Mustafa Hamsho Beats Wilfred Benitez This Day July 16, 1983
Hamsho scores over former three time champion in Las Vegas
Wilfred Benitez 157¾ lbs
Mustafa Hamsho 158 lbs
UD in round 12 of 12
Location: Dunes Hotel, Las Vegas, Nevada, USA
Referee: Davey Pearl
Judge: Lou Tabat 109-118
Judge: Chuck Minker 111-118
Judge: Dalby Shirley 111-117
The fight took place in an outdoor stadium at the Dunes Hotel on a day when the temperature was 101°.
In early 1983, Benitez split with his father, Gregorio Benitez, who had trained him since his first day in the gym, and hired Victor Machado as his new trainer. Later, Cus D’Amato was brought in as an adviser. D’Amato said, “Benitez can punch a lot harder than people think. But he doesn’t punch; he just comes out to outbox opponents with his smarts. I talked to him about moving side to side and punching.” Pat Putnam of Sports Illustrated reported: “During training, Benitez showed no inclination to adopt D’Amato’s suggestion.”
Two months earlier, in his first fight as a middleweight, Benitez defeated Tony Cerda by a 10-round decision.
Hamsho received $200,000 and Benitez $150,000 for the fight.”
The Associated Press scored the fight 119-111 for Hamsho, and Sports Illustrated had it 120-107 for Hamsho.
Jim Jacobs, Benitez’s manager, said after the fight, “You keep moving up and up until finally you reach a plateau where the people are stronger and tougher. Hamsho was much stronger than Wilfred. I think this fight dictated that Wilfred will fight as a junior middleweight.”