Ready to Rumble

Arizona native Jose Benavidez Jr. is like the fighting equivalent of Beethoven or Bach – a prodigy with the genes and raw talent to ensure a quick rise to success. He holds bragging rights of being the youngest Golden Gloves winner ever at the tender age of 16, and received a special dispensation by the Nevada State Athletic Commission to go pro a year later.

Benavidez Jr. returns to his home state for Rumble at the River II. This will be Benavidez’ first professional bout in Arizona, and considering his 120-5 amateur record he’s sure to impress with hands of lightning speed. More than just a pile of muscle and fury, the softhearted boxer also plans to donate a portion of his winning purse to Phoenix Children’s Hospital. He isn’t a total shoe-in for victory, though. Benavidez Jr. headlines a stellar lineup including undefeated pros Fernando Samaniego and Alexis “Beaver” Santiago.

Sat., June 11, 7 p.m., 2011
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Craig Smith