It's not a packed week this week, probably due to the presence of the mega-show on HBO pay-per-view. Apart from the rematch between that Filipino guy and that Mexican dude, there's an undercard featuring Tim Bradley to think about, Austin Trout fighting an Australian not named Anthony Mundine and some other stuff.
It's our second week with a musical theme and some might be tired of the whole Manny Pacquiao-as-singer thing, but skipping forward to 5:25 in the above video is recommended. You'll get to see a “unique” version of “La Bamba.” The Mexican judges declared the karaoke duel a draw, but TQBR suspects an element of home cooking. Marquez made Pacquiao look good. Let's hope the actual boxing is more competitive. At least they're good sports, unlike some people.
Pacquiao is the biggest show in town and when he's fighting, you can guarantee it's going to eclipse anything else. As usual, we have a mountain of coverage. To the other fights!
Manny Pacquiao Vs. Juan Manuel Marquez III Undercard
- Timothy Bradley vs. Joel Casamayor. Top Rank Promotions' big new junior welterweight signing, Timothy Bradley, is looking to showcase himself against veteran Joel Casamayor. It's been mulled before, but "Desert Storm" fighting in the main undercard bout on a card that Pacquiao is headlining can only mean one thing: Top Rank wants to build Bradley into a future Pacman opponent. Palm Springs, California's Bradley has been inactive for most of the year due to problems with his former promoter, Gary Shaw. In many ways Bradley (27-0) is an unlikely elite fighter. He got here by winning fights he was probably meant to lose against Miguel Vazquez, Junior Witter and Kendall Holt. His style sure isn't pretty and “Desert Storm” has his share of critics. He's not powerful, but he rushes in with his big bald head and overwhelms his opponents. He's coming off what should have been a showcase victory against fellow up and comer Devon Alexander in January. Instead, due to poor promotional decisions, that fight was held in a nearly empty arena and ended anti-climactically with Alexander begging out after suffering a cut caused by Bradley's infamous noggin. Casamayor (38-5-1) is a curious choice for a showcase opponent, generally making everyone he faces look bad. The 40-year-old Cuban defector is past his best, but embodies the “cagey veteran” stereotype. In a typically impassive losing effort against Robert Guerrero last July, Casamor somehow found a way to drop the larger and more athletic man in the 10h, completely against the run of play. He's alternately defeated and struggled with pressure-type fighters, splitting pairs of fights with Diego Corrales and Jose Luis Castillo and getting off the floor to stop Michael Katsidis. It's not going to be pretty and there's a fair chance it will end on headbutt-caused cuts. If not, Bradley by decision is the most likely outcome.
- Mike Alvarado vs. Breidis Prescott. Earlier on the card, fellow junior welter and hot prospect Mike Alvarado will fight infamous Amir Khan conqueror Breidis Prescott, who's coming off a loss to Paul McCloskey. Denver's Alvarado (31-0) is all about intelligent pressure and beat Carlos Molina all the way back in 2007. Molina has gone on to prove himself to be a very good fighter and a player at junior middleweight, so that win is looking better and better with time. It's good that he's getting showcased, because it's really about time that he stepped up to the next level of opposition. Prescott (24-3) has managed to parley a decent career out of his 1st round stoppage of Khan in 2008. That was down at lightweight though, and Prescott's power seems to have evaporated at junior welter, if it was ever that good to begin with. He's quite a good boxer though, and has a very good stick. His defeat to McCloskey was a pick 'em type thing, and McCloskey is a super awkward southpaw. Whether Prescott tries to box or brawl shouldn't really matter. Alvarado should be able to track him down and start swapping leather and Prescott will willingly participate, no matter what the game plan was originally.
