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Thread: Wilfred Benitez's training habits, or lack thereof...

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    Wilfred Benitez's training habits, or lack thereof...

    I have come accross recently, multiple posts pertaining to Wilfred Benitez's training that he put in for certain fights and how the brevity should be used as an exscuse for his performances.

    The truth of the matter is that the Dragon was consistant in the short amount of time he actually worked out for a fight. His natural talent allowed for him to get away with this and the fact that he stayed in decent shape between bouts.

    Here is a run down on te number of days that he worked out for prior to certain key bouts (Source Ring Magazine August 1981):

    Harold Weston I-12 days

    Bruce Curry I-7days

    Curry II-10 days

    Palomino-15 days

    Weston II-1 day

    Sugar Ray Leonard-10 days according to Wilfred. According to his father Gregorio, it was 9 days.

    Mo Hope-11 days.

    Should Benitez have trained more earnestly and showed more dedication? Absolutely. But of the above listed matches, Benitez only lost one of them (though the first Curry bout was a wretched performance by Wilfred.).

    I would never argue that Benitez would not have been better off if he HAD been more deditated. But he was very successful with how he was doing things. To imply or suggest that Benitez ONLY lost to SRL or Tommy Hearns (Apparently it was anywhere form 11 to 15 days) whihc was because he didn't train for the bout, doesn't really tell the entire story as he trained for Leonard (and Hearns) like he trained for everyone else.

    He was what he was and he did what he did. And it really didn't change from fight to fight. "What if"-ing him and his preparation methods, doesn't really get to the bottom of anything.

    Hawk
    Last edited by hawk5ins; 06-25-2007 at 09:24 AM.

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    Re: Wilfred Benitez's training habits, or lack thereof...

    I would take some of these reports with a pinch of salt.
    Any fighter who goes the distance with Ray and Tommy
    has to be doing a bit more than what is reported here.
    These being the 15 rd days. If it really is true, then the guy was
    simply a superman.

    Benitez to me had that sort of lazy style anyway.
    He did enough but rarely stretched himself. I still think
    he loses to Ray no matter how much effort
    he puts in and to Tommy.

    Great fighter all the same...I wonder did he party
    heavy too or drink and smoke...this may also have
    had an impact. I have never read reports saying this, at least
    not until after the Hearns bout

  3. #3
    Roberto Aqui
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    Re: Wilfred Benitez's training habits, or lack thereof...

    Wilfredo...good enough to get by....for a while. By the time he fought Hearns he had no offense to speak off.

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    What reason would Benitez lie about this?

    Or his father Gregorio who was actually criticizing him?

    Or Jimmy Jacobs who also chastised this habit of Benitez's?

    And I wonder how Benitez's offense went away over night for the Hearns bout? Considering it was just fine for Santos, Duran and Hope. And even for Tommy. To state that Benitez's offense was non existant for his bout with Hearns? This perplexes me.

    ANd what reason is there to speculate that drugs came into play while he was a championship level fighter? Is there anything to point to with any substance that would indicate this is the case? Or would lead anyone to beleive this is the case?

    What makes Benitez any different than another 70's great in Carlos Monzon? Monzon actually was known for partying and like Benitez, for not having long training camps.

    We KNOW Carlos skimmped his training, but becuase he always kept himself in fighting shape, he was able to take these shortcuts.

    I see no need to doubt Benitez or suspect there was anything nefarious going on behind the scenes.

    Of course maybe reading Bugliosi's book has me thumbing my nose at conspiracy talk.

    Things many times are, exactly what they are.

    Hawk

  5. #5
    Roberto Aqui
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    Re: What reason would Benitez lie about this?

    Quote Originally Posted by hawk5ins
    And I wonder how Benitez's offense went away over night for the Hearns bout? Considering it was just fine for Santos, Duran and Hope. And even for Tommy. To state that Benitez's offense was non existant for his bout with Hearns? This perplexes me.
    OK, you're easily perplexed. Benitez was 9-7 from the Hearns bout on, never beating another top fighter. All he did was run and survive Hearns. He should've been banned from boxing at that point, but they brought him out as a sacrificial lamb for Hamsho, Moore, and Hilton and even others started to mop him up.

