Wilfred Benitez

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Wilfred Benitez07.jpg
Class of 1996
Modern Category
Hall of Fame bio:click
World Boxing Hall of Fame Inductee

Name: Wilfred Benitez
Alias: El Radar / Bible of Boxing
Born: 1958-09-12
Birthplace: Bronx, New York, USA
Hometown: San Juan, Puerto Rico
Stance: Orthodox
Height: 5′ 10″   /   178cm
Reach: 70″   /   178cm
Boxing Record: click

Wilfred Benitez Gallery

Managers: Bill Cayton and Jim Jacobs
Trainers: Gregorio Benitez, Emile Griffith (Carlos Palomino bout)
Brother of Gregorio Benitez Jr. and Frankie Benitez.

Wilfred Benitez was a boxing prodigy. He was an outstanding counterpuncher and a great defensive fighter, which earned him the nickname "El Radar."

At the age of 17 years, 5 months, and 23 days, Benitez became the youngest world champion in boxing history in 1976, capturing the WBA junior welterweight title with a split decision over Antonio Cervantes. He captured his second world title in 1979, outpointing Carlos Palomino to win the WBC welterweight title. Two years later, he became the first boxer in 43 years to win world titles in three weight divisions when he knocked out Maurice Hope to win the WBC super welterweight title.

Benitez's time as an elite fighter ended when he was in his mid-20s, but he continued to box until the age of 32 and suffered severe brain damage. His condition is called post-traumatic encephalitis. Benitez's elderly mother took care of him until she passed away in 2008. He is now cared for by his sister, Yvonne. His brother, Gregorio Jr., also suffered brain damage as a result of his boxing career.

Benitez earned more than $7 million dollars in his career, but the money is now gone. He receives pensions from the Puerto Rican government and the WBC.


  • Boxing historian Herbert Goldman named him the 5th greatest welterweight of all-time (1989)
  • The Ring Magazine named him the 4th greatest junior middleweight of all-time (1994)
  • The Ring Magazine named him the 30th greatest fighter of the past 50 years (1996)
  • The Associated Press named him the 4th greatest junior welterweight of the 20th century (1999)

External Links

Preceded by:
Antonio Cervantes
WBA Light Welterweight Champion
1976 Mar 6 – 1977
Succeeded by:
Antonio Cervantes
Preceded by:
Carlos Palomino
WBC Welterweight Champion
1979 Jan 14 – 1979 Nov 30
Succeeded by:
Sugar Ray Leonard
Preceded by:
Maurice Hope
WBC Light Middleweight Champion
1981 May 23 – 1982 Dec 3
Succeeded by:
Thomas Hearns