Welterweight prospect Jose Benavidez Jr survived an eighth round scare tonight after dominating opponent Pavel Miranda, winning on scores of 79-73 across the board. BLH also scored it 79-73 for Benavidez.
Benavidez (17-0, 13 KO) won the fight using his left hand almost exclusively, jabbing his way to a wide lead over seven rounds, and mixing in some beautiful combinations -- things like a jab, then a left hook, then a left uppercut, sometimes six-punch combos behind the jab, were really amazing to watch.
But as sharp as he looked tonight, he was popped with a big shot in the eighth round and provided more worries about his often-criticized defensive approach, which most observers feel is his biggest weakness by far. He did hang on and survive the round without going down, but he was on shot legs and just barely made it out. A possible knockdown was ruled a slip -- it doesn't matter much, but it could have been scored a knockdown.
So there's definitely still work to be done with the 20-year-old, that's for sure. He's getting there fast offensively, but the defense needs tuning still. Miranda (17-8-1, 8 KO) had a chance, but it came too late.
We'll be back at 10 pm ET for the HBO card, with Nonito Donaire facing Toshiaki Nishioka and Brandon Rios squaring off with Mike Alvarado.