    Duran was his swan song, but Duran was also very sluggish for that bout which was typical of many of Duran's post Leonard performances. Benitez actually punched in that bout though he could never actually hurt Duran.

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    The Running of the Dragon

    What would be the reason to ban Benitez from Boxing following the Hearns bout?

    Can I get a scorecard from your view of the Hearns Benitez fight?

    I can only assume that since we are calling for Benitez's ban, that you must have had Tommy completing a clean sweep during the bout. And what, 4 or 5 two point rounds as well and possibly a couple of 3 point rounds as well?

    I mean, Benitez should never have been allowed to have fought agian, so it must have been pretty ugly correct? At least how YOU saw it.

    Sacrificial lamb for Hamsho? That was a mild upset. And also let's considering what Benitez was doing that fight. It certainly didn't LOOK like "Running". And there was that contract issue that was going on. And Moore was not only an upset (a mild one at that), it was completely WEIRD ending. He broke his ankle. Not sure how he was "wheeled out there". Wheeled OUT OF there. Sure.

    And then consider the Kevin Moley bout prior to the Hilton fight. Benitez gained quite a bit of stature back with that win, setting up the Hilton bout. Now Mattthew's win was not unexpected, but it was a career maker. Made even more so by Benitez's previous showing.

    But mostly here, I'm interested in the scorecard for Hearns Benitez. And if we could pinpoint this "running" Benitez did, I think that would be helpful for me as well. Running and Benitez really isn't synonomous based on my recollection.

    But then again, I'm easily perplexed.

    Addendum: I'm sorry, but I had to read this previous post again and I am CLEARLY perplexed.

    "All he did was run and survive Hearns."

    Roberto, I have to ask, have you actually SEEN Hearns Benitez?

    Wilfred "ran and survived" against Tommy?

    Could you point out exactly where and when in the bout this took place?

    Hearns Benitez, correct?

    Hawk
    Last edited by hawk5ins; 06-25-2007 at 02:27 PM.

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    Re: The Running of the Dragon

    Hawk5ins

    It would appear prudent to ignore certain individuals, at least for the time being, as it seemingly has become very popular in recent weeks to attack and attempt to discredit the outstanding fighters of the late 1970's and early 1980's that fought between 147-154 pounds.

    And I would also suggest that you do not entertain any discussion with any individual that claims Benitez was "running" or was a runner at any point in his career. Unlike a certain technically inept heavyweight Benitez NEVER incorporated a lot of footwork into his defense. He possessed exceptional reflexes and was highly skilled at slipping punches at his peak. Benitez was fully capable of making an opponent miss without the use of lateral movement. Any statement to the contrary is completely false as is the statement that he lacked offense.
    Last edited by lu047w; 01-30-2008 at 12:11 PM.

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    Re: What reason would Benitez lie about this?

    Quote Originally Posted by hawk5ins
    Or his father Gregorio who was actually criticizing him?

    Or Jimmy Jacobs who also chastised this habit of Benitez's?

    And I wonder how Benitez's offense went away over night for the Hearns bout? Considering it was just fine for Santos, Duran and Hope. And even for Tommy. To state that Benitez's offense was non existant for his bout with Hearns? This perplexes me.

    ANd what reason is there to speculate that drugs came into play while he was a championship level fighter? Is there anything to point to with any substance that would indicate this is the case? Or would lead anyone to beleive this is the case?

    What makes Benitez any different than another 70's great in Carlos Monzon? Monzon actually was known for partying and like Benitez, for not having long training camps.

    We KNOW Carlos skimmped his training, but becuase he always kept himself in fighting shape, he was able to take these shortcuts.

    I see no need to doubt Benitez or suspect there was anything nefarious going on behind the scenes.

    Of course maybe reading Bugliosi's book has me thumbing my nose at conspiracy talk.

    Things many times are, exactly what they are.

