The next big fight on the horizon after Martinez-Cotto a couple of weeks from now is a catch weight tilt, 155 pounds, between Mexican mega-star Saul “Canelo” Alvarez and WBA junior middleweight champion Erislandy “American Dream” Lara. The twelve-round special attraction is set for Saturday, July 12th, from the city of sin, Las Vegas. Presented by Golden Boy Promotions, the sure to be hot night in the desert will mark the second event this year the twenty-three-year-old Alvarez headlines on Pay-Per-View. The first was this past March when he stopped slow and lackadaisical Alfredo “Perro” Angulo in ten rounds.
Although the main event guarantees to be a scorcher because of the no love lost between the two participants, the televised under card that was just announced this past week leaves a lot to be desired.
First up is the return of three-divisional world champion Abner Mares. Mares, of California by way of Mexico, has not seen action since August of last year when he suffered his first loss as a professional. With a devastating left hook in the first round, Jhonny Gonzalez not only handed Mares the loss but also took the WBC featherweight title from the waist of his fallen opponent. After a very public back and forth earlier this year regarding a proposed rematch which Gonzalez was more than willing to give, Mares decided not to challenge for his old title and now has also announced he has left long-time trainer Clemente Medina and has hired Virgil Hunter as his lead trainer. Mares will be facing Puerto Rican Jonathan Oquendo in a featherweight ten rounder.
Oquendo is on a two-fight win streak. Two of his three losses have come to world-class level opponents in Wilfredo “WV2” Vazquez Jr and Juan Manuel “JuanMa” Lopez. His first loss was to journeymen Oscar “Pajarito” Andrade. There is no doubt that this fight is keep busy one for Mares as he acclimates himself to his new trainer and waits to see what step to take next in the division.
Also on the card will be a title tilt between the aforementioned “JuanMa” Lopez and Mexican Francisco Vargas in yet another chapter in the Mexico vs. Puerto Rican saga. The twelve-round bout is for the WBO International super featherweight title. Lopez has found himself on a small upswing in his career after impressively knocking out Daniel Ponce de Leon in the second round in March. Lopez captured the vacant title with the win. Vargas, managed by Joel De La Hoya, is undefeated in 20 fights with one draw and thirteen inside the distance. Vargas has gone up steadily in opposition beating Jerry Belmontes and Abner Cotto in his last two fights. A win over Lopez, a former world champion, would put him on the map and on his way towards his own shot at a world title.
Rounding out the card is an interesting match-up between Johan Perez of Venezuela and Mauricio Herrera. Herrera is coming off a controversial loss in his challenge for the unified light welterweight title against Danny Garcia. A slot here on PPV is probably Golden Boy’s version of a consolation prize. Perez’s claim to fame is nothing more than handing out boxing bad boy Paul Spadafora his only loss.
For years Golden Boy Promotions as well as many in the media have complained of Top Rank’s tradition of offering weak PPV fights in support of a very strong main event. Here we see Golden Boy doing just that.
The more we claim to change, the more we stay the same.