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Jose Benavidez Jr officially moving to welterweight, could face Vargas

Jose Benavidez Jr is moving to welterweight, and Bob Arum may be planning a fight with Jessie Vargas.

Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Jose Benavidez Jr will be making a move to welterweight, ESPN.com reports, after failing to make weight for his last fight in December. The 23-year-old prospect, at one time considered a blue chip, can't-miss type of fighter, has relinquished the interim WBA title he held at 140 pounds, which he last defended in May 2015, beating Jorge Paez Jr.

Benavidez (24-0, 16 KO) faced Sidney Siqueira in what was to be a welterweight fight in December, but missed weight by over five pounds, coming in at 152¼ at the weigh-in. The fight went ahead, with Benavidez winning a wide 10-round decision.

The Arizona fighter was last seen by many in December 2014, when he faced Mauricio Herrera on HBO, on the Bradley-Chaves undercard. That night, he was given what many felt was a controversial decision -- some felt it was an outright robbery -- beating Herrera by unanimous decision. Though he's still a very young fighter, it does feel in some ways as though his development has stagnated the last couple of years.

Bob Arum, who promotes Benavidez, says that the fighter could be in line for a matchup against newly-crowned WBO welterweight titleholder Jessie Vargas.