It’s Mario — Mexican-style! You know what else is Mexican style? Mexican Style, which is the name of this weekend’s Gennady Golovkin vs. Marco Antonio Rubio middleweight card. I like the idea of promoting the Kazakh KO-artist to Mexican fans, and Golovkin’s growing cult status is a testament to his appeal. Apart from that card, there’s a few other bits and bobs on this week, including some top flyweights (there seem to forever be top flyweights fighting) and NBC Sports Net fights in Philly. Let’s get to it.
- Gennady Golovkin Vs. Marco Antonio Rubio, Saturday, HBO, Los Angeles. ESPN Deportes’ Gatz Encinas describes this fight as like a collision between two steaming locomotives. He adds the qualifier that one train is made of steel and the other of plastic, though. Mexican veteran Rubio (59-6-1, 51 KO) is the plastic train in this scenario. I don’t need to tell you that Golovkin (30-0, 27 KO) is one of the most feared punchers in the sport. One of these trains is going off the rails — guess which one. The undercard looks likely to provide more competitive fair, with Nonito Donaire (33-2, 21 KO) taking on Jamaica’s Nicholas Walters (24-0, 20 KO) at featherweight. Donaire is sometimes explosive but often tepid, and it seems an age since he was truly impressive. Often he just seems bored. Walters, on the other hand, is relatively new on the scene and as a powerful boxer-puncher looks the goods. He’s coming off an impressive KO win over divisional stalwart Vic Darchinyan. It’s easy to lean to Walters based on recent form, but Donaire certainly has the more impressive record. I guess I’d lean towards the Jamaican’s youthful drive and athleticism, but I’m not hugely confident about it.
- Juan Carlos Reveco vs. Yodmongkol Vor Saengthep, Friday, Argentina. Golovkin is an amazing athlete, but this fight between the #7 and #10 flyweights in the world (according to the Transnational Boxing Rankings Board) could be a bit of a show stealer. Saengthep (34-2, 20 KO) is a well conditioned grinder, while Reveco has a more finely developed style based on sharp counters and in-and-out foot movement. It should be a classic cat and mouse game.
- Steve Cunningham Vs. Natu Visinia, Saturday, NBC Sports Net, Philadelphia. A bit of a soft fight for heavyweight fringe contender Cunningham (27-6, 12 KO), who’s lining up against unproven Samoan Visinia (10-0, 8 KO). Visinia can punch, but he’s raw and has never been in with anyone remotely close to Cunningham’s level. It’s the heavyweights, so anything really can happen, but I’d be pretty shocked if Cunningham doesn’t completely outclass him over 10 rounds.
- The Rest. Welterweights Edgar Ortega and Pablo Munguia do battle on Telemundo on Friday night from Mexico City… That’s about it, really.