    Hawk
    Well I guess I'll go with the superman scenario. Maybe it is all true about Benitez and his lack of preparation and his dire habits, but if he was keeping in shape between fights, this may have been enough to get him by. But he was always a loser V Leonard. Ray won easy IMO, so maybe had Wilfred really trained, it might have been a tougher closer fight. I did read that his lifestyle went downhill after the Hearns bout and assumed drink and drugs took over. Good point regarding Monzon. He was known as a bit of a party animal and smoked like a madman too. I guess some people are simply freaks of nature. Either that or both Wilfred and Carlos and I'm sure others were on performance enhancing drugs!!!
    Last edited by walshb; 06-26-2007 at 02:47 AM.

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    Lu

    I think that is very wise and sound advice.

    Now if you can continue to "catch me when I fall", it will be greatly appreciated.

    I've strained too many other backs.

    I'm calling on a righty (or lefty) for relief. In the form of an inner voice to tell me to "walk away" when the obviousness of the situation calls for it.

    Hawk

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    Re: Wilfred Benitez's training habits, or lack thereof...

    I watched him train in Detroit and I saw no intensity or hard work and his power in punching was laughable. I mean that. I suppose he was through by that time, but it wasnt far after his lose to Hearns. I mean he had nothing and he was still a young man.

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    So Benitez

    Who Hails from Puerto Rico, trained in Detroit, for his bout with Hearns (who does hail from the Motor City), that took place in New Orleans (Here we go agian with New Orleans.......)?

    Yeah, ok. That makes sense to me.

    I wonder if he was "running" and "surviving" then as well.......

    Hawk
    Last edited by hawk5ins; 06-26-2007 at 01:51 PM.

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    Re: Wilfred Benitez's training habits, or lack thereof...

    Benitez was still in near prime form for Duran and beat him easily. Duran was highly motivated for the bout. His entire honor in Panama was at stake following his dismal quitting vs Leonard. Benitez simply beat him. He was too good a boxer for that Duran to beat. However that Duran was at least as good as the Duran who beat Cuevas, Moore and went 15 with Hagler.

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    Re: The Running of the Dragon

    Quote Originally Posted by lu047w
    Hawk5ins

    It would appear prudent to ignore certain individuals, at least for the time being, as it seemingly has become very popular in recent weeks to attack and attempt to discredit the great fighters of the late 1970's and early 1980's that fought between 147-154 pounds.

    And I would also suggest that you do not entertain any discussion with any individual that claims Benitez was "running" or was a runner at any point in his career. Unlike a certain technically inept heavyweight Benitez NEVER incorporated a lot of footwork into his defense. He possessed exceptional reflexes and was highly skilled at slipping punches at his peak. Benitez was fully capable of making an opponent miss without the use of lateral movement. Any statement to the contrary is completely false as is the statement that he lacked offense.

    Great post. Many people get on here and say very quickly he ran,,,when in fact it is not running, it is the art of hititng and not getting hit, which Benitez should have done more often it appears.

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    Well when Benitez is standing in one spot

    For many of the exchanges and avoiding punches, how anyone could state this was running or even feel the need to explain what it was, IMO simply has never seen Benitez fight.

    Why there are posters who come on here and continually keep describing Benitez as a boxer, as in "elusive boxer", simply has me chortling to myself becuase it is so blatantly obvious that actually VIEWING Benitez, has not been done.

    As far as the Hearns bout, agianst the sober advice of Lu, anyone who has seen the bout will IMMEDIATELY point out that Benitez actually was forced into the role of aggressor for that bout.

    Benitez was a COUNTER PUNCHER (not a boxer), who relished and thrived on his opponents coming to him so that he could slip, deke and then score. Wilfred often had his back to the ropes so he could lure the "fly into the Spider's web".

    Against Hearns, who spent nearly the entire bout Boxing away from Benitez, refusing to be "lured", Benitez actually needed to become an uncomfortable aggressor, trying to duplicate what Sal Sanchez did throughout his career, in that Benitez tried to be and Agressive Counter puncher. It was not a role or style that Benitez thrived or excelled in.

