Wilfred Benitez

Here’s a cat whose name I don’t hear mentioned nearly enough: Wilfred Benitez. Youngest World Champion in boxing history, World Titles in three different weight classes, beat Roberto Duran at Duran’s peak. One of the greatest defensive fighters in boxing history. “Sugar” Ray Leonard said this guy was the smartest fighter he ever got in the ring with. Think about that. Unfortunately Benitez is now suffering from a degenerative brain condition from his years in the ring. When “Sugar” Ray Leonard visited him in 2002 Benitez did not even recognize him until after he saw shown film of the fight between the two of them. It jogged his memory and his comment to Leonard was “Ray, I did not train for that fight”. “Sugar” Ray Leonard, arguably one of the best boxers of all time, says a guy who, as it turns out, didn’t even train for the fight was the smartest opponent he ever faced. Wilfred Benitez. God damn.

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