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Predictions: Danny Garcia vs Jose Benavidez Jr and three more fights!

Danny Garcia faces Jose Benavidez Jr on Saturday plus more fights!

Danny Garcia faces Jose Benavidez Jr on Saturday plus more fights!
Danny Garcia faces Jose Benavidez Jr on Saturday plus more fights!
Amanda Westcott/SHOWTIME

Scott Christ (47-26)

I’m going with Danny Garcia, but with a mild amount of caution. Benavidez was, in fact, once upon a time a hot prospect, a blue chipper to sign. But he’s never delivered on the promise. And though on paper, in some ways, he has some advantages on Garcia, he’s never really proven he can fight over 147, and he’s never proven he can fight at 147 as well as Garcia. Not even close, really.

So this is at 154. So what? Garcia may not be fit for the top tier of 154, we’ll see about that in time, but Benavidez isn’t the top tier of 154. If Jose wins this fight, it’s an upset of note. Garcia has proven far more in his career. That’s a fact. I expect a 9-3 type decision. Garcia UD-12

Wil Esco (56-17)

I’m not a huge believer in Danny Garcia’s ability to make a genuine run at the junior middleweight division, but I certainly think he’s good enough to beat a fighter like Jose Benavidez who was never really able to live up to what some thought his potential was. Maybe that gunshot to the leg altered the trajectory of his career, but there’s really not anything special I see coming from Benavidez.

Garcia may not have a lot of those truly ‘special’ qualities either, but he’s still a much more well-rounded fighter in my estimation, and I think he manages to pull out a points win over the distance here. But where Garcia tries to go from here I think will be a much more telling sign of his true ambitions in the division. Garcia UD-12

John Hansen (56-17)

Benavidez has fought just once since his 2018 loss to Terence Crawford. I didn’t remember much about it, and I was very surprised when I looked up Bad Left Hook’s fight thread and recap. Turns out, I was the one that covered it. Probably not a great sign, given that I seldom cover live shows, that I completely forgot how Benavidez looked that night.

I’ll save you a click and just say that he didn’t look great, he didn’t fight smart, and he may or may not have deserved that draw.

Maybe he doesn’t leave himself exposed to get hit by Danny Garcia the same way he did with Francisco Torres. Garcia may be short for 154 pounds, but he won’t necessarily be “small” given his build and style. If Benavidez looks anything like he did last November, Garcia could stop him.

But, how will Garcia look fighting for the first time in over a year and a half? Hopefully, like he did in his prime: sharp and intimidating in some sort of animal print ringwear. More boxers need to take style cues from The Flintstones. Garcia UD-12

Patrick Stumberg (57-16)

Even if Garcia’s proven consistently unable to get over the hump at 147, his prospects at 154 don’t look much better. While he’s durable enough to stay on his feet and will appreciate his opponents being less fleet-of-foot, his power will struggle to raise the fear he requires for his low-output style to work.

Luckily for him, Jose Benavidez Jr looks like a fairly easy mark from where I’m sitting. Benavidez is eminently counterable, as we saw in his draw with Francisco Torres, and moves, well, like he has a metal rod in his leg. He’s not powerful, active, or elusive enough to overcome Garcia the ways others have before, meaning it’s really a question of how much Garcia can damage him en route to victory. I think a classic Garcia counter left hook is on the table. Garcia TKO-8

Quick Picks!

Chris Billam-Smith vs Isaac Chamberlain

  • Scott: Chamberlain SD-12
  • Wil: Chamberlain UD-12
  • John: Billam-Smith UD-12
  • Patrick: Billam-Smith SD-12

Gary Antuanne Russell vs Rances Barthelemy

  • Scott: Barthelemy SD-10
  • Wil: Russell UD-10
  • John: Russell TKO-9
  • Patrick: Russell TKO-7

Adam Kownacki vs Ali Eren Demirezen

  • Scott: Demirezen TKO-7
  • Wil: Kownacki TKO-8
  • John: Kownacki KO-6
  • Patrick: Demirezen TKO-5