    This said, Benitez did have his moments, even if many of them came after Hearns broke his wrist. My scorecard had Hearns winning the bout by 4 or 5 points. Depending on how you want to score the "knockdown" Benitez scored on Tommy.

    Benitez did NOT run and survive agianst Hearns. Actually, he did the exact opposite, which is what makes the post that said he did run and survive agianst Tommy that much more hilarious. IMO it would be akin to stating all Pernell Whitaker did agianst Felix Trinidad, was run and survive, when obvious to anyone who actually DID see the bout, what Whitaker actually DID do was be more aggressive and ROUGH, than he ever was in his entire career.

    To state Benitez was shot for Hearns, coming off of 3 very impressive performances in Hope, Duran and future Jr. Middle King Carlos Santos, is ALSO very humorous.

    Now for the third chuckle: why Benitez would have gone to Detroit, from San Juan, to train for a bout in New Orleans in December.....Well I think I need to be pointed to a verifiable resource first, to even begin swallowing that one.

    Then again, some interesting stuff has surfaced in this thread.

    Interesting and revealing.

    Hawk

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    Re: Wilfred Benitez's training habits, or lack thereof...

    I have seen the bout and it nails home why Tommy Hearns is simply one of the most difficult boxers in th world to outbox, even for the likes of Benitez who was so effective and slick and cute. Hearns had the speed, height and reach necessary to negate the likes of Wilfred or Pea or any slick cuties. Even Leonard who could be as slick as hell and cute and fast found this out.
    The only option left was for Wilfred to press the action. He knew he couldn't beat Hearns with his usual style. To be honest no matter what Benitez done, he was on a loser. His lack of power made it 'handy' for Tommy.

    Back to the initial thread, he was a waster in the gym and possibly out of the gym too. Anyone know if his lifestyle turned to partying and booze during his career?

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    Re: Wilfred Benitez's training habits, or lack thereof...

    it turned to partying and cocaine...

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    Re: Well when Benitez is standing in one spot

    Quote Originally Posted by hawk5ins
    Against Hearns, who spent nearly the entire bout Boxing away from Benitez, refusing to be "lured", Benitez actually needed to become an uncomfortable aggressor, trying to duplicate what Sal Sanchez did throughout his career, in that Benitez tried to be and Agressive Counter puncher. It was not a role or style that Benitez thrived or excelled in.
    The Hearns-Benitez fight is further proof of Tommy's strengths as a fighter in that he was incredibly hard to counterpunch. The height, reach, handspeed and power made counterpunching him extremely difficult. Benitez and Duran couldn't do it, Leonard with his attributes was 50/50 and Hagler didn't even try.

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    Re: Wilfred Benitez's training habits, or lack thereof...

    Quote Originally Posted by bodyblow
    it turned to partying and cocaine...
    Thought so....he like many others simply couldn't handle the fame and pressure of being a great fighter...

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    There is ZERO

    Evidence that this was the case during his career, with the exception of very late at the tail end, well after the Hilton bout.

    By all means, if someone has evidece that he was doing coke DURING his career, IE prior to and including the Hilton bout, please present the evidence or at least a resource that documents this.

    Otherwise, let's knock this unfounded speculation off. Any drug problems he had had nothing to do with coping with stardom. If anything, it had to do with him trying to cope with him NO LONGER being a star and NO LONGER having any skills left.

    "turned to"...Yes.

    Well after bouts with Hearns, Cervantes, Leonard, Palomino, Hilton, Hamsho, Moore, Weston, Curry, etc.

    Hawk
    Last edited by hawk5ins; 06-27-2007 at 10:31 AM.

  20. #20
    Roberto Aqui
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    Re: Well when Benitez is standing in one spot

    Quote Originally Posted by hawk5ins
    For many of the exchanges and avoiding punches, how anyone could state this was running or even feel the need to explain what it was, IMO simply has never seen Benitez fight.
    IMO simply, eh? Just viewed the first round: Benitez circles the ring and doesn't even throw a punch the first minute. 2nd minute passes and the announcer notes Benitez has thrown very few punches. At the end of the round, it was noted that Benitez did not land a single punch, though his last attempt did almost hit Tommy's kneecap.

