Jose Benavidez Jr. mocked the mental health issues that have partially prevented Jermall Charlo from fighting for more than two years during a virtual press conference Tuesday.
Not to be outdone, Charlo belittled Benavidez for getting shot seven years ago and assured his upcoming opponent that he is in the right frame of mind to beat him November 25 in Las Vegas. Their lowbrow back-and-forth consumed much of their virtual event intended to promote the 10-round co-feature of a Showtime Pay-Per-View telecast that will be headlined by Benavidez’s younger brother, David, and Demetrius Andrade.
Jose Benavidez Jr. first went on the attack by condemning Charlo for being open about his mental health issues, particularly in social media posts.
“I’m not gonna do that much talking,” Benavidez told Showtime’s Brian Custer, who tried his best to maintain control of their question-and-answer session. “You know, this guy over here can talk and say all kinds of bullsh!t, playing his little mental issues bullsh!t in his car. If that was the case, I got shot. The doctor told me I was never gonna walk again. I’m still here fighting, so I don’t play none of them excuses bullsh!t. Come that night, I’m gonna beat the f— out of him and you’re gonna see who a real f——- puncher is. That’s all I gotta say.”
Houston’s Charlo (32-0, 22 KOs) will end a 29-month layoff when he boxes Benavidez (28-2-1, 19 KOs) in a 10-round, non-title fight at Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino’s Michelob ULTRA Arena. Benavidez questioned Charlo’s commitment because they will meet in a non-title fight at a catch weight of 163, not a 12-round, 160-pound championship clash for Charlo’s WBC middleweight crown.
Then the former WBA interim super lightweight champion slammed Charlo again for exhibiting what Benavidez believes to be weakness.
“Just don’t bring up your mental illness, p-ssy,” Benavidez said. “Don’t bring that bullsh!t up. Don’t bring those f——- excuses. … You make excuses like a little f——- girl. Shut yo ass up!”
Charlo replied by bringing up the unsolved shooting in August 2016 in which Benavidez suffered serious damage to his right leg while walking his dog.
“Yo, don’t worry about my mental illness,” Charlo said. “I ain’t [bringing it up]. I’m not. I ain’t. I’m not. I learned how to deal with my sh!t. I learned how to deal with my sh!t. You can’t walk that same block no more, though. You can’t walk that same block no more, the one they popped yo ass at. They’ll pop yo ass again. You can’t walk that block no more.”
His leg injury has hindered Benavidez in the ring, most noticeably during his WBO welterweight title fight against Terence Crawford. The undefeated Crawford stopped Benavidez in the 12th round of their October 2018 bout at CHI Health Center in Crawford’s hometown of Omaha, Nebraska.
The resilient Benavidez has managed to fight six times, however, since the mysterious incident in his hometown of Phoenix that could’ve ended his boxing career or worse.
“I got shot, but I’m still fighting,” Benavidez said. “I’m not making mental excuses! I’m not making [excuses]. ‘Oh, I don’t feel good. My mind’s not in the right place.’ Shut the f— up! F—— goofy-ass motherf—–!”
Charlo reminded Benavidez that he should feel thankful that he is still able to fight.
“You got yo ass popped,” Charlo said. “You have to go deal wit’ it. You already got popped. You had to go deal wit’ it. You lucky they ain’t smoke yo stupid ass. You lucky they ain’t smoke yo dumb ass. You got another chance. You lucky you got another chance. Tryin’ to be in the hood. You think you tough. You think you so tough. Then they popped yo ass. … You ain’t sh!t, boy. You ain’t sh!t, boy. You can’t even use that f——- leg. You gonna need that f——- leg – watch.”
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.