Guess who ESPN Deportes have asked on as an analyst for Saul “Canelo” Alvarez vs Miguel Cotto? That’s right, heinous cheater turned soccer mom/unlikely cult hero Antonio Margarito! I’m not sure if he’ll have any insight, but his hair looks great. In other news, this is the post where we preview the Cotto vs Canelo undercard and the rest of the week’s boxing schedule (such as it is). It’s actually not a bad undercard for a PPV, despite all the late changes (Andre Ward was on, then he was off and then Guillermo Rigondeaux was on). There are some potentially fun fights that could add to the value, and even Rigondeaux should look good against his overmatched opponent. Let’s get to the preview:
The Canelo Vs Cotto Undercard, Saturday, HBO Pay-Per-View
- Takashi Miura vs Francisco Vargas. The names in this junior lightweight co-feature probably won’t get casual fans excited, but that’s OK — the fight might. Miura (29-2-2, 22 KO) is an aggressive Japanese southpaw, while the long-limbed Vargas (22-0-1, 16 KO) is no stranger to throwing down himself. Both men can take a punch, too. That said, I lean towards Vargas by decision — he’s a little bit bigger and a little bit tighter, technically.
- Guillermo Rigondeaux vs Drian Francisco. Top junior featherweight Rigondeaux (15-0, 10 KO) finally puts an end to a long period of disappointing inactivity by signing with Roc Nation and fighting Filipino Francisco (28-3-1, 22 KO). It’s not really a competitive fight, but I guess the hope is that Rigondeaux will decide to look spectacular against a guy who’s not much of threat.
- Randy Caballero vs Lee Haskins. This one’s not actually on the PPV undercard, but it’ll be available on the HBO YouTube channel beforehand. It’s a pretty OK little fight, with bantamweight Caballero (22-0, 13 KO) returning from injury to face British veteran Haskins (32-3, 14 KO). Caballero is a fast-handed dynamo who will come forward and put pressure on Haskins, an awkward southpaw counterpuncher. You’d have to favour Caballero, but it mightn’t be all that easy.
The Rest Of The Week’s Boxing Schedule
- Darleys Perez vs Anthony Crolla, Saturday, AWE, Manchester England/Hannover Germany. A double bill from two different locations here, with Mancunian Crolla (29-4-3, 11 KO) fighting Colombia’s Perez (32-1-1, 20 KO) for the second time in a year, after their first fight (which Crolla apppeared to be winning handily) was controversially ruled a draw. Crolla outboxed Perez in the first go-round but it wasn’t exactly an easy fight. The other part of the telecast comes from Germany, where Martin Murray (32-2, 15 KO) is challenging Arthur Abraham (43-4, 29 KO) for some super middleweight strap. Murray is really nifty and almost certainly fresher than Abraham at this point, but it’s hard to trust those German judges.
- Gilberto Ramirez vs Gevorg Khatchikian, Friday, TruTV, Las Vegas. Enormous Mexican super middleweight Ramirez (32-0, 24 KO) has a lot going for him, but beating this unknown Dutchman won’t prove anything.
- Diego De La Hoya vs Giovanni Delgado, Friday, Estrella/RingTV.com, Las Vegas. A development fight for De La Hoya, a top junior featherweight prospect. Delgado is tough but very unlikely to spring the upset.