Re: Antonio Cervantes 'Went in the Tank versus Wilfred Benetiz'
January 15, 1976
Gregorio Benitez, Pepito Cordero and Rafael Hernandez Colon have the 'financial backing'
and offer Ramiro Machado and WBA Light-Welterweight Champion - Antonio Cervantes $200,000.
The WBA Champion and his Manager agree, and a date is set to meet the 17 1/2 year-old
Wilfred Benitez in March 1976, and in Puerto Rico.
Gregorio 'Papa' Benitez cancels Wilfred's bout with Harold Weston Jr. in New York for February 6, 1976 -
where he was to receive a fight purse of $10,000. But, Gregorio 'Papa' Benitez agree's to bring Wilfred
back up to Madison Square Garden later in the year for a bout, after he wins the Championship.
Gregorio 'Papa' Benitez has to get his son Wilfred ranked in the WBA Top 10 of the Light-Welterweight division,
despite his son campaigning at 145+ lbs. for the past year and a half. Wilfred has 'not' fought in the
Light-Welterweight division (140 lbs.) since early-1975.
Gregorio 'Papa' Benitez with help from his friends, 'pay-off' the WBA Officials (Dr. Elias Cordova and Rodrigo Sanchez),
by giving them $10,000 in cash, to get Wilfred ranked in the Top 10.
Remarkably, the WBA lists Wilfred Benitez as the #9 WBA Challenger in their February 1, 1976 (ratings). Wilfred's
last bout was back on December 13, 1975 - when he won a 10-Round Decision over 'unranked' Chris Fernandez
in a bout held in San Juan, Puerto Rico, and at a 146 lb. weight level.
The WBA Championship Committee approves the WBA Championship bout between Champion - Antonio Cervantes
and #9 WBA-ranked Wilfred Benitez. The bout is tentavely set for March 6, 1976 - and in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
The WBA is paid a sanctioning fee from the 'fight promoters', plus additional specialty fee's, which comes to a
total of $15,000.
The bout will be promoted by Salinas Sports Promotions (Pepito Cordero), who will pay the WBA Champion -
Antonio Cervantes $200,000 and Challenger - Wilfred Benitez $10,000.
The bout will be held at the 18,000 seat capacity - Hiram Bithorn Stadium in San Juan, Puerto Rico. If the promoters
achieve a sell-out, and with ancillary rights for Televison Broadcast Fee's - the promoters may gain a profit of
Antonio Cervantes, announces that this will be his last bout, and will retire after attempting to make his '11th Defense'
of his WBA Light-Welterweight Championship that he won in October 1972.
The Champion at 30 years, 4 months old (but closer to 35) brings in a record of 74-9-3 (35 KO's), and his immediately
listed as a 4-1 Betting-Favorite, - as few give the 17 1/2 year-old - Wilfred Benitez a very little chance of lasting the distance,
let alone winning the WBA Championship.
Last edited by Senor Pepe'; 10-05-2012 at 01:13 PM.