If anyone has a reputation for training less than Duran, it is Benitez. But for the $1.4 million he would earn for his second defense of the title he won from Maurice Hope last May, Benitez was hard at work in Puerto Rico.
"When Benitez lost the welterweight title to Leonard in 1979," said Jimmy Jacobs, a co-manager of Benitez, "he trained three days, and I'm not sure about two of those."
Benitez said he had put in two full months of hard work this time. His father, Gregorio, who trains him, said it was one month. They have been known to disagree.
During that period there was a wave of celebrity kidnappings in Puerto Rico. One night the telephone rang in the Benitez house, and Gregorio answered.
"We have kidnapped Wilfred."
"We want a million dollars."
"Or we'll kill him."
"Kill him," Gregorio said, deciding it was a hoax.