Jose Benavidez Jr was set to face Luis Collazo on Aug. 17 on ESPN, but the 27-year-old former blue chip prospect has reportedly suffered an injury to his right leg, and has postponed the fight, likely until October.
Benavidez (27-1, 18 KO) turned pro in 2010 with a lot of hype and forecasts of future stardom, but he’s never quite lived up to the billing, his career not taking off despite obvious talent. He’s had troubles outside the ring, including a gunshot to the same right leg in 2016 that nearly ended his career and life.
He stepped up his competition big time last October, challenging Terence “Bud” Crawford for the WBO welterweight title, but was largely out of his depth and stopped in the 12th round, trailing badly on all three cards. He had moments of success that showed why he was once thought of so highly, though, and there is hope that if he can get fighting regularly, he is still young enough to deliver on the promise he once had.
The Aug. 17 ESPN show will go on, with 122-pound titleholder Emanuel Navarrete bumped from co-feature to main event for his defense against Francisco De Vaca. It’s not a great main event on paper, but it’s hard to say it’s substandard compared to other ESPN offerings this year, given we’ve seen The Worldwide Leader serve up the likes of Stevenson-Guevara, Gvozdyk-Ngumbu, Pulev-Dinu, and Valdez-Sanchez as main events.