Sherdog’s Weekend Boxing Preview

By James Kinneen Sep 14, 2018


What: Jose Ramirez vs. Antonio Orozco, Junior Welterweights

When: September 14
How to Watch: ESPN 10PM ET
Why You Should Care: Because Friday night’s main event is an intriguing matchup, and a free appetizer to Saturday’s expensive main course.

While Saturday’s HBO card is undoubtedly one of the biggest cards of the year in boxing, on Friday ESPN will be showing a very good main event between two undefeated junior welterweights that won’t cost you $89.95 to watch.

Now training with Robert Garcia after abandoning former trainer Freddie Roach, California’s Jose Ramirez is a 2012 US Olympian, and the WBC light welterweight champion of the world. He is 22-0 with 16 knockouts and is ranked by ESPN as the second best 140 lb fighter in the world, behind only New Orleans’ Regis Prograis. Mexico’s Antonio Orozco is 27-0 with 17 knockouts and is ranked by ESPN as fourth in the weight class.

Ramirez will have the hometown advantage, as the fight will take place in Fresno California, but Orozco will be the larger man. While this has caused him problems in the past (he’s had fights cancelled because for bad weight cuts before) all signs are that he is in great shape for this fight, and that the fight will be a high class, exciting affair.

What: Roman "Chocolatito" Gonzalez vs. Moises Fuentes, Junior Bantamweights

When: September 15
How to Watch: HBO PPV or Ringtv.com 8PM ET
Why You Should Care: Because “Chocalatito” is a first ballot hall of famer, and far from the shot fighter people think he is.

The boxing world seems to have forgotten about “Chocalatito.” The Nicaraguan super flyweight, who will have a place ready at the International Boxing Hall of Fame whenever he chooses to hang up his gloves for good, has won 46 fights and lost only two over the course of his impressive career. Both of those losses were to Sor Rungvisai, and though the most recent loss was a brutal fourth round knockout, his first loss to the Thai champion was a controversial decision that caused Dan Rafael to tweet “I strongly disagree. STRONGLY!”

To recap, Gonzalez is a four-weight class world titlist who has only lost to one guy, the increasingly impressive Sor Rungvisai, once by knockout and once by a decision he probably should have won. And yet, many people think he’s washed up. Part of this is political, Gonzalez has reportedly taken part in pro-Nicaraguan government rallies on behalf of the increasingly unpopular president Daniel Ortega; a stance which has caused many Nicaraguans to turn on him.

The other issue is time. During last weekends “Superfly 3” card on HBO, we saw a variety of exciting fighters in the same weight class that Gonzalez used to dominate. Gonzalez has not fought since last September, mainly because of Visa issues, and the old saying about being out of sight and being out of mind rings especially true when applied to a sport desperate to create new stars.

Gonzalez should destroy Fuentes. He is the better fighter, as Fuentes has lost four times to Donnie Nietes and a couple of no-name fighters. While a pressing style like his tends to age poorly void of one punch knockout power, Gonzalez should be able to walk down and ultimately stop the man from Mexico City. And in doing so, remind the world that he’s still a force to be reckoned with.

What: David Lemieux vs. Gary "Spike" O'Sullivan, Middleweights

When: September 15
How to Watch: HBO PPV or Ringtv.com 8PM ET
Why You Should Care: Because neither guy is a slick enough boxer to make this fight anything but fun.

Both David Lemieux and Gary “Spike” O’Sullivan can be outboxed. We saw Lemieux get absolutely embarrassed by Billy Joe Saunders, and completely unable to counter the incessant jabs of Gennady Golovkin, while O’Sullivan was also outclassed by Saunders and stopped by Chris Eubank Jr. who left him with a perforated eardrum. This was a large part of why fans were so unenthused by the prospect of O’Sullivan fighting Canelo; they knew he would eat counters until the final bell rang or his corner opted to stop the fight. It’s also why fans aren’t exactly pumped that the winner of this fight will reportedly become the mandatory challenger for the GGG-Canelo winner.

