Print this article
World Boxing Federation Champions Of The Past: Nicky Bentz
                                            Bookmark and Share


FEATURE   Photo: Former World Boxing Federation (WBF) Intercontinental Champion Champion Nicky Bentz, then and now. 

Since the World Boxing Federation was originally founded by American Larry Carrier in 1988, many of the sport’s biggest names have won a WBF title, and proudly defended the blue, red and gold belt all over the world.

In the Champions Of The Past Series we take a closer look at some of the boxers who held WBF titles in years gone by, from lesser known champions to world renowned fighters, legends of the sport and current or future Hall of Famers.


It was with little fanfare that former WBF Intercontinental Super Bantamweight Champion Nicky Bentz from Mexico turned professional in 1990, somewhere in his home-country. In fact it was so low key, that the exact date and location is not listed on his BoxRec record.

It is however known that Bentz, born on November 11, 1971 in Reynosa, Tamaulipas in north-east Mexico as Nicasio Benta Rodriguez, was eighteen years old at the time, and that he stopped a fellow countryman called Jose Lopez (0-1) in the first round.

The details of many of his early bouts are sketchy, to say the least, but in the first fourteen months or so of his paid career, he reportedly build an undefeated record of 13-0 (11), and developed into a solid prospect on the Mexican circuit.

During that period he most notably defeated Tamaulipas-rival Manuel Hernandez tree times (Hernandez was 4-1-2, 6-2-2 and 6-4-2 when they fought), and knocked out undefeated Salvador Acosta (2-0) in two rounds at the Arena Coliseo in Mexico City.

Fighting on small shows with small budgets, Bentz had to take what he could get, but he did his job well and kept winning. By the end of 1992 he was 19-0 (17), and the following year he finally got a chance to impress on a bigger stage.

In July of 1993 he was assigned a slot on the undercard of Richardo Lopez´ WBC World Strawweight title-defense against Thailand's Saman Sorjaturong, and pitted against former Mexican Flyweight Champion Javier “Suzuki” Diaz (44-29-2) over ten rounds.

Squaring off at Featherweight, four weight-classes above Diaz prime fighting-weight, Bentz was a healthy favorite. But the vastly more experienced veteran, still levels above anyone the twenty-two year old up-and-comer had faced before, gave Bentz plenty of problems in a fight that ended in a draw.

While he didn't fail his first big test, he didn't exactly pass it with flying colors either, and Bentz soon returned to fighting on smaller cards in Reynosa, knocking out nondescript opponents such as Alejandro Garcia (1-1), Alfonso Garcia (0-2), Armando Arriaga (6-2) and Hugo Torres (8-11).

But in September of 1995 he was awarded another huge opportunity, as the biggest promoter in the world, Don King, put him on the undercard of a star-studded bill headlined by Julio Cesar Chavez vs. David Kamau at the Mirage Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas.

And this time Bentz passed the test, as he won a ten-round unanimous decision over another battle-tested, tricky costumer in Benito Rodriguez (23-19-1), improving his record to 24-0-1 (21) and showing signs that a further step-up was not far off.

Six months after the Las Vegas-outing, Bentz beat Raul Cortez (6-5) on points back in Reynosa, but he would soon return to the USA as he impressively dismantled and stopped Adrian Torres (13-4) in two rounds in the main event of a show in Pharr, Texas on July 23, 1996.

Less than two months on he stopped Thomas Reyes (6-5) in the sixth in the same city, and in April of 1997 he was back in Mexico, getting rid of out-classed Jesus Jose Mendoza (4-7-1) in three. It was clearly time for Bentz to be tested at championship level.

On May 29, 1997, back in Pharr, which is connected to his hometown Reynosa by a bridge crossing the Rio Grande, Bentz finally got his long-awaited title-shot. With the WBF Intercontinental Super Bantamweight title on the line, he faced former foe Arturo Estrada (21-21-1).

Bentz had stopped Estrada in five rounds in 1992, but the man from Tampico had since seen it all in fights against the likes of John Michael Johnson, Paulie Ayala, Johnny Tapia, and Tim Austin. He had even captured a WBC regional belt, and lost a WBU world title-challenge in Thailand by competitive decision.

Despite the convincing result in their first encounter, the rematch was not considered an easy task for Bentz. But, never the less, he appeared to make it easy, as he put his foot down from the first round and eventually knocked out Estrada in round three.

Another rematch was soon in the pipe-line. Javier Diaz, the only man Bentz had faced in the pro ranks whom he had failed to defeat, would be his first challenger as WBF Intercontinental Champion. A victory, he was told, could land him a world championship fight.

Four years had passed since they drew in Mexico, and Bentz showed his progress by winning a clear unanimous decision in Pharr. All the tricks and moves that Diaz had used to frustrate him with in the first fight had no affect in the second go-around.