- Luis Cruz vs. Juan Carlos Burgos. Also, fun Puerto Rican junior lightweight prospect Luis Cruz faces the toughest test of his career against Mexico's Juan Carlos Burgos. This has a good chance of being the funnest fight on the whole card. Cruz (19-0) is a classy boxer puncher. He can punch with both hands, with a particularly nice left hook and right uppercut. “El Artesano” has been in quite tough for a guy with his number of professional fights and is already ranked number 10 in the division by Ring Magazine. Burgos (27-1) is a career featherweight moving up. His only loss was by decision to Hozumi Hasegawa, a former pound-for-pounder. No shame in that. Whether Burgos carries his power up to the new weight may well be key to the fight. What's for sure is that Burgos will come to brawl and Cruz will most likely oblige. “Miniburgos” (is there a "Maxiburgos?") can get a little wild in there though, and I suspect that Cruz will make him pay for that over the course of the fight.
The Rest Of The Weekend's Boxing Schedule
- Austin Trout vs. Frank LoPorto, Friday, Showtime, El Paso Texas. After the weekend's craziness, the junior middleweight division is really heating up. “No Doubt” Trout is staying busy while looking to get in the mix for bigger fights, including a rumoured bout against Anthony Mundine next year. LoPorto (15-4-2) will have to do as a stand in Australian. Trout (23-0) is an athletic southpaw who's not afraid to mix it up, which should make a nice fight when combined with LoPorto's pressure. Trout would do well not to underestimate LoPorto, who has been in with quality opposition at the Australian level. Whatever happens, it should be a fun, high contact affair. On the undercard, middleweight prospect Michael Oliveira (15-0) is fighting journeyman Rudy Cisneros (12-3) coming off a technical knockout loss. Oliveira's terrible nickname, “The Brazilian Rocky,” shouldn't be too much of an impediment to him taking care of business.
- Diego Magdaleno vs. Emmanuel Lucero, Friday, Fox Deportes/Fox Sports Net, Las Vegas. The Ring's number seven junior lightweight, Magdaleno could do better than this bout. Lucero (26-7-1) is coming off a reported beating at the hands of Yuandale Evans and has lost six of his last ten, four of them by knockout. Magdaleno (20-0) is a very fast southpaw boxer, who only really lacks power. Perhaps Top Rank is trying to put him in with a guy he can get out of there in order to build up some buzz. Also fighting is the Filipino lightweight Mercito Gesta (23-0-1). Like a lot of Filipino fighters, Gesta tries to be a clone of the guy at the top of the page. Not that that's a bad thing; Gesta is super fun to watch, even with his stupid haircuts. His opponent, Ricardo Dominguez (34-7-2) is limited but a tough nut to crack. He's fought the top guys of the division and seen the final bell against Brandon Rios, which makes him the member of a small but elite club.
- Tyson Fury vs. Neven Pajkic, Saturday, Manchester England. British heavyweight prospect Tyson Fury is making a habit of competing against big pay-per-views. The last time he fought was the 17th of September, the same day as Floyd Mayweather vs. Victor Ortiz. It's probably not a bad tactic. In England his shows no doubt capture boxing fans who aren't keen to spend their money on a pay-per-view. Fury (16-0) likes to stay busy; this is his fourth fight this year. Pajkic, also 16-0, seems something like a smaller version of the giant Brit, but completely lacking in power. Fury should be able to control him with his height and developing skills.
- The Rest. That's about it in terms of fights. HBO is replaying the first three episodes of Pacquiao-Marquez 24/7 on Friday night, followed by the final episode. Despite not having much new to talk about, it's been quite a good series... On Friday, Pacquiao appears on Piers Morgan on CNN. This time the interview will take place at the Wild Card Gym and Morgan apparently spars with Pacquiao. Could be funny or just embarassing... From noon on Saturday, the HBO Zone channel will have a six hour block of Pac/Marquez related stuff, including more replays of 24/7, 24/7 Overtime, music videos and Ring Life segments... TopRank.TV will air some of the lesser undercard bouts Saturday not appearing on the pay-per-view part of the card... HBO is a showing the John Dower documentary "Thrilla in Manila" on Thursday evening as a tribute to Joe Frazier, who died of liver cancer on Monday. If you haven't seen it, TQBR can't recommend it enough. There's really no more fitting a tribute than letting Smokin' Joe's deeds speak for themselves.
