Friday June 6th
From Villa La Ñata Sporting Club, Benavídez, Buenos Aires, Argentina
TV: TyC Sports (Argentina)
Juan Carlos Reveco 33(18)-1 vs Felix Alvarado 18(15)-1
WBA world flyweight title
How is Reveco a champion, you may ask? If you didn’t already know, the flyweight division is one of the deepest in all of boxing. So, how did this 30 year old Argentine who’s seldom fought outside of Argentina capture a title? I’ll tell you. The WBA.
The WBA has varying degrees of champions. First is the interim champion. This is the belt they give to guys when either a title is vacant or some other reason I can’t explain. Then there’s the regular belt. That’s the belt that they typically give out that actually means something, except in one scenario. In this scenario, the title means nothing. That title is the WBA Super title and it means nothing because the Super title is reserved for unified champions. Legit champions of the division. Currently, Juan Francisco Estrada is the WBA super flyweight title. Because of this, Reveco should be ignored.
If you want another example, imagine this. Akira Yaegashi is the WWE champion. The top dog. Juan Francisco Estrada is the intercontinental champion. Reveco is the European champion. Yeah, he’s got a belt, but it don’t amount to much other than a decorative strap around his waist.
Felix Alvarado was last seen attempting to upset Kazuto Ioka in the junior flyweight division. How he manages to move up and immediately get a title shot is confusing to me.
From Palais des Sport Marcel Cerdan, Levallois-Perret, Hauts-de-Seine, France
Carlos Takam 29(23)-1-1 vs Tony Thompson 36(29)-4
vacant WBC silver heavyweight title
You gotta love Tony Thompson. This is a guy who is less than 3 months removed form his last fight and is back out again looking to climb the rankings in the heavyweight division. Thompson looked to be on fire when he exposed heavyweight prospect David Price over a year ago, but his follow-up against Kubrat Pulev was disappointing. He came back strong against Odlanier Solis, outworking him late when Solis had nothing left in the tank. Thompson will forever have fans thanks to his unpredictable post-fight interviews that make references to horrible things he plans to do to his wife after long training camps.
Takam comes into this fight after drawing with Mike Perez. It was close, but I believe Takam has a legitimate argument that he clearly won the fight. Takam outworked Perez for the duration of the fight. Whether it was the after effect of the Abdusalamov fight or Takam was that good on the night of the fight, we’ll never know. Of these 2, neither is likely to beat Wladimir Klitschko. Thompson already tried and failed. Takam appears to lack that certain thing that would take him from good to great. What they will provide is great entertainment and a stiff test to any young heavyweight that’s looking to get to the next level.
From Rembrant Hall, Pretoria University, Pretoria, Gauteng, South Africa
Thabiso Mchunu 16(11)-1 vs Julio Cesar Dos Santos 26(23)-2
IBF international cruiserweight title
Mchunu is undersized for the cruiserweight division, but makes up for it with skill and slickness. Mchunu is a defensive fighter that isn’t going to be in a ton of exciting fights. This is a nice home fight for him. Dos Santos may have power, but it seems all of Mchunu’s opponents have had heavy hands and yet they fail to ever get to use it. Mchunu, for my money, is in the top 5 at cruiserweight. I don’t know how he stacks up against Huck, Hernandez, or even Afolabi, but he’s certainly beating everyone else. Mchunu could be the future of the division, but if that’s the case I don’t see the division ever catching on.
From Fantasy Springs Casino, Indio, California
Time: 10:00 PM EDT, 7:00 PM PDT, 3:00 PM BST
TV: Showtime (USA)
Hugo Centeno Jr 20(11)-0 vs Domonique Dolton 14(8)-0
I’m a big fan of sink or swim fights. When you’ve got 2 young, undefeated contenders fighting, there’s always potential for an explosive fight. It creates the kind of stager where someone rises to the occasion and takes their first step into stardom. ShoBox has been that opportunity for years now and Hugo Centeno finds himself against another prospect.
Ibarra hasn’t faced the competition Centeno has, nor has he the deep amateur background. What Ibarra does have in his favor is that Centeno is coming off a fight where he didn’t look too stellar and another that he was certainly on his way to losing.
Ibarra will need to dig deep though in order to capitalize. Centeno is dangerous until the very end.
Eddie Gomez 16(10)-0 vs Francisco Santana 19(9)-3-1
light middleweight division
Gomez last fought on the Ortiz-Collazo undercard. In that fight, he made a nice comeback against Daquan Arnett. I anticipate Santana to give him a good fight, but Gomez will find a way to win.
From Turning Stone Resort & Casino, Verona, New York
Time: 10:30 PM EDT, 7:30 PM PDT, 3:30 AM BST
TV: ESPN2 (USA)
Yudel Johnson 15(9)-1 vs Norberto Gonzalez 20(13)-3
junior middleweight division
Yudel Johnson won a silver medal when we was part of the Cuban amateur program. He then lost a unanimous decision to Willie Nelson in 2012 and has been rebuilding since. He’s 32 and time is running out, especially at 154 pounds.
