Catching Up with Undefeated Prospect Roberto Benitez
INTERVIEW By Chris Robinson (November 29, 2005)
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Roberto Benitez
Boxing can move at such a fast pace that the moments we take in as fans are not always lasting impressions. Boxing is all about ‘What have you done for me lately?’ and the attention seems to shift from fighter to fighter just as often as a lot of the belts change hands nowadays. It might be easy to lose sight of something that is of true quality, but one man I have always remembered is young New York native Roberto Benitez.

I first spoke with Roberto just days before his professional debut earlier this year and it was easy to tell that the Dominican was full of great passion and class for the sport that he loves. Inside the ring it is no different, as Benitez’s style is both precise and versatile. Roberto recently moved his record up to 3-0 with 2 knockouts last weekend with a first round knockout over Nick Shaheen in Dorchester, Massachusetts.

I was able to catch up with the 25-year old Super Bantamweight prospect to get his thoughts on his most recent win, what the past year has been like for him, his close relationship with Joan Guzman, and most importantly what the future holds for him.

His most recent fight on November 19th…
‘It went well. I guess I was just a lot stronger than the other guy. I got him out of there with combinations and body shots. It wasn’t much of a test, it went only one round, but it was great to get the win. I always try to mix my attack up and my body attack is a big part of my game.

Back Home…
‘I’m in New York City right now. I’m back home. I’m used to the fast pace of the big city but I adapt to other places as well. I was in Las Vegas for a while and down in Florida too. Florida is definitely a bit slower but Vegas is definitely a change of pace. It’s different because when I go places I go there just to train and I don’t really go out as much.

Making his mark…
‘I’m ready to allow myself to blossom as one of the top prospects out there next year. I’m definitely looking to be more active, that’s one of the main goals. I’m looking to get on bigger fight cards and I know that in time it will come. I’m just looking to make my mark as one of the new prospects out there.

The victorious one…
‘What I love about fighting is the competitiveness of it and my desire to become the victorious one at the end of the combat. It’s the best feeling. You get to think about all of the hard work that you went through and what it took for you to become the top one.

Dominican connection…
‘I was out in Las Vegas specifically just training with my partner, Joan Guzman. I was serving as one of his sparring partners, to help prepare him for one of his bouts. I went up there with his team and we were all together. We still stay in touch. He’s from my backyard, the Dominican Republic, he lives in New York as well, and he’s just a very good person. I admire him as a fighter and champion that he is. We definitely bonded the first time we met. I met him under a different occasion years ago at the start of his career when I was still an amateur. When we met up again I refreshed his memory as to who I was and he remembered me as being a very talented fighter. From there we just clicked and we’re just good friends.

In due time…
‘This last year I have changed my whole mental state as a boxer. I’ve been learning a lot more about the pro game and I’m been giving myself time to make sure I have the appropriate team around me. As a professional it’s important to have the right people behind you, much more so than in the amateurs. It’s been a great experience and everything I get will come in time.

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