Wow, is it a pay-per-view week again? Time flies when you’re paying huge amounts to view sporting events of dubious quality. Not that there’s anything wrong with the main event rematch between Floyd Mayweather and Marcos Maidana on Saturday, it’s just that the undercard is a load of bollocks. Though there are big names, they’re in fights that don’t figure to be competitive, or otherwise figure to be snoozers. Anyway, the picture has nothing to do with the undercard, but if ever there was a meme for Floyd Mayweather, it’s Scumbag Steve.
Floyd Mayweather Vs. Marcos Maidana Undercard
- Leo Santa Cruz Vs. Manuel Roman. Rather than fighting Guillermo Rigondeaux, who is actively pursuing him, junior featherweight Leo Santa Cruz (27-0-1, 15 KO) is fighting Manuel Roman (17-2-3, 6 KO), a virtually unknown, workmanlike Mexican with no chance of victory. Roman’s nickname, “Suavecito” — “softy” — tells you what you need to know.
- Miguel Vazquez Vs. Mickey Bey. The most evenly matched fight on the undercard is also almost guaranteed to be a snoozer. In one corner you have Vazquez (34-3, 13 KO), an effective boxer who has perfected the art of throwing a one-two and falling into a clinch. In the other you have Bey (20-1-1, 10 KO), a slick, fast lightweight with stamina and chin issues. If (and it’s a big if) it’s possible to get Vazquez into an entertaining fight, Bey won’t be the one to do it. Maybe he can avoid the mauling by staying on his toes, but that wouldn’t be much of a fight. Instead, I think he ends up like most of Vazquez’s opponents in a typical Vazquez fight, frustrated and beaten.
- Alfredo Angulo Vs. James De La Rosa. Angulo (22-4, 18 KO) makes his return at middleweight after a career spent at junior middle. His last outing was an absolutely horrendous beating at the hands of Canelo Alvarez, so this is really a test of if he has anything left. He was ponderously slow and seemed unable to pull the trigger in that fight, so maybe he really is done. De La Rosa (22-2, 13 KO) is nothing special and is somewhat defensively challenged (though not as badly as Angulo). If Angulo really is shot, or his power doesn’t carry up to middleweight, then he might be able to take advantage. More likely, he’ll have some success (everyone does against Angulo), before a diminished Angulo tracks him down and stops him.
- John Molina Vs. Humberto Soto. The fight with the biggest chance of being entertaining isn’t even on the PPV undercard — it will air on the free preview show. Go figure. Mexican vet Soto (64-8-2, 35 KO) and working class Californian Molina (27-4, 22 KO) have both suffered at the hands of Lucas Matthysse, but they’re not meeting up on Saturday to tell war stories, they’re their to make some new ones. I have to favour the bigger, cruder Molina. His right hand is absolutely thunderous, and as much ringcraft as Soto has, he likes to exchange punches and will eventually catch a Molina bomb. When that happens, he’s going down for good.
The Rest Of The Week’s Boxing Schedule
- Luis Ortiz Vs. Lateef Kayode, Friday, FS1/Fox Deportes, Last Vegas. Cruiserweight-turned-heavyweight Kayode (20-0, 16 KO) fights for only the third time drawing with Antonio Tarver and coining the immortal phrase “I fuck he up.” That fight was later ruled a No Contest when Tarver tested positive for performance enhancing drugs. Kayode’s performance hardly set the world on fire, but he did show he can be energetic and awkward in spurts. Will that be enough to contend with Ortiz (21-0, 18 KO), a big, heavy handed lefty? Maybe, but if Tarver could hurt Kayode, Ortiz will be able to as well. He’ll just need to watch that he doesn’t get outworked by the Nigerian. Patchy featherweight Juan Manuel Lopez (34-4, 31 KO) is on the undercard, trying to bounce back from his loss to Francisco Vargas in July. I don’t know who’s picking his opponents, because his Argentine foe, Jesus Cuellar (24-1, 18 KO) is no soft touch and is coming to fight. Lopez could lose.
- The Rest. British junior featherweight Scott Quigg fights Belgium’s Stephane Jamoye in Manchester on Saturday night. Super heavyweight gold medalist Anthony Joshua is on the undercard, taking a slight step up against Konstantin Airich… On Tuesday HBO premieres Cornered, its new mini-documentary series about boxing personalities (who aren’t boxers). First to get the treatment will be referee/noted mime Kenny Bayless, which should be good.