Ievgen Khytrov 4(4)-0 vs Chris Chatman 12(5)-3-1
There were several prospects I wanted to spotlight in the top 10 prospects piece I did a couple of weeks ago and this card features 2. They’re both still a little too green to put on there, but here they are.
If you’re looking for the next Gennady Golovkin, this is where you might want to look. Khytrov, like Golovkin, has a long and deep amateur background. He should have won against Anthony Ogogo at the London Games and he beat Ryota Murata at the World Amateur Championships. In his first 4 pro fights, he’s abandoned his amateur game and settled for a pro style, face first, wear you down, seek and destroy type of fighting.
While I don’t see him succeeding with that, I think over time he’ll start to adjust and create a hybrid style that utilizes his amateur experience enough to keep him from getting caught while maintaining his aggressiveness and power. One thing going for him is that all 4 of his fights have been pretty exciting.
Erickson Lubin 5(5)-0 vs Antonio Urista 5(2)-0
Lubin was one of the top American amateurs and a lot of controversy arose out of him signing (or being poached) with Tyson’s company. Lubin has the tools to be really special some day. He’s a 6’0 welterweight with a ton of power. He’s going to need to be a little more responsible on defense, but what prospect doesn’t? Lubin could be the future of the welterweight division if he fulfills his potential. It’s too early to tell right now.
Saturday June 7
From Sport and Congress Center, Schwerin, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Germany
TV: ARD (Germany) Sport 2 (Hungary) Viasat 4 (Norway) Boxnation (UK)
Cecilia Braekhus 24(7)-0 vs Jessica Balogun 24(12)-3
WBO female welterweight title
WBC female welterweight title
WBA female welterweight title
Braekhus is one of the top female fighters in the world. I don’t know too much about her, but she deserves to be the main event here. One question I have is why the hell the sanctioning bodies (especially he WBO) don’t care that she’s unified titles, yet they don’t allow it in mens boxing? (By the way, why do we say mens? Isn’t it already plural?)
Juergen Braehmer 43(32)-2 vs Roberto Feliciano Bolonti 35(24)-2
WBA world light heavyweight title
Braehmer is defending the regular WBA title which, as we’ve gone over, is useless. The real WBA title currently belongs to Bernard Hopkins. Braehmer is certainly a top 10 light heavyweight in the world, but since he hasn’t fought outside of Germany or really taken on a top 5 light heavyweight in the world, he’ll remain a paper champion. Another way for a sanctioning body to collect a fee. It’s a shame too, because Braehmer isn’t bad.
David Price 17(15)-2 vs Yaroslav Zavorotnyi 16(14)-6
Price is still looking to rebuild following his devastating losses to Tony Thompson. We’ve seen him a couple of times since then and the jury is still out. Quick 1st round knockouts tell us nothing when it comes to determining whether or not you’re still capable of competing at the top level. I’d like to see Price go some rounds and show off some adjustments, or show that he’s capable of boxing more than 3 rounds.
From Palasport, Tolfa, Lazio, Italy
Emiiano Marsili 28(12)-0-1 vs Benoit Manno 14(2)-1
Marsili has been a top contender for quite a while at lightweight, and like Braehmer and Reveco, hasn’t been too keen on leaving the nest. The undefeated Italian is content to sit back in his hometown and rack up the wins against local contenders. His one venture outside of Italy was a 2012 fight of the year contender with Derry Mathews. Marsili, with his awkward southpaw style, stopped Mathews in 7.
Marsili’s got an unorthodox style that could trouble a lot of lightweights. Unfortunately, we’ll never know since the guy doesn’t want to leave Italy.
From Estadio de Beisbol, Ciudad Cuauhtemoc, Chihuahua, Mexico
Time: 11:00 PM EDT, 8:00 PM PDT, 4:00 AM BST
TV: Fox Espanol (USA) Televisa (Mexico)
Daniel Ponce De Leon 45(35)-6 vs Miguel Roman 45(34)-11
super featherweight division
Ponce De Leon is coming off a knockout loss to Juan Manuel Lopez and I’m not sure how much Ponce De Leon has left. In the past year he’s only won 1 of 3 fights. I guess this will be the test. Roman is on a 7 fight winning streak (against questionable opposition though) and his career has told us that he loses whenever he steps up. If Ponce is still a world level fighter, he’ll get past Roman. If not, Ponce’s time may be up.
