So continues our marathon coverage of one of the biggest fights of 2012, Manny Pacquiao vs. Timothy Bradley on June 9 on HBO pay-per-view. Previously: the stakes of Pacquiao-Bradley; getting to know Bradley. Next: keys to the fight.
That man is on a vegan diet. I know it’s breaking the tradition of having completely random media on top of the schedule, but I can’t get past that craziness. This week it’s all about Pacquiao/Bradley, apart from a couple of other cards on ESPN2 and TeleFutura. I’m going to eat some linseeds and alfalfa now.
Manny Pacquiao vs. Tim Bradley Undercard
- Jorge Arce vs. Jesus Rojas. Like his counterpart Erik Morales, one gets the feeling that Mexican veteran Jorge Arce will provide action for as long as he’s willing to step into the ring and will forever fight up (or down) to his level of competition. The fighting down part of that characteristic is probably the most important for this fight since the main qualification of his opponent, junior featherweight Jesus M Rojas (18-1-1), is that he’s Puerto Rican. Apart from the famous Mexico vs. Puerto Rico angle, this fight doesn’t have much going for it. Arce (60-6-2) will probably have way too much experience and intestinal fortitude for Rojas. The Puerto Rican has a rocket left hook but not much else and his footwork is shocking. Still, if Arce fights down to his level this bout could be a very entertaining and doubtless bloody (knowing Arce) contest between two hard headed battlers.
- Mike Jones vs. Randall Bailey. Top welterweight prospect Jones (26-0) lost a fair bit of shine when he squeaked past Jesus Soto Karass on the Manny Pacquiao/Antonio Margarito undercard in 2010. Still he avenged that lost, completely outclassing Soto Karass. He’s large, strong, fast and skilled. Bailey (42-7) is a level below him in the welterweight pecking order. Luckily the Florida native has something up his sleeve: He’s probably the purest knockout puncher in the whole sport. So while it’s likely that Jones will use his size to play keep-away, he’s not going to be out of danger until the final bell rings.
- Guillermo Rigondeaux vs. Teon Kennedy. Life isn’t fair and neither is boxing. That’s the only way you can explain why junior featherweight Teon Kennedy (17-1-2) is fighting on a major pay-per-view undercard while the man who beat him up and outclassed him two fights ago, Alejandro Lopez, is banished to the Tijuana Municipal Arena. It’s not like Kennedy did anything to earn this fight in the meantime, either; his only fight was an entertaining but very unconvincing draw with Chris Martin (the one who isn’t Gwyneth Paltrow’s husband, cos I’m pretty sure even Kennedy could beat him up). Ah well, at least justice will be served in the ring when two-time Olympic gold medallist Guillermo Rigondeaux (9-0) starches Kennedy in short order. Rigondeaux might be boring for long stretches, but as soon as he realizes Kennedy has no defence and is following him around the ring like a lost puppy, he will punch the Philadelphian in the guts and he won’t urinate normally for days.
The Rest Of The Weekend’s Boxing Schedule
- Kelly Pavlik vs. Scott Sigmon, Friday, ESPN2, Las Vegas. The former middleweight champion of the world continues his reclamation campaign in the aftermath of a series of bad losses and a little problem with alcohol. Pavlik (38-2) isn’t really stepping up in competition, more stepping sideways against Scott Sigmon (22-3), whose record was mainly earned in the easier rings of North Carolina. Expect a Pavlik exhibition that doesn’t tell us very much about where the Ohioan is at, much like his previous fight against Aaron Jaco. On the undercard Vegas boy and junior featherweight prospect Jesse Magdaleno (9-0) takes a step up in competition against Carlos Valcarcel (12-4-4), who may test the younger man despite coming off two losses to prospects Robert Marroquin and Jayson Velez.
- The Rest. The final episode of Pacquiao/Bradley 24/7 debuts on Friday night and will be included in the block of fight day programming on HBO Saturday, along with the other episodes, Ring Life shorts and the weigh-in, which will also be shown live on Saturday… Top Rank Live will stream the non-PPV undercard fights on its website…TeleFutura is showing one of those Puerto Rican cards on Saturday night which feature the amusingly named Arroyo brothers, McJoe and McWilliams. That’s about it.