So continues our marathon coverage of one of the biggest fights of 2012, Floyd Mayweather, Jr. vs. Miguel Cotto on May 5 on HBO pay-per-view. Previously: the stakes of Mayweather-Cotto. Next: keys to the fight.
I’m glad Floyd is wearing that helmet, because I’m about to criticise his undercard. It’s the week of a big fight, so that mean that the schedule changes a bit. Well, at least the way that we bring it to you. The actual schedule changes a bit too, with other fights seemingly trying to piggyback off the attention created by the big pay-per-view (or just being really poorly timed). The preview of the Floyd Mayweather, Jr. vs. Miguel Cotto PPV undercard was not particularly enjoyable to write and I doubt it’s going to be much better to watch. There’s an ugly mismatch between Saul Alvarez and Shane Mosley, an ugly mismatch between Jessie Vargas and Steve Forbes and an evenly matched fight that nobody particularly cares about in Deandre Latimore vs. Carlos Quintana. What’s worse than having this steaming pile of excreta shoved down our throats is having Oscar De La Hoya and co. telling us how tasty it’s going to be. It’d be beyond disappointing if we weren’t used to this kind of crap.
Apart from the PPV, we’ve got Daniel Ponce De Leon fighting on Fox Sports on Friday, Demetrius Andrade going head to head with the PPV on ESPN2, Chris John leaving Indonesia to go to… Singapore and Dmitry Pirog facing Nobuhiro Ishida in Moscow Tuesday. Basically, there should be enough boxing to keep you satisfied.
Floyd Mayweather vs. Miguel Cotto Undercard
- Saul Alvarez vs. Shane Mosley. This fight is being billed as experience vs. youth, legend vs. rising contender etc. etc. etc. The fact is that most boxing fans and commentators now see this fight as something of a mismatch without any good potential outcomes. Alvarez is a handsome, redheaded Mexican superstar who is still largely untested against truly elite competition. Mosley is a future Hall of Famer on a serious slide after one-sided losses to Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao and a tepid draw with Sergio Mora. If Mosley (46-7-1) pulls off the upset, then he’s damaged one of boxing’s potential future stars. If “Canelo” (39-0-1) beats up Mosley it will be ugly, if he wins but doesn’t look good it damage his reputation and if he’s the first fighter to knock Mosley out it will be impressive but sad. An enjoyable fight could easily break out if Mosley can be more aggressive against the relatively slow Alvarez than in recent fights. Still, I don’t think there’s any way that Mosley repeats his 2009 upset of Antonio Margarito. As previously mentioned, the last three years have not been kind to Shane. Even worse news, unlike Margarito, Canelo actually has a defensive strategy that doesn’t involve blocking punches with his face. Choose one of the previously mentioned ways; this is going to be ugly.
- Jessie Vargas vs. Steve Forbes. It gets worse. Vargas is a Mayweather protege/rather limited welterweight prospect. He fought on the undercard of Mayweather’s last bout and won a very close majority decision against the tough Josesito Lopez. Vargas does everything OK but is really nothing special, yet can be very entertaining, as in his recent, hard-fought win over Lanardo Tyler. This time, Vargas (18-0) is fighting veteran and “Contender” alum Steve Forbes. Forbes (35-10) is a good boxer, but he’s brutally undersized at welterweight (he started his career at junior lightweight) with zero power. He’s also coming off two losses including his first stoppage loss (a TKO against Karim Mayfield that was perhaps a little early). This is a step backwards for Vargas, who was originally going to face Alfonso Gomez, and an extremely poor quality bout for a major PPV.
- Deandre Latimore vs. Carlos Quintana. It gets worser-er-er. I would criticise this fight if it were a FNF main event (maybe even a support bout). I just don’t see how either man is relevant any more. Awkward Boricua southpaw Quintana (28-3) is best known for his upset defeats of Joel Julio and Paul Williams in 2006 and 2008. But he’s fought three times in the last four years, including being KO’d by Andre Berto. Latimore (23-3) beat Sechew Powell in 2008 and then beat… nobody really. In his last fight against Milton Nunez on Shobox he looked average at best. He claims that his new training partnership with Jeff Mayweather has changed his life and focus and all that, but that stuff is usually best judged after a fight, not before. Not that I’ll care after.
The Rest Of The Weekend’s Boxing Schedule
- Daniel Ponce De Leon vs. Eduardo Lazcano, Friday, Fox Deportes/FSN, Las Vegas. Mexican featherweight wild man Ponce De Leon returns to Las Vegas the night before the big show after being rumoured for the Mayweather vs. Cotto undercard. This fight should grab some of the surplus eyeballs on TV and some of the surplus boxing fans on the strip. De Leon (42-4) has added some wrinkles to his game over the years but is still best known for being a lefty with fight-ending power in both hands. Having not seen any footage, I can’t really comment much on his opponent Lazcano, except to say that he has a cool nickname (“Chucky”) and can’t be too much of a slouch with a record of 24-2 earned in the tough rings of northern Mexico and Mexico City. On the undercard, likeable perennial junior middleweight contender Ishe Smith (22-5) faces Ghana’s Ayi Bruce (21-6) at middleweight. Bruce has been knocked out by a bunch of guys who aren’t as good as Smith, so this might be pretty one-sided. Still, it’s nice to see a guy who’s sometimes inactive due to being too risky a match up get a decent fight on TV.
- The Rest. Junior middleweight prospect Demetrius Andrade (16-0) fights Rudy Cisneros (12-3) in a Friday Night Fights card on Saturday. If that was the thing that made the least sense about this card I would be happy – but the bigger questions are “why is it competing with Floyd/Cotto” and “why are they broadcasting such a disgusting mismatch and step backward for Andrade”… James Kirkland conqueror and recent Paul Williams opponent Nobuhiro Ishida (24-7-2) moves up to middleweight Tuesday to face Dmitry Pirog (19-0) in Moscow. An upset is unlikely but we might learn something about Pirog, who’s faced nobody of note since upsetting Danny Jacobs nearly two years ago… Marco Huck (34-2) moves back down to cruiserweight to give Ola Afolabi (19-2-3) a rematch of their relatively close 2009 fight on Saturday, which Huck won. Robert Stieglitz (41-2-0) is fighting the dreaded TBA on the undercard, after a merry go round of opponents withdrew… Featherweight Rafael Marquez (40-5) returns to Mexico Saturday to face Kenichi Yamaguchi (17-2-2), last seen taking a pounding from Orlando Salido… Chris John (46-0-2) defends his featherweight title in Singapore on Saturday against Japan’s Shoji Kimura (24-4-2), who figures to have little hope… In Bangkok the same night The Ring’s number four light flyweight, Kompayak Porpramook (44-3) faces Filipino Jonathan Taconing (13-1-1) in his first bout outside Manila… The final episode of Mayweather/Cotto 24/7 will air on HBO on Friday night.