The next fight should be Sergio Martinez vs. Floyd Mayweather, with the winner getting a shot at Manny Pacquiao. Sergio Martinez has stated that he is willing to drop the weight to get a shot at Manny. Unfortunately for the fans, neither Manny nor Mayweather would agree to fight the ever dangerous Martinez. This is when boxing needs to step up and make that happen.
I don't seem to dislike this undercard as much as everyone else. Yes, they're lower-level bouts, but Cruz-Burgos and Alvarado-Prescott are evenly matched fights between relevant fighters that should deliver good action.
The fight that gets me is Bradley-Casamayor. I feel like we hear ALL THE TIME about what kind of genius Bob Arum is, and he puts Bradley in a fight that is GUARANTEED to be ugly, GUARANTEED to make Bradley look bad, and he's soooooo much better at promoting fighters than everyone else. HUH?
So, it's 2/3rds of the way there. If they had Bradley in against anyone with a pulse or a mildly appealing style, I could get behind it a bit more. It wouldn't be as good as some recent undercards or Cotto-Margarito II, but it wouldn't be an actively bad one, either.
Casamayor still has his sense of humor.
Stellar preview, my good man. Yeah, 'Thrilla in Manila' (the doc, not the fight) is huge...but anyone catch the Frazier tribute on ESPN classic? Kind of weak, to be honest. Where the hell was the Fight of the Century? Do they not have the rights, and if so, why not and who does? Why is every wrestlemania and UFC event available on DVD but not one single classic fight? ESPN classic is worthy and all, but the running ticker at the bottom slaughters as well as the awkwardly cut commercials. And if you've watched Classic Boxing on there for a while, seems like the whole rotation they have is done in about 3 months. Where's HBO at on this? I feel like there's a market for classic fight DVDs, high-quality ones. If HBO can release every season of Taxicab Confessions, why are all the classic broadcasts rotting away in an office somewhere?
Cruz-Burgos does indeed seem like fun, but it's at best a BAD co-feature or Showtime Championship Boxing co-feature to me, and the best fight on a PPV should be better than that on paper. Alvarado-Prescott sounds like a FNF fight to me, and Bradley-Casamayor is very meh. Feel like they should have put more effort into an undercard like this, but it's far from the first time I'm saying that...
@Scott_Kraus True story. I didn't really address the quality of the undercard but yeah, I feel it's not quite PPV worthy. You're right about where those two fights should be, but hopefully they're still fun.
@ALEXMAC @Scott_Kraus The thing about Prescott....he's just not very good. For a guy 31 yrs old, 31-0, Ring mag top 10 in the division for a year, Prescott doesn't rank as a major step-up to me. At best, it's like a poor man's Danny Garcia-Kendall Holt. And Bradley-Cassamayor...? Ewwwwww. I'm with you guys, dreadful undercard.
@JFoley@ALEXMAC@Scott_Kraus Alvarado's jail stint(s) have hurt his progress, but this is a step up, for sure. Maybe it should've come sooner, but there's nobody Alvarado's faced who's 1/4th the fighter Prescott is (absent maybe Molina, but Molina hadn't become yet what he is now). Maybe that's damning with faint praise, but...
i see it morales III with morales quitting over a 2nd round TKO. i suggest marquez to stay down and never come back up. lol
it will be a pac hatton part 2.. pac too strong lightning fast! marquez will be blown to oblivion in rnd 1 together with hes brand new muscles, pee drinking and crap eating technique! I fear for marquezs life! I hope he does not end into coma or in funeral!
I don't see it that way. I think Marquez is worlds better than Hatton, who made his biggest mark against a declining Kostya. I think if Marquez gets past the first three rounds...things could get interesting for a while at least @GreatestofalltimeMercilessdestroyerMannypacmanpacq