Raymundo Beltran, via: http://firstclassboxing.com

Timothy Bradley Vs. Manny Pacquiao II Undercard, Previewed (And The Rest Of The Week’s Boxing Schedule)

So continues our marathon coverage of one of the biggest bouts of 2014, Timothy Bradley vs. Manny Pacquiao II, on April 12 on HBO Pay-Per-View. Previously: a primer on the rematch; a Bradley-Pacquiao edition of TQBR Radio; keys to the fight. Next: a staff roundtable.

Raymundo Beltran, via: http://firstclassboxing.com

Raymundo Beltran, via: http://firstclassboxing.com

Usually pay-per-view weeks are busy in boxing, as promoters look to cash in on the extra eyeballs on the sport. Not so this week; there’s very little on outside the Timothy Bradley vs. Manny Pacquiao undercard. Luckily it’s not too terrible an undercard, as undercards go (and generally they go badly). I don’t think any of the fights will be particularly competitive, but we may learn something from each and that’s all you can really ask for (you could ask for more, but you won’t get it, this is boxing).

Timothy Bradley Vs. Manny Pacquiao Undercard

  • Ray Beltran vs. Arash Usmanee. This fight was originally meant to pit Beltran against Rocky Martinez, but he withdrew from illness last week. As replacement opponents go, Usmanee (20-1-1, 10 KO) is about as good as you get, even if he is moving up from junior lightweight to lightweight. Unfortunately (because I like Usmanee and would like to see an Afghan boxer get somewhere), Beltran (28-6-1, 17 KO) is going to be way too big, experienced and strong for him. Beltran is just too sturdy to let Usmanee’s high activity fluster him, unless his totally out of the game after the Martinez withdrawal.
  • Khabib Allakhverdiev vs. Jessie Vargas. This is a solid junior welterweight fight, but for some reason I’m finding it a bit hard to get excited about. That could have something to do with former Floyd Mayweather protege Vargas (23-0, 9 KO), who doesn’t set my world on fire. He can box and move beautifully, but he’s not really a “fun” fighter and seems to get disinterested during fights. Allakhverdiev (19-0, 9 KO) got here by being the man who finally decided that Joan Guzman’s “0” had to go. He’s a aggressive enough and throws odd combinations from different angles. I don’t think he’s good enough to beat Vargas, though. The best case scenario is that the Russian pushes Vargas into a bit of a give and take fight. This one’s going the distance, and Vargas is getting the unanimous decision.
  • Bryan Vasquez vs. Jose Felix Jr. Felix is a scion of the Montiel dynasty of boxers from Los Mochis, Sinaloa. He’s a highly fancied prospect who seems to have it all: power, timing and the useful ability to fight moving backwards and forwards. I reckon he’ll mainly being going forward against Costa Rica’s Vasquez (31-1, 17 KO), a solid but not inspiring boxer. “Tiquito” is a few fights removed from a beating at the hands of Takashi Uchiyama and has fought no one of note since, so it’s a little difficult to tell where he’s at. But basically he doesn’t have the power to successfully mix it up with Felix, yet neither does he have the ability to avoid that happening. Felix by mid-rounds knockout.

The Rest Of The Week’s Boxing Schedule

  • Gilberto Ramirez vs. Giovanni Lorenzo, Friday, Las Vegas, ESPN2. Not a bad little fight on Friday Night Fights with plus-size Mexican (hey, they’re a small people) Ramirez (27-0, 21 KO) stepping up a level (more or less) gatekeeper Lorenzo (33-6, 25 KO), who has fought and lost to a who’s who of the middleweight division over the last five years. Ramirez looks the goods, and the leverage he gets from his lanky frame is a sight to behold. Lorenzo should be good enough to ask some questions, but Ramirez will have the answers.
  • The Rest. Who am I to question the business sense of putting an independent pay-per-view out on the same night that Manny Pacquiao is fighting? Nobody, so feel free to check out gofightlive.tv’s PPV on Saturday, which is headlined by junior lightweights Jason Sosa (11-1-3, 7 KO) and Michael Brooks (10-1-1, 2 KO)… Also Saturday there’s a Fox Deportes card from Cancun, with female junior flyweights Anabel Ortiz (13-3, 2 KO) and Ivoon Rosas (10-6-1, 2 KO) topping the bill… Already this week, Joshua Clottey (38-4, 22 KO) has topped Anthony Mundine (46-6, 27 KO) in a junior middleweight bout… ESPN has had deluxe coverage of Pacquiao-Bradley II this week; read here for the remaining schedule… And Thursday evening brings the final episode of Paquiao-Bradley 24/7 on HBO, followed by re-airings on Friday, with a replay of the entire three-part series starting early Saturday at 8:30 a.m.