Roberto Duran’s appearance in Miami Vice hasn’t got the love it deserves since it popped up over on r/boxing. So I’m leaving it here for you to marvel at. The soundtrack ain’t too shabby either. You know what is kind shabby? The undercard for Canelo Alvarez’s fight against Erislandy Lara. Sure, it has some big names, but it doesn’t offer anything much in the way of intrigue. Let’s get to it.
Canelo Alvarez Vs. Erislandy Lara Undercard
- Abner Mares vs. Jonathan Oquendo. A year ago, this fight would have been difficult to imagine. Then, Mares (26-1-1, 14 KO) seemed an unstoppable force who, having emerged from Showtime’s bantamweight tournament, was storming then bantamweight ranks. That was before he moved up to featherweight and ran into the shocking left hook from Jhonny Gonzalez that deprived him of his senses. It wouldn’t have deprived him of his esteem if he hadn’t talked big and then avoided a rematch with Gonzalez, but he did, here we are and there are questions about his mentality and confidence. Oquendo (24-3, 16 KO) a workmanlike performer should be able to test that, but if Mares is anything like his old self he should blow through the Puerto Rican.
- Juan Manuel Lopez vs. Francisco Vargas. Look, man, I don’t even know what’s going to happen. Lopez (34-3, 31 KO) is that kind of fighter. This could be an easy, highlight reel knockout for him. Vargas (19-0-1, 13 KO), who is taking a big step up in class, could frustrate the Puerto Rican and catch him doing stupid things. All I know is that this featherweight fight will likely be exciting — Lopez always is.
- Johan Perez vs. Mauricio Herrera. Poor old Mauricio Herrera (20-4, 7 KO). He beat junior welterweight champ Danny Garcia in the eyes of most observers, but got jobbed on the scorecards. Instead of bouncing back with a big name fight, he gets Johan Perez (19-1-1, 13 KO), a lengthy, awkward Venezuelan that few have heard of. Herrera has shown that he can hang with boxing’s elite, and as such he should be able to handle Perez, but he’ll have to adjust and use some of his crafty moves on the way to a decision win.
- Tomoki Kameda vs. Pungluang Sor Singyu. This is the best fight on the undercard, and it probably has the lowest name-recognition value. Kameda (29-0, 18 KO), a scion of Japan’s most famous boxing family, is the Transnational Boxing Rankings Board‘s #8 bantamweight, while Singyu (46-2, 31 KO) is a former world titlist. Both men are boxers who are happy to let their hands go in the right situation, but Kameda has the edge in size, speed and power. Not sure how Singyu changes that equation.
The Rest Of The Week’s Boxing Schedule
Argenis Mendez vs. Rances Barthelemy, Thursday, FS1/Fox Deportes, Miami. Junior lightweights Mendez and Barthelemy already fought once before, and it didn’t end well for Mendez, who got beat up and stopped (albeit with a shot that landed after the bell to end the 1st round). I’m more intrigued by the rematch than many, and I don’t necessarily think it ends the same way as the first fight. I favoured Mendez (21-2-1, 11 KO) in the first fight, and if Barthelemy (19-0, 12 KO) doesn’t totally have his number, he has the speed, skills and tenacity to take it to the less hardworking Cuban. Of course, that could all be hokum and Barthelemy could just starch him again, but if I’m right I’ll be sure to crow about it. Jeff Lacy is fighting on the undercard and… you read that correctly, JEFF LACY.
Tureano Johnson vs. Mike Gavronski, Friday, ESPN2, Shelton Wash. Middleweight Johnson (14-1, 10 KO) impressed when he took Curtis Stevens to the brink earlier in the year, before getting stopped in round 10. It was a big step up and the first time Johnson had ever gone 10, and he’s someone I hope we see more of. Gavronski (14-1, 10 KO) shouldn’t be too much of a challenge — he’s big, crude and tough, but Johnson should be able to pick him apart as he winds up on his shots. Friday Night Fights staple Art Hovhannisyan (17-1-2, 9 KO) fighting Peru/Canada’s Jonathan Maicelo (20-1, 12 KO).
The Rest. The first FS1/Fox Deportes card of the week, on Wednesday night, features veteran junior middleweight and contender-alum Alfonso Gomez (23-6-2, 12 KO) against Ed Paredes (35-3-1, 23 KO). Get excited, or not… That crafty Brit Eddie Hearn has light heavyweights Tony Bellew and Nathan Cleverly fighting different no-hopers on the same card on Saturday, probably ahead of a rematch… Meanwhile there are a few Puerto Rican prospects fighting on the WAPA America card on Friday night.