    Hearns on the otherhand boxed carefully, probing, maintaining striking distance, got off some scoring shots without having to break a sweat. Tommy might as well been trying to fight a gnat for all that Benitez offered up.

    Now, I may watch some of the rest of this classic strictly for the comedic value if offers, sorta the "anti-Rocky." It wasn't funny then, but thanks to some "IMO simply"s, it has true comedic value today.

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    wow

    Um, what Lu047w said.

    Hawk
    Last edited by hawk5ins; 06-27-2007 at 11:06 AM.

  22. #22
    Roberto Aqui
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    Re: Well when Benitez is standing in one spot

    OK, Hearns has been giving Wilfredo a comprehensive boxing lesson, so Benitez tries to close some distance in the 5th and gets knocked down. He's really frustrated now, so he does come after Tommy in the 6th, looking like a windmilling turtle with his head down. Tommy gives him a good pounding for his efforts, knocking him into the ropes in what could have been called a another KD.

    In the 8th Benitez does land a right body shot and misses with a left hook that Merchant calls "almost Benitez's best combination of the fight, a right that landed and a left that missed" while they look at the slo-mo.

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    Re: Well when Benitez is standing in one spot

    Quote Originally Posted by Roberto Aqui
    IMO simply, eh? Just viewed the first round: Benitez circles the ring and doesn't even throw a punch the first minute. 2nd minute passes and the announcer notes Benitez has thrown very few punches. At the end of the round, it was noted that Benitez did not land a single punch, though his last attempt did almost hit Tommy's kneecap.
    So you're basing the entire performance of Benitez on the first round?

    Benitez was a pure boxer and boxers generally use the first round as a feeling out/size up the opponent opportunity. Leonard threw very little against Hearns in their first round as he too was essentially a counterpuncher and needed to size up Hearns and establish the range he needed to work with.

    Benitez abandoned his usual counterpunch style after 5 rounds, switched gears and became more aggressive throwing more punches.

    Not exactly an effective swarmer, but it wasn't Benitez usual style either.

    I fail to see how that constitutes reasons for banning Benitez from boxing.

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    Follow up to previous post.

    I guess the opening minutes feeling out process is complete summation of the entire bout, correct?

    First round, Benitez's back is agianst the ropes for the majority of the round and Heans doesn't get "lured" in, as I previously stated.

    Benitez didn't land a punch in the round? No he didn't. Not sure where I have argued otherwise in this thread. I stated clearly that Hearns' boxing was forcing Benitez to be the aggressor, an uncomfortable role for him.

    In the first round, Benitez had not yet adopted that strategy yet. He did what he always does, try to sucker Hearns in so he can counter him. Hearns didn't fall for it and Benitez had no opportunities to land effectively.

    In the ensuing rounds, Benitez was forced to come forward and go after Tommy.

    I think this has already been covered here.

    Benitez "Ran and Survived"?

    Please, where is all of this?

    This was the point I was making.

    He was apparently "SO SHOT he never should have been allowed to fight agian. He should have been Banned from Boxing." Roberto, those were YOUR comments.

    Where is the Running and Surviving?

    It sounds like you are now watching this bout for the very first time.

    Sounds Like? Heck it's pretty obvious.

    Hawk

  25. #25
    Roberto Aqui
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    Re: Well when Benitez is standing in one spot

    OK, Benitez looks tired and gets into a slugging match with Hearns, finally. Hearns lands cleaner, but it must be said that Benitez does take a good shot while landing his most meaningful shots of the fight. Merchant notes that round was the busiest he'd ever seen of the career of Benitez.

    WOW, talk about damning with faint praise! Even Benitez's scored KD of Tommy consisted of a missed left hand as he stepped on Tommy's left foot. Nice trick though as the announcers got a chuckle at seeing Tommy topple so strangely.

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    Running of the Dragon....

    Roberto: " All he did was run and survive Hearns. He should've been banned from boxing at that point..."

