Monday, September 25, 2023  |


Jonathan Gonzalez set to defend his title against Leyman Benavides on Oct. 27

Fighters Network

Jonathan Gonzalez has secured a return to the ring.

Gonzalez will defend his WBO world junior flyweight title against Leyman Benavides on October 27, All Star Boxing announced Tuesday afternoon. The 12-round bout will take place at the Alexis Arguello Sports Complex in Benavides’ hometown of Managua, Nicaragua (ESPN+ in the U.S. and ESPN Deportes in Latin America).

“All Star Boxing returns with a spectacular card on October 27, with a world title fight and multiple regional belts at stake,” said Tuto Zabala, Jr., President of All Star Boxing. “In December 2009, we had a great show from Managua, which included two world title fights, and saw the rise of many prospects to contenders.”

The 32-year-old Gonzalez (27-3-1, 14 knockouts), who resides in Caguas, Puerto Rico, is currently ranked No. 1 by The Ring.

Gonzalez was originally scheduled to face Ring junior flyweight champion Kenshiro Teraji on April 8, but had to withdraw from the fight a few weeks prior to coming down with pneumonia. Teraji would end up fighting unbeaten Anthony Olascuaga, winning by knockout in the ninth round.

In his last bout on November 1, Gonzalez defeated unbeaten Shokichi Iwata by unanimous decision. The win over Iwata was Gonzalez’s second successful title defense of the WBO title he won from Elwin Soto in October 2021.

Gonzalez is glad to return to the ring and hopes a win over Benavidez will lead to a world unification title fight next year.

“We are excited to be back in the ring as I feel 100 percent healthy and ready to defend my belt,” said Gonzalez. “I’m out to prove that I am the best junior flyweight in the world and on October 27, you can expect to see the best version of ‘Bomba.’

Benavides (20-6-1, 3 KOs) defeated Dennis Espinoza by unanimous decision in his last bout on June 6. The 30-year-old has won his last seven bouts since losing by knockout to Gilberto Parra in November 2017.

The 30-year-old may be the underdog going into the Gonzalez fight, but he is confident he can be victorious at the expense of Gonzalez.

“This is a dream come true for me, fighting in my hometown for a world title,” said Benavides, who has a decision win over former world titleholder Wilfredo Mendez. “(On) October 27, we will make history in Nicaragua.”

According to Tuto Zabala, the fight card will mark the first time in 22 years a fighter from Nicaragua will fight in a world title fight in that country.


Francisco A. Salazar has written for The Ring since October 2013 and has covered boxing in Southern California and abroad since 2000. Francisco also covers boxing for the Ventura County (California) Star newspaper. He can be reached at [email protected]