Danny Garcia Wins Match Against Jose Benavidez and Talks of Mental Health

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Although Danny Garcia has been out of the spotlight for quite a while, his latest fight against Jose Benavidez changes everything. The champion went on a 20-month hiatus after losing Errol Spence Jr., the unified welterweight champion, two years ago. But after Spence joined the likes of Shawn Porter and Keith Thurman as the only fighters to win against Garcia during his 15-year professional career, the fighter from Philadelphia prepared for an epic comeback.

Garcia Makes Debut in New Weight Class

But it doesn’t look like Garcia is just back for an average fight. Rather, he was up against Benavidez for a main event and to make his 154-pound debut. He gained a majority decision win as two of the judges, Anthony Paolillo and Glenn Feldman, scored him 117-111 and 116-112 respectively, while judge Waleska Roldan scored a draw of 114-114. 

But despite Garcia’s 20-month layoff, he was a betting favorite, based on data from online betting sites for boxing. Garcia was the -800 favorite, while Benavidez was the +500 underdog.

Benavidez Faces Second Loss in 12-Year Pro Career

While this was a major win for Garcia, he emerged as the second person to ever defeat Phoenix’s Jose Benavidez. In Benavidez’s 12-year career, his only defeat was to Terence Crawford, unbeaten welterweight champ, in 2018. The match, which took place in Omaha, Nebraska at the CHI Health Center, ended with a 12th-round technical KO. 

Although the match weighed in Garcia’s favor and Benavidez didn’t come very close to winning, he did perform quite well. According to fans and analysts, Benavidez did better in this fight than he did against Francisco Torres, the Argentinean underdog, in his last fight eight months ago. The 10-round match ended in a majority draw, which came as quite a disappointment for Benavidez’s fans. Because according to the best boxing betting sites, this was a fight that he was expected to win.

Garcia Makes Comeback After Unanimous Decision Loss

 Before beating Benavidez, Garcia hadn’t fought a match in twenty months. As a former welterweight and junior welterweight champion, he lost to Errol Spence Jr. in a unanimous decision. During an interview, he mentioned how he took a break because he was going through mental health challenges at the time.  

He broke down during the interview, as he spoke about how he went through feelings of depression and anxiety. Garcia savored his victory, not just over Benavidez, but also depression, in the post-match speech. Explaining how ‘he’s a fighter,’ he said that he got over his mental health troubles by fighting because it’s what he loves to do. While he still has dark days, he does his best to stay positive and battle it to come out on top.

Amazing Performance from Both Garcia and Benavidez

During the first couple of rounds, Benavidez fired the punches while Garcia tried to counter them. Around the fifth round, amid Garcia’s showboating, Benavidez managed to land a hit, after which Garcia unloaded a barrage of punches. In the sixth and seventh rounds, the tables flipped as Garcia proved his speed with superfast punches, while Benavidez remained on the defense. This continued in the eighth round as well.

In the ninth round, Benavidez started throwing more punches as Garcia kept countering. Towards the tenth round, it seemed like Garcia was landing the punches, while his opponent was going through the motions. This was expected, considering that in 2016, Benavidez suffered from a gunshot wound in his right leg, which meant that he struggled to move during the evening. 

Of course, it meant that Benavidez needed to come up with something special to avoid being reduced to a standstill target.

Benavidez Still Positive After Loss

After the match, Benavidez remained positive, saying that things don’t always go one’s way. Stating that he was happy with his performance, he felt like he did a good job. He complimented Garcia, saying that he was fighting ‘one of the best of the best,’ and prided himself on taking his punches. 

While this was one of the most electrifying boxing matches of the year, it shows that there’s a lot that Garcia has yet to achieve.