    Hawk

  27. #27
    Roberto Aqui
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    Re: Wilfred Benitez's training habits, or lack thereof...

    12th and Wilfredo's eye has been marked up from the 6th on and blood is coming out his nose "reflecting the beating he's taken."

    Leonard notes that Tommy is very fresh and in complete command of the fight.

    15th, see above, although Merchant notes Benitez will need a double KO of Tommy to win this fight...funny stuff!

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    And yet...

    "All he did was run and survive Hearns. He should've been banned from boxing at that point..."

    So roberto, now finally watching a bout for the first time, that you obviously you felt you had the expertise on to make the previous comments on, anything that you might want to change or take back?

    Or was it still a shutout, so bad that Merchant, Leonard and Tompkins ALSO commented that Wifred should never be allowed to fight agian? And that all Benitez did was "run and survive"?

    Wanna keep to the orginal position on this one?

    Pretty funny stuff, huh?

    Hawk

  29. #29
    Roberto Aqui
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    Re: Wilfred Benitez's training habits, or lack thereof...

    OK, Benitez does show a bit more offensive moves than I remember, but, yeah, a very ineffective offense. It comes out that Tommy hurt his hand in the 7th and decided to just continue boxing and save the hand, which is where Benitez starts to make most of his ineffectual offensive moves.

    Again, Benitez 9-7 from the Hearns bout on, an obvious indicator that he was done as an elite fighter. A brilliant career, but effectively done by age 34, which is not unexpected. Few fighters last at the top that long, but the same mentality that kept Ali propped up so long past his prime, also tried to keep Benitez propped up.

    In short, OK, Benitez wasn't completely running. He did try to mount an offense, but mostly after Hearns hurt his right hand and couldn't come at Benitez as hard as he wished. That first round was the canary in the coal mine though. Not a single shot landed on Hearns and few barely attempted. Can't compete with that kind of offense, no offense intended!

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    I'd

    respond. But in doing so, I simply would be repeating everything I've already said here.

    buuuuut........

    It is absurd to suggest that Benitez ONLY "Ran and Survived" agianst Hearns.
    In fact, It's completely innaccurate.

    It is absurd to suggest that Benitez should be "banned from every fighting agian" after this bout as well.

    I have never suggested Benitez won this bout OR came close to winning the bout. I had Hearns a clear 4 to 5 point winner in the fight.

    Banned from the sport? Wanna know who the experts wanted Benitez to fight after Hearns? Hagler. Yes. Marvin Hagler. Benitez had so much difficulty with Hearns becuase Tommy Boxed Benitez. Hagler would not fight that Hearns fought agianst Benitez.

    So while YES, Benitez would be experiencing a whole NEW set of issues with Marvin, but the mere suggestion that the Experts and insiders at the time thought that Benitez SHOULD go after Hagler, I dunno, might lead one to the impression that Benitez was not COMPLETELY shot and should be banned from the sport?

    You are aware that Benitez Hamsho was actually a title elimnator bout? ANd Mustafa's win was considered an Upset. So much for the sacrificial lamb suggestion.

    You have noted that Post Hearns, Benitez went only 9-7 the rest of his career. Actually it's 9-6, but let's also understand that 2 of those losses came in 1990, when Benitez had been out of the sport for 4 years. 2 of the wins as well.

    Following the Hagler bout, Sugar Ray Leonard went 2-2-1, with the Draw really being a loss. Should Ray have never been allowed to fight again after the Hagler bout?

    Following his loss to Sugar Ray Robinson, Jake Lamotta went 4-4-1. Should he have never been allowed to have fought agian after the Robinson bout?

    Benitez Lost to Tommy Hearns in December of 1982. He lost convincingly.

    Why did he lose? A-Tommy Hearns was a better fighter than Wilfred Benitez. B-He fought with a style that caused Benitez significant issues. And he could not over come them in order to pull out a win.

    What does this say about Benitez? It says Hearns was a better fighter than Benitez.

    Nothing more. Nothing less.

    Hawk

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