Soon after it was revealed that Bentz, now 30-0-1, would have a quick turn-around and was set to fight for the vacant WBF World Super Bantamweight title on November 9, 1997 at the Country Club in Reseda, California.

On a World Championship double-header also featuring Floyd Weaver vs. Fidel Avendano for the vacant WBF World Super Welterweight crown, Bentz was matched with late substitute Juan Manuel Chavez (21-20) from Mexico City, an opponent much better than his mediocre statistics suggests.

Bentz, eight days away from his twenty-sixth birthday, was naturally a huge favorite to win, and perhaps he underestimated Chavez, knowing he had lost almost as much as he had won.

Whatever the case was, it became a much tougher fight than casual fans at ringside probably expected, and in the end Chavez was awarded a massive upset-victory, and the WBF World Super Bantamweight title, by majority decision.

Losing for the first time can do something to a fighter. Some will prosper from the defeat, while others will never be the same, their confidence perhaps broken, and their dedication not what it once was. Nicky Bentz never reached the same heights again.

In February of 1998 he fought Carlos Navarro (13-0) for the WBU World title, and was knocked down five times before losing clearly on all three judges cards. He did floor Navarro too, but was never really close to winning.

Bentz rebounded with five victories, but when he drew with journeyman Geronimo Hernandez (7-11) in an eight-rounder in November of 2001, it looked like the end of the road. But three years later he decided to make a comeback.

Between November of 2004 and October of 2006, he lost five straight bouts in the USA, getting stopped four times by Idelfonso Martinez (11-4), future world champion Jorge Solis (29-0-2), Jason Litzau (18-0) and Tomas Villa (15-5-4).

In the middle of that horrid run he almost pulled off a shocker, losing only by split decision to legendary multi-division world champion Johnny Tapia (53-4-2) in January of 2005, but that was the closest he got to success. Pulling out after two rounds against Villa was his last dance in the ring.

Going 6-7-1 in his last fourteen bouts, Nicky Bentz retired at 34 years of age, with a professional record of 36-7-2 (29), at least according to BoxRec. He may have had more fights in Mexico that went unrecorded.

Married to wife Ericka since 2011, he still lives in Reynosa.

  Part 66: James Hare
  Part 65: Anne Sophie Mathis
  Part 64: Earl Butler
  Part 63: Dave Russell
  Part 62: Tony Dodson
  Part 61: Pete Taliaferro
  Part 60: Fredrik Alvarez
  Part 59: Ajose Olusegun
  Part 58: Chevelle Hallback
  Part 57: Evander Holyfield
  Part 56: Peter Culshaw
  Part 55: Rolando Toyogon
  Part 54: Joaquin Velasquez
  Part 53: Steve Molitor
  Part 52: Nadya Hokmi
  Part 51: Bert Cooper
  Part 50: Alfred Kotey
  Part 49: Yosuke Nishijima
  Part 48: Wayne Rigby
  Part 47: Jesus Chong
  Part 46: Renata Szebeledi
  Part 45: Lester Ellis
  Part 44: Patrick Vungbo
  Part 43: Patrick Washington
  Part 42: Ric Siodora
  Part 41: Guy Waters
  Part 40: Natascha Ragosina
  Part 39: Nicky Cook
  Part 38: Fahprakorb Rakkiatgym
  Part 37: Felix Camacho
  Part 36: Homer Gibbins
  Part 35: Joe Bugner
  Part 34: Myriam Lamare
  Part 33: Darrin Morris
  Part 32: Suwito Lagola
  Part 31: Aaron Zarate
  Part 30: Tommy Small
  Part 29: Matthew Charleston
  Part 28: Jane Couch
  Part 27: Fahlan Sakkreerin
  Part 26: Kenny Keene
  Part 25: Yvan Mendy
  Part 24: Ronnie Magramo
  Part 23: Randall Yonker
  Part 22: Holly Holm
  Part 21: Vinnie Curto
  Part 20: Robin Reid
  Part 19: Lionel Butler
  Part 18: Mads Larsen
  Part 17: Ken Sigurani
  Part 16: Orlando Fernandez
  Part 15: Roger Turner
  Part 14: Roy Jones Jr.
  Part 13: Fitz Vanderpool
  Part 12: Steve Roberts
  Part 11: Thulani "Sugarboy" Malinga
  Part 10: Junior Witter
  Part 9: Jimmy Thunder
  Part 8: Juan Lazcano
  Part 7: Jeff Malcolm
  Part 6: Ricky Parkey
  Part 5: Carl Daniels
  Part 4: Angel Manfredy
  Part 3: Samson Dutch Boy Gym
  Part 2: Greg Haugen
  Part 1: Johnny Nelson

| HOME |













Copyright © wbf -  all rights reserved     |     world boxing federation     |     |     webdesign by f.j.e.e.k. 2009     |