Jose Romero of SBN Arizona had a chance to interview top junior welterweight prospect Jose Benavidez Jr ahead of the 19-year-old's homecoming fight in Arizona on June 11 at the Wild Horse Pass Casino in Chandler. Benavidez still has no opponent for the fight, but he's excited to be back home and fighting as a pro in his home state for the first time. He was scheduled to do so last year, but you'll recall that Mexican boxing promoters and officials pulled out of working in Arizona in protest of SB 1070:
"I was ready to fight, but then all this stuff started happening. It kind of bummed me out a little bit," said Benavidez, whose father was born in Mexico. "I didn't want want to fight because I wasn't for that law. Not that many people were even able to go. A lot of people were actually scared to get out of their house and stuff, so why try to fight someone when people are going to be scared and not be comfortable to go watch the fight?"
About a year later, the law has not had the effect originally intended, some of its provisions blocked from being enforced by federal courts. Finally, Benavidez' homecoming bout can happen.
It figures to be a grand affair, with several fights on the undercard and Bob Arum's Top Rank promotions representing Benavidez.
"Just getting the chance to fight at home, it's exciting. And not only that, there's going to be a lot good guys on the card," Benavidez said.
Last Sunday, we featured Benavidez during all-day prospect profiles, and those who closely follow boxing know this is one of the top prospects out there today, and not just another hypejob. He last fought on the May 7 Pacquiao vs Mosley card, defeating James Hope. Highlights of that fight are after the jump.