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Jose Benavidez Jr: “Jermall Charlo looked like he’d just gotten arrested for trespassing and let out that same day”

Jose Benavidez Jr

Former WBO welterweight title challenger Jose Benavidez Jr 28-2-1 (19) says he is the biggest puncher WBC middleweight champion Jermall Charlo 32-0 (22) has ever faced ahead of their 163-pound 10-round non-title bout at the Michelob Ultra Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada on November 25.

Last week the 31-year-old from Phoenix, Arizona participated in a joint video conference with Charlo where the 33-year-old Houston, Texas native looked under the weather.

Benavidez enjoyed the experience but admitted he was a bit perplexed by Charlo’s appearance and behaviour.

“That was fun, I was having fun. He’s known for talking shit and not making sense. All I heard was mumbling,” Benavidez said to FightHubTV.

“I said what I had to say, and what I say, I’m going to do. I’m focused and ready and I’m motivated. I’m motivated to be on pay-per-view and motivated to be on the card with my brother.

“It’s going to be a great night. My whole team has got my back. I’m surrounded by nothing but positive vibes. Let’s keep this going.”

Charlo has not boxed in two-and-a-half years after suffering well-publicised mental health issues.

“I don’t buy all his excuses. Everyone in life has troubles. We all have our ups and downs, but we don’t post it out there and make videos to get attention,” Benavidez said.

“We don’t cry to try and make people feel bad. We do what we got to do. He did look pretty rough.

“He looked like he’d just gotten arrested for trespassing and let out that same day.

“I wish him the best regardless of what he has to say. I’m going to do what I have to do that night. He’s going to see.

One odd statement from Charlo was that he was about to enter training camp for the fight.

“I’m still trying to think what to make about that comment,” Benavidez said. “I don’t know what to think. I’ve been in camp, but maybe he wants to take me lightly.

“He’s going to see. I’m going to be the hardest puncher he’s ever faced. Whatever he has going on, that’s his decision, his camp.

“In my camp, we’re waking up at six in the morning, dedicated, focused, training, running five, six miles and sparring with nothing but the best.

“I’m not really worried about what he’s got going on. In Team Benavidez, we’re working hard and that’s what we do.”

Benavidez, who turned pro at junior welterweight 13 years ago, has boxed at middleweight just twice for a knockout victory and a draw.

“I’ve actually fought at that weight a couple of times… There’s been a few times. A lot of people say I’m smaller than him. I’m six feet tall. I’m not that much smaller than my brother,” he said.

“My brother is way bigger than him. I walk around at 180. I’m a solid 160-pounder. I don’t know how I fought at 147. I fought at 140 as an amateur at 14, 15-years-old. When I fought [Terence] Crawford [for the WBO welterweight title], it was hard to make that weight.

“When I fought at 154, I thought it was going to be easier. It was a bit easier, but I’m still too big for that. At 160, I feel good.

“In this training camp, I feel strong. I feel good at every training camp, but towards the end at the weigh-in, I feel kind of drained.

“This time, I feel my pop, my strength, and pop is there. I have a whole different vibe.

“I’m positive. I’m not angry. I’m usually angry. It’s cutting the weight. I’m happy and motivated and I’m excited more than anything.

“I’m ready to take this motherfucker out.”