning to the ring against Turkish Olympian Ali Eren Demirezen in a 10-round heavyweight scrap. To kick off the telecast, undefeated rising sensation Gary Antuanne Russell battles former two-division champion Rances Barthelemy in a 10-round super lightweight contest.
Danny Garcia has established a reputation for excellence over the course of his 15-year professional career.
High-water mark victories over Erik Morales, Amir Khan, Zab Judah, Lucas Matthysse, Paulie Malignaggi, and Robert Guerrero have showcased the proud Philadelphia native’s elite-level skills. His close, competitive losses to Keith Thurman, Shawn Porter, and Errol Spence Jr. did the same.
Even so, the decision loss to Spence in his last fight seemed to hit hard. The long layoff following the setback painted the picture of an elite-level fighter who had, maybe, reached the end of the line.
More than a year-and-a-half later, though, a 34-year-old Garcia says he has rediscovered his love for the sport and his enthusiasm for training. He’s now setting out to make his mark in the competitive super welterweight division.
Jose Benavidez Jr. was a child prodigy who by the time he reached his late teens, was already a sparring partner for the likes of Manny Pacquiao, Shane Mosley, Amir Khan, and Timothy Bradley. The youngest National Golden Gloves champion ever at 16, he went on to become the youngest fighter ever licensed to fight in Nevada at 17.
His “can’t miss” status took a hit in August of 2016, however, when he was shot by an unknown assailant near his Phoenix home. The attack left him with a severed main artery above his right knee and an injury that doctors felt would end his boxing career at the young age of 24.
Benavidez, though, would return to the ring just about eighteen months later and score two stoppage victories before getting stopped, himself, in the twelfth round by defending WBO Welterweight World Champ Terence Crawford.
After a three-year layoff, the older brother of two-time super middleweight champ David Benavidez returned to the ring in November of 2021, settling for a frustrating draw with Argentina’s Francisco Torres in front of a raucous hometown Phoenix crowd.
Back and ready to make a run in the 154-pound division, the 30-year-old views a victory over Garcia as the gateway to bigger things.
Both Garcia and Benavidez will be looking to make waves in their super welterweight debuts with the ultimate goal being, of course, a world title shot.
Garcia is an extremely well-schooled and disciplined fighter who possesses a superb all-around skill set. He does just about everything well, employing great balance and quick hands to go along with a high ring IQ. His quick, jarring left hand, a punch that still ranks among the pound-for-pound best offensive weapons in the sport, is facilitated by a superb sense of timing. Far from a one-weapon fighter, he also carries significant pop in his right hand.
A clinical counter-puncher by nature, Garcia can sometimes be too analytical, allowing opponents to steal rounds while he patiently waits on openings and opportunities.
“ I just want to go in there and give the fans a great show. ” Former Two-Time World Champion - Danny Garcia
Benavidez is tall and lanky at nearly 5-foot-11 and utilizes a stiff jab that sets up a rocket-like right hand. Although he fights with a fearless bravado, he’s actually a very adept counter-puncher. He gets good leverage on mostly everything he throws and can bang to the head and body with equal effect.
At his ideal best, Benavidez stalks opposition from a smart distance, searching for openings and looking to cause damage.
Defensively, his best friend is the distance he keeps and maintains with his jab. However, he’s solid at picking off punches with his gloves and sometimes employs a peek-a-boo defense for extra protection.
“Benavidez is a tough fighter. He has some skills. Obviously, he’s 27-1-1 and he’s fought some good fighters. I expect the best of him. I want to knock him out, but if the knockout doesn’t come, then we’re ready for 12 rounds. I just want to go in there and give the fans a great show.”
Jose Benavidez Jr.
“A win over Danny Garcia is a big step for me. We’ve both lost before and I think that’s made us stronger fighters. We’ve learned from our mistakes. We’re going to be throwing bombs all night long. Stay tuned, because this is going to be Fight of the Year, I guarantee that.”
Garcia will come into Saturday’s bout with the edge in main stage experience and level of opposition, but Benavidez is a true natural and not easily intimidated.
The smart money is on both boxers fighting true to their respective styles and temperaments, with Garcia sitting back and analyzing for opportunities while Benavidez stalks and picks for openings.
For Benavidez to have the best chance at victory, he’ll probably have to be the one to step out of his comfort zone and force the fight. This, though, also plays into Garcia’s hands as the more comfortable and accomplished counter-puncher. Benavidez’s three-inch reach advantage and ability to fight from the outside could give him a tactical edge, in theory, but Garcia has seen it all and done it all.
Garcia and Benavidez will be coming into Saturday night’s contest with extreme pressure weighing on them. In a lot of ways, this will be a “last chance” for both. There will need to be some extra fire and urgency in this bout between two usually cool and patient boxer-punchers. Garcia needs a big win to create career momentum and establish himself in this new division. Benavidez, meanwhile, desperately needs a big win to get an oft sidetracked career back on track at the age of 30.
In this compelling battle of 154-pound newcomers, expect technical class, tactical intrigue, and a “must win” vibe pushing both fighters.
For a closer look at Garcia vs. Benavidez, check out our fight night page.
- Garcia vs Benavidez