In the first half of this article the fact that Top Rank and Golden Boy Promotions have slowly but surely began working together again after the demise of Richard Schaeffer was discussed. Despite of that, the two entities have competing fight cards this upcoming Saturday night on the two networks each are aligned to. Top Rank is presenting former two-divisional champion Timothy Bradley against Diego Chaves at the Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas while a few blocks down the street in the city of sin Golden Boy has Amir Khan facing Devon Alexander in a clash of former champs. Here we will discuss the rest of the cards.
The Showtime is stacked since it’s featured as a quadruple header. First up will be the return of former three-divisional title holder Abner Mares when he faces Jose “Negro” Ramirez. Last time we saw Mares, back in July with a unanimous decision over Jonathan Oquendo, he had Virgil Hunter in his corner and he had just signed with Al Haymon. Since then he has gone back with trainer Clemente Medina and is looking for a big 2015. First he must get past Ramirez who was the fodder for Lomachenko’s pro debut.
In what looks like a showcase fight, undefeated Jermall Charlo will face thirty-seven year old Italian Lenny Bottai in an IBF light middleweight eliminator. The winner will face Cornelius Bundrage. After an eight month hiatus, interim WBA welterweight champ Keith Thurman will face the also undefeated Leonardo Bundu. Bundu looks like a good opponent defeating the respectable Lee Purdy and Frankie Gavin in the UK in his last two fights.
At the Cosmopolitan we almost have as many fights with a triple header. Along with Bradley vs Chavez, we have a long awaited WBO title fight for the vacant middleweight strap. Battling it out for it will be undefeated Matt Korobov against Andy Lee of Ireland. This is a good competitive scrap. Korobov is stong and technical while Lee has the experience. In his last fight last June, Lee was sent down to the canvas in the first and was being soundly defeated until the fifth when landed the perfect punch against John Jackson in the fifth to electrify the crowd at the Madison Square Garden. Along with the title fight will have what should be an exciting face-off between up and coming prospect Jose Benavides of Phoenix, AZ, against veteran Mauricio Herrera. A win here for Benavides and it raises him towards title contender status next year. If Herrera comes out victorious, it proves that he is more than a gatekeeper and should expect something significant in 2015.
It is wise to point out that Herrera, a Golden Boy fighter, will be performing on a Top Rank card. The premise of the article is that despite all that we have said of things remaining the same with the two competing cards, it seems as if they are heading towards a more competitive future. This fight between Benavides and Herrera proves it.