But fans are excited about seeing O’Sullivan fight David Lemieux, because they know neither of these fighters are slick enough to keep this one from being anything but a fun brawl. David Lemeiux, who was actually featured as a child in a boxing tutorial DVD that’s still on Youtube, has knockouts in 33 of his 39 victories, while O’Sullivan has knockouts in 20 of his 28 victories.

The fighters have also been very vocal about their mutual dislike, with Lemieux going so far as to say O’Sullivan “looks like he beats women,” a reference to O’Sullivan’s 2010 charge that he punched his ex-girlfriend outside of her home.

While both men are incredibly hard to stop but not the hardest to hit, the bad blood and high knockout percentages mean this fight should be a fun one, while it lasts.

What: Jaime Munguia vs. Brandon Cook, Junior Middleweights

When: September 15 How to Watch: HBO PPV or Ringtv.com 8PM ET Why You Should Care: To see what “yeah but..” the Munguia doubters come up with after the fight.

At 21 years old, WBO light middleweight champion Jaime Munguia keeps winning, keeps knocking out opponents, and keeps getting disrespected. Munguia first became known to boxing fans when he was rejected as a replacement opponent for “GGG” after “Canelo” tested positive for Clebuterol. Then, using that as motivation he went on HBO and destroyed Saddam Ali, only for critics to quickly point out how small Ali was for the 154 lb division. So, looking to silence those doubters Munguia went out and fought a legitimate 154 lb fighter, Liverpool England’s Liam Smith. Once again, despite beating Smith by unanimous decision, critics were quick to point out that Munguia got hit an awful lot in that fight, and if he was to face a heavier puncher he would have been in trouble.

So, Munguia has vowed to show an improved defense, better concentration and a clear fix of his previous mistakes in this fight. But, none of that will likely matter. Brandon Cook is 20-1 with 13 knockouts, but only fought outside of Canada once, a trip to Kazakhstan where he was stopped by Kanat Islam in the ninth round. Cook is a borderline world class duathlete, so his stamina won’t be an issue but it’s hard to see Munguia being unable to walk him down and ultimately stop him in a fight designed to build Munguia’s name recognition on Mexican Independence Day weekend. And, it’s hard to see critics saying anything about the performance other than “yeah Munguia looked great, but…”

What: Gennady Golovkin vs. Saul “Canelo” Alvarez, Middleweights

When: September 15
How to Watch: HBO PPV or Ringtv.com 8PM ET
Why You Should Care: Seriously?

I mean, seriously? You need me to give you a reason to watch a fight between two potentially great middleweights, in a rematch that has all the makings of a classic?

How about because with a win, “GGG” would beat Bernard Hopkins’ record of 20 consecutive middleweight title defenses? How about because “GGG” has accused “Canelo” of being a knowing drug cheat, while “Canelo” and his team have criticized “GGG” for being a one-dimensional fighter prone to getting hit? How about because both guys have tasted each other’s power and come away unimpressed, meaning both will be less hesitant to let their hands go, and more willing to look for a knockout if they hurt their opponent?

How about because “GGG” has subtly attacked Canelo’s Mexican heritage, forcing “Canelo” to show the Kazakh that his Abel Sanchez developed style isn’t a “Mexican Style,” it’s just bad defense” How about because in the court of public opinion, a “GGG” victory proves he is an all time great, while a loss means he was another hard-punching Eastern European who feasted on cans but was prone to getting outboxed by slick boxers like Canelo and Danny Jacobs?

How about because a Canelo loss “proves” he was a PED abusing, weight class inventing fraud that was never as good as Golden Boy wanted you to think he was, while a “Canelo” victory proves he is an all-time great who might have beaten Mayweather if he wasn’t so young and inexperienced?

Or how about because you’re a fan of boxing and this is going to be a great fight?

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