From Metro Radio Arena, Newcastle, Tyne and Wear, United Kingdom
Time: 7:00 PM BST, 11:00 AM PDT, 1:00 PM EDT
TV: Boxnation (UK)
Stuart Hall 16(7)-2-2 vs Paul Butler 15(8)-0
IBF bantamweight division
Butler is stepping up and will get his first title shot. Hall looks like he’s ripe for the taking too. He’s 34, he’s coming off a technical draw to Martin Ward, and Butler hasn’t decisively lost a round in a long time. The bantamweight division needs some new blood. Butler could develop into a strong champion
Jon-Lewis Dickinson 15(4)-2 vs Ovill McKenzie 22(11)-12
BBBofC cruiserweight title
Commonwealth cruiserweight title
This one should be… interesting.
Bradley Saunders 9(7)-0 vs Ville Piispanen 18(6)-4-3
light welterweight division
Bradley Skeete + Billy Joe Saunders = Bradley Saunders
From Madison Square Garden, New York, New York
Time: 6:00 PM PDT, 9:00 PM EDT, 2:00 AM BST
TV: HBO PPV (USA), BoxNation (UK), Sport 1 (Hungary) Main Event (Australia) RPC Channel 4 (Panama)
Sergio Martinez 51(28)-2-2 vs Miguel Cotto 38(31)-4
WBC middleweight title
Lineal middleweight championship of the world
For an in-depth look at this fight, click here.
If you imagined a prime Sergio Martinez against any version of Miguel Cotto, the fight isn’t even competitive. In fact, when Sergio Martinez is at 100%, there are few fighters in the world that he wouldn’t be a favorite over. You’d get even money at 154 if you put prime Sergio vs Floyd Mayweather. Fortunately for Miguel Cotto, that Sergio Martinez is gone.
Injuries and miles have taxed Martinez to the point that the question of whether we’ll get 80% of the prime Sergio Martinez is more relevant than what round he’ll score a knockout. HBO has done well to play up this narrative. “Career threatening injuries have hobbled the middleweight kingpin. Can the Puerto Rican, in the midst of a renaissance thanks to Freddie Roach, strike while the iron is hot?”
It depends on how much Cotto has left. We’re going to see what’s truly inside of Cotto the first time Martinez hurts him. Remember, everybody has a plan till they get hit. Well, Freddie Roach’s wisdom and game planning is all good, but what’s going to happen the first time Martinez lands that patented straight left? Will Cotto resort to brawling as he once did when he was younger? Will he shell up as he did post Margarito and attempt to box from the outside? Or will he hold and survive as Freddie Roach would no doubt advise him?
I have a feeling Cotto will revert to his hesitation. If he does that, Martinez will finish him. He’s bigger, he’s quick, and he’s one of the best at closing the show in boxing.
I favor Martinez in this one. If Cotto is to win, it will be behind a sustained body attack (and he will have to hope Martinez’s knees aren’t up to the task of moving for 12 rounds.)
Wilfredo Vazquez Jr 23(19)-3-1 vs Marvin Sonsona 18(15)-1-1
Sonsona’s only loss comes to Vazquez back in 2010. It was Sonsona’s first fight at super bantamweight. Since that loss, he’s racked up some good wins including this knockout last week against Akifumi Shimoda. Sonsona, in my opinion, has improved tremendously and I wouldn’t be surprised if Sonsona scores a win here. If he does, this could be a bad night for Puerto Rican fans.
Andy Lee 32(22)-2 vs John Jackson 18(15)-1
vacant NABF light middleweight title
This undercard isn’t much in the way of names, but I’m convinced we’re going to get some good fights. Andy Lee is a Kronk fighter formerly trained by Emanuel Steward. Lee is slightly better than his record suggests. His 2 losses come against Brian Vera (this is fair, but he did drop Vera in the opening round) and Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. He was beating Chavez Jr until Chavez asserted himself. His pressure, combined with his large weight advantage, wore Lee down. Lee gave a noble effort, but realistically, he wasn’t beating a guy out-weighing him by 20 pounds. Jackson shouldn’t have that advantage. Jackson has never faced a guy as good as Lee.
Jorge Melendez 28(26)-3-1 vs Javier Francisco Maciel 28(20)-3
light middleweight division
This fight, at the very least, should be a war. Maciel was in a very good fight last year with Brian Rose. The important thing about this fight is that they’re really playing up the Puerto Rico vs Argentina rivalry.
Jose Pedraza 16(10)-0 vs Arturo Uruzquieta 15(6)-5
super featherweight division
I don’t know what’s going on here. Pedraza is 1 fight away from a title shot. He’s a terrific prospect and now he’s in a 6 rounder. I’m not sure what to think about this. Either they want to deliver a nice knockout for the Puerto Rican fans or they know something about Pedraza that I don’t. Either way, keep an eye on Pedraza. He could become a player at super featherweight in about a year.
Felix Verdejo 12(9)-0 vs Engelberto Valenzuela 8(3)-1
super featherweight division
Everyone’s favorite prospect returns. To watch this fight, you’ll need to watch online at TopRank.TV or through the Top Rank App. Verdejo is one of the most promising young fighters in the sport. If you want to read more about him, check this post out.