In what may wind up being the Fight of the Night, Jose Benavidez improved to 25-0 (16 KO) with a 10-round decision win over Franciso Santana (24-5-1, 12 KO), on score of 96-94, 98-92, and 100-90. BLH had it 97-93, also for Benavidez.
It should be said straight off that judge Adelaide Byrd scoring this fight 10-0 for Benavidez is a crime. There were at least two rounds he clearly won here. I gave him three and could have given him a fourth. I don't think he won more than four, but he definitely won at least two or three.
Santana was able to stay in this fight thanks to his killer workrate and refusal to quit, but Benavidez overall was just good enough to keep Santana at bay enough and get a deserved win. In the first two rounds, Benavidez looked more determined than normal, but he got back into his bad habit -- he feels it's not one, which is another story -- of staying against the ropes and letting his opponent work.
This was a solid showing for Benavidez, but there are still questions about his true ceiling. Coming out of the amateurs, he was highly touted. He's yet to really make waves as a pro. But this was also a good, action-packed fight, and he did at least deliver that, with Santana's help.