Middleweight beltholder Peter Quillin could soon defend his WBO title against promotional stablemate Danny Jacobs.
Weekend Preview: Foreman-Cotto at Yankee Stadium is the big event
The Yuri Foreman-Miguel Cotto fight on Saturday night at Yankee Stadium on HBO is the big event. FRIDAY
YUDEL JHONSON vs. JULIANO RAMOS
Rounds / weight class: 10 rounds / junior middleweights
Location: Miami, Fla.
The backdrop: Jhonson (6-0, 4 KOs) is another recent defector from Cuba with considerable talent. The southpaw, who lives in Miami, won a silver medal in the 2004 Olympics but didn’t make the Cuban team in 2008. He escaped Cuba with Yordanis Despaigne and Guillermon Rigondeaux last year. At 28, Jhonson will be looking for a title shot sooner rather than later. Ramos (16-3, 13 KOs) is a capable Brazilian with considerable power but was stopped by Mike Jones and Kermit Cintron in his only meetings with elite opponents.
Also fighting: Kenny Galarza vs. Brad Soloman, 10 rounds, welterweights
Rating the card: C+. We’ll see where Jhonson stands in comparison to Jones and Cintron.
MERCITO GESTA vs. OSCAR MEZA
Rounds / weight class: 12 rounds / junior welterweights
Location: Tampa, Fla.
The backdrop: Gesta, a 22-year-old Filipino southpaw who has relocated to San Diego, takes a step up in competition against the hard-punching Mexican. Gesta (17-0-1, 7 KOs) isn’t a big puncher but is a very good boxer. Meza (19-3, 17 KOs) had won 12 straight – 11 by KO -- against journeyman opponents before he was stopped in five rounds by contender Brandon Rios last year.
Also fighting: Edner Cherry vs. Ira Terry, 10 rounds, junior lightweights
Rating the card: C. Gesta’s chin could be tested. Otherwise, he should outbox a solid, but limited foe.
LUIS CRUZ vs. ERIC ESTRADA
Rounds / weight class: 10 rounds / featherweights
Location: Juncos, Puerto Rico
The backdrop: Cruz (13-0, 10 KOs) is a capable prospect from Puerto Rico who is trained by Evangelista Cotto, Miguel Cotto’s uncle and former trainer. Estrada (8-0, 3 KOs) has had some success but is stepping up in class. The Chicago resident took the fight on short notice.
Also fighting: Jayson Velez vs. Shawn Nichol, junior featherweights, six rounds
Rating the card: C-. Cruz is an interesting prospect but Estrada might not provide much resistance.
YURI FOREMAN vs. MIGUEL COTTO
Rounds / weight class: 12 rounds / junior middleweights
Location: Yankee Stadium, New York, N.Y.
The backdrop: Foreman (28-0, 8 KOs) is the titleholder but this is a considerable step up for him. The slick-boxing Israeli easily outpointed former Puerto Rican Olympic bronze medalist Daniel Santos to win his 154-pound title. He’ll gain considerable respect if he can beat an opponent of Cotto’s stature. Cotto (34-2, 27 KOs) is at a crossroads. The three-time titleholder is 2-2 in his last four fights, including a one-sided beating against Manny Pacquiao that ended in a 12th-round TKO. He must prove against a good boxer that he remains among the elite fighters. And he’ll have to do it against a naturally bigger man. Cotto is fighting at 154 for the first time. A key selling point is the venue: This will be the first boxing card at the new Yankee Stadium.
Also fighting: Vanes Martirosyan vs. Joe Greene, 10 rounds, junior middleweights; Pawel Wolak vs. James Moore, 10 rounds, junior middleweights
Rating the card: B+. The main event could turn out to be less-than-thrilling because Foreman doesn’t take too many risks. However, this is an important fight and the venue adds considerable luster. Martirosyan, a former U.S. Olympian, also is in a significant fight against Joe Greene.
Also: Saturday -- Sebastian Sylvester defends his middleweight title against Roman Karmazin in Neubrandenburg, Germany. Steve Cunningham fights Troy Ross for a vacant cruiserweight title on that card.