Michael Koncz on Floyd Mayweather-Manny Pacquiao: "If the fans still want to see this fight, we're willing to do it."
Weekend Preview: Donaire leads weekend of heavy hitters
Many young boxer-punchers are in action this weekend, the most notable among them THE RING's No. 1-rated bantamweight Nonito Donaire, who defends his WBC/WBO titles against Omar Narvarez on Saturday.
EDWIN RODRIGUEZ vs. WILL ROSINSKY
Rounds / weight class: 10 rounds, super middleweights
Location: Mashantucket, Conn.
The backdrop: This intriguing ShoBox: The New Generation main event matches two formidable 26-year-old prospects, both of whom were decorated amateurs and currently undefeated in the pro ranks. Rodriguez (19-0, 14 knockouts), of Worcester, Mass., by way of the Dominican Republic, is the more tested of the two, having defeated fellow 168-pound standouts James McGirt Jr. (TKO 9) and Aaron Pryor Jr. (UD 10) in the past year. However, Rosinsky (14-0, 8 KOs), of the Ozone Park section of Queens, N.Y., is used to fighting at light heavyweight, where he enjoyed his amateur success and has fought all but one of his pro bouts, an eight-round decision over undefeated super middleweight Yasin Rashid last November. The naturally heavier man may be the bigger puncher. Seven of Rosinsky’s eight knockouts occurred in the first round. On the undercard, the co-featured bout of the Showtime broadcast matches two mature New York City-based Puerto Rican boxers. Gabriel Bracero (17-0, 3 KOs) looks to keep his unblemished record intact against Daniel Sostre (11-4-1, 4 KOs), who has gone 9-1-1 in his last 11 bouts (with the loss coming to undefeated prospect Ray Serrano).
Also fighting: Gabriel Bracero vs. Daniel Sostre, 10 rounds, junior welterweights
Rating the card: B+. This is card is solid -- even by the high standards of ShoBox. Both Rodriguez and Rosinsky are aggressive, physically strong, forward-marching boxer-punchers who should make for an entertaining main event.
Prediction: Rodriguez out-works Rosinsky to win a close decision in a good fight.
FIDEL MALDONADO vs. ERIC CRUZ
Rounds / weight class: Eight rounds, lightweights
Location: Pharr, Texas
The backdrop: The first step-up bout for Maldonado (11-0, 10 KOs) should make for an entertaining Solo Boxeo Tecate main event. The 20-year-old power-punching southpaw takes on a fellow heavy hitter in Cruz (12-7-3, 12 KOs), a 24-year-old native of Puerto Rico who has won all of his bouts by stoppage. Maldonado, an exciting former amateur standout from Albuquerque, N.M., appears to have the career momentum and the edge in power (six of his 10 knockouts have come in the first round), but Cruz has been a pro twice as long, has twice as many fights and has been in with the far better opposition. The Toa Baja native has gone 5-1 in his last six bouts after dropping four consecutive decisions to David Rodela (via split nod) and three undefeated prospects. Cruz’s last loss was a competitive eight-round decision to unbeaten prospect Omar Figueroa in June. However, he bounced back with a seventh-round TKO of Guillermo Sanchez, which earned him the WBC’s “Youth” title.
Also fighting: Jorge Suarez vs. J.D. Charles, six rounds, welterweights
Rating the card: B. Maldonado is a flashy, flamboyantly macho left-handed banger who will likely be tested by Cruz, who not only possess heavy hands, but a solid chin and good technique.
Prediction: Maldonado survives an early scare to out-point Cruz in a fight that heats up over the second half.
Flyweight champ Pongsaklek Wonjongkam defends his RING and WBC titles against former titleholder Edgar Sosa, THE RING’s No. 7-rated flyweight, in Bangkok, Thailand.
NONITO DONARIE vs. OMAR NARVAEZ
Rounds / weight class: 12 rounds, bantamweights
Location: New York City
The backdrop: Narvaez (35-0-2, 19 KOs) is THE RING’s No. 1-rated junior bantamweight. The savvy southpaw was a decorated amateur who won two Pan-Am gold medals and represented Argentina in two Olympic Games. As a pro, he won and defended the WBO flyweight title 16 times, defeating future beltholders Carlos Tamara, Brahim Asloum and Luis Lazarte en route to setting a division record. And yet, the 36-year-old veteran is not only a huge underdog to Donaire (26-1, 18 KOs), he isn’t even expected to last half the fight. That’s how spectacular the 28-year-old former flyweight titleholder looked in his first two bantamweight bouts. The Filipino switch-hitter bludgeoned sturdy veteran Wladimir Sidorenko to a fourth-round KO last December and then nearly decapitated respected three-division titleholder Fernando Montiel en route to a second-round TKO that earned him the WBO and WBC titles in February. Donaire, THE RING’s No. 1 bantamweight, is also No. 4 in the magazine’s pound-for-pound rankings. Many fans view him as the Heir Apparent to P4P King and countryman Manny Pacquiao. If this is true, he’ll live up to his lofty expectations on Saturday. On the undercard, “Mikey” Garcia (26-0, 22 KOs) has recently made the transition from touted prospect to bona-fide contender. He faces durable and capable journeyman Juan Carlos Martinez (19-7-1, 7 KOs), who is coming off an eight-round decision victory over former title challenger Bernabe Concepcion, in a stay busy fight as he positions himself for a title shot some time during the first half of next year.
Also fighting: Miguel Angel Garcia vs. Juan Carlos Martinez, 10 rounds, featherweights
Rating the card: B+. Donaire-Narvaez matches the best bantamweight against the best junior bantamweight but it will likely be a blowout for the younger, bigger, faster, dynamic puncher. Still, Donaire is an entertaining ultra-talent who is worth watching even when he’s dominating his opposition.
Prediction: Donaire scores a one-sided mid-rounds TKO.
RAYMOND SERRANO vs. ANGEL RIOS
Rounds / weight class: 10 rounds, junior welterweights
Location: Atlantic City
Television: Azteca America
The backdrop: Serrano (16-0, 8 KOs), a versatile young prospect from Philadelphia, continues to develop into a future 140-pound contender with his first scheduled 10-round bout against tough-but-faded Rios (9-7, 6 KOs). Serrano, who is only 22, has proven to be superior to capable, more-experienced pros, such as Jay Kupp, Ronnie Warrior, Ayi Bruce, and Daniel Sostre, over the six- and eight-round distance, but Rios has degree of ring savvy the young fighter has yet to deal with. However, it must be noted that Rios was at his best at junior lightweight, the weight he lost decisions to former titleholders Nate Campbell and Mike Anchondo. And while Rios has never been stopped, he hasn’t won a fight in 10 years. The 31-year -old veteran is 0-3 this year since coming off an eight-year layoff. On the undercard, popular New York heavyweight slugger Vinny Madalone (33-7 24 KOs) looks to rebound from his fifth-round TKO loss to Tomasz Adamek against West Virginia journeyman Mike Sheppard (20-12-1, 9 KOs).
Also fighting: Vinny Maddalone vs. Mike Sheppard, 10 rounds, heavyweights
Rating the card: C. Serrano will probably have his way with Rios, but he’s very solid prospect worth keeping an eye on. Maddalone is still raw and wild after all these years but he’s always fun to watch.
Prediction: Serrano scores a one-sided unanimous decision.
Mario Rodriguez takes on fellow junior flyweight prospect Karl Diaz in a scheduled 12-round bout in Guasave, Mexico (available in the U.S. on AT&T U-Verse and online at www.att.net/boxeo)
Marco Huck, THE RING’s NO. 1-rated crusierweight