Dante Benjamin Jr | Knuckle Up with Mike Orr | Talkin Fight
EPISODE: Episode 35
Today Mike profiles Dante “Free Smoke” Benjamin Jr., the Cleveland-born light-heavyweight star who won seven national titles as an amateur, has signed a multi-year promotional contract with Top Rank. The 19-year-old recently made his professional debut in a four-round bout on Saturday, Jan. 29.
Watch Knuckle Up’s Mike Orr and Cedric Benn, who always discusses up-and-coming young, hungry, and (usually) undefeated boxers during his live daily show at 4pm EST (9pm UK) on TalkinFight.com or YouTube.com/c/TalkinFight
#TalkinFight #KnuckleUp #DanteBenjaminJr
[, Music, ] hello, boxing fans around the world thanks for joining us once again here on talk and fight for another episode, midweek hump day of knuckle up featuring my core at four and centric central bend who’s in the down as well.
I see good stuff.
It’S got a double here.
Oh oh, we have another episode played in the background.
That was wonderful.
That was great.
What up knuckle up fans? Yes, it’s that time again, it’s hump day, it’s another! No another, wonderful prospect.
We’Re gon na bring to you man, uh by the name of dante, benjamin jr, guys um.
This kid just made his pro debut in january, on the 29th check out the fight first round ko this kid man he’s only 19 years old signed with split team management.
Just signed with top rank just made his pro debut he’s light heavy the kid’s six feet tall.
What has he got a 72 inch reach? I believe it is um like that.
Just being six six foot three at the light heavyweight division is uh.
You know yeah.
He definitely, he definitely has some height he’s got some power uh this kid, though man um, you know dante free smoke, benjamin uh cleveland-born, light heavyweight star.
He won seven national titles as an amateur uh.
You know he signed that multi-year contract uh with top rank and made his professional debut for a rounder only need one round to get it done.
But here’s the thing the kid was training for a 12-rounder anyway and he always trains for 12 rounds.
Uh he’s got plans this year.
You know him and his dad well his dad passed away uh in 2021 uh, which was you know, a little bit of a hiccup in in his life and uh him, and his dad had some goals that they had set out.
One of them was, you know, turn turn pro and uh.
You know do your thing, man and – and he decided to instead of waiting, you know and and qualifying because he did, he could qualify for the olympics next olympics.
But he said forget it man, he turned pro, and you know what he’s doing wonders man uh watching this kid in the ring.
He’S got some heavy hands when he was tell the bad girl about this.
He’S about the background.
In the background uh his dad his coach uh, you know they didn’t well.
His dad didn’t believe that he really had anything either.
You know in him as to be a fighter man.
He would trip over his own feet, fall down on the ground a lot as he first started out and um.
You know he’s he’s, he’s learned and he’s gotten past that which is great, but you can still kind of see a little bit of it in the way he fights.
Now he still fights a little bit flat-footed uh.
Definitely but he makes the flat-footedness like work for him um a great example at the highest level of someone who was flat-footed but still had very good defense and upper body movement was uh was james, tony um.
So that’s what i know this kid’s early in his career, but i’m just saying just just just looking at his footwork and stuff like that, even though his feet are flat, he has very good defense and upper body movement and when he does like long forward with His jab specifically his jab because he knows how to use his reach properly.
You know you definitely can see the power that he has on both hands.
What we want to see is his uh as future fights yeah, and you know like, as as an amateur man.
He starred for uh, usa, boxing uh notching, more than 100 amateur victories and winning gold at the 2016 and 2017 junior open championships, uh 2018 youth, national championship and the 2019 memorial tournament uh in bulgaria.
You know he first walked into the east cleveland boxing gym at the age of seven, where he met his noted trainer, renard saffo, who then a decade later sophomore was still benjamin’s head trainer.
So you know he’s now embarked on this professional journey uh with a heavy heart.
You know his father dante uh battled kidney disease for a decade before passing away in march at 49.
So you know uh who brought – and you know his dad – is the one that brought him to sappho’s gym and encouraged him to continue after the early struggles inspiring uh.
Benjamin won his first silver gloves title roughly a year after picking up the gloves.
So you know he’s he’s no he’s no slouch in the ring and he’s not afraid to get in there and bang it out without, but definitely like.
I said man he’s um he’s he’s doing his thing and i’m seeing him watching.
You know i got my highlights of the box or my other laptop here.
Under his name.
It says he’s from shaker heights.
Ohio actually have some family that uh that’s from exactly in shaker heights.
Ohio, really that’s another reason why i’m gon na? Why i’m gon na i’m gon na go for him um, but again, man, like you, said um his style is different man.
It’S it’s definitely.
You know, as i say all the time you know the fundamentals of the sport are all the same, but the way that athletes apply them are all different um.
So it’s very interesting to see how you know he he keeps his feet more planted, but he’s still very elusive with his defense and, as you guys know, i you know emphasize defense all the time and and a good job.
So yeah man.
Definitely man hey! You need great defense if you want to be able to put together sentences later on in life.
That’S just the way that works.
You know if you’re out there catch it.
If you’re out there catching mitts with your face.
It’S not it’s not good.
It’S not good! For the brain you know so defense, defense, defense, guys, is what we always tell you.
You know we don’t want to turn that thing to mush, so you can’t put together sentences later on in life.
So yes, yeah man focus on defense and now this kid definitely has some of that defense.
I know he’s a little flat-footed, we’ll see what happens uh.
You know as his pro career as we embark on his pro career man.
It’S just the beginning, guys.
You know he just had his pro debut he’s.
Looking to fight.
You know he wants to be at a six round fight by the end of this year.
How old is he? Oh he’s only 19 man? Yes, yes, he has plenty time to grow.
He’S he’s got plenty of time to grow um.
You know he’s another one of these kids uh.
We profiled another one out of cleveland um, delante uh delante tiger johnson.
We talked about him yesterday.
Both these guys right now are trained by the same guy they’re.
In the same gym and they’re pushing each other really really hard, they’ve just been both side, the top rank they’re.
Both you know under david mcwater management.
It’S you know, it’s a good thing for these guys, man, they’re too, in they’re they’re, getting they’re getting the right kind of people behind them to push them in the direction that they want to go and it’s the right direction guys you heard it here, man on Wednesday, hump day you have anything else, you want to add uh nah man, just uh shout out to shout out to the cleveland boxes in general.
I think he brought up last time, or i heard that um.
You know the past like three or four olympics.
There’S been someone from cleveland, uh ohio, i don’t know if it’s cleveland ohio, one of those two specifically um representing at the olympics – and you know um yeah cleveland.
They got some good boxes.
Man i got ta get go down there and bring my get some sparring with those guys yo shout out to toprank, for you know picking them up too man, because you know we got tiger johnson.
We’Ve got benjamin right now and there’s another guy that we’re going to be talking about next week.
Uh abdullah mason, who is also a 17 year old lightweight, who just signed with top rank as well so uh.
Another cleveland born so be on the lookout for that profile guys next week, but it’s hump day we’re going to let you get back to it, shout out to all the people in the comments section.
57 kingston raw energy punch girl, dusty cuffs.
Thanks for all the cards, make sure you guys all you guys.
Thank you very much make sure you guys like and share and make sure you you uh at all your favorite boxers and tell them you know come on come on the show for interviews, so we could help profile them even more yeah man, so knuckle up fans Thanks for tuning in to this wonderful episode of knuckle up with mike gorad, four and cedric ben in the den hit up talking fight.
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We’Ll see you tomorrow same time same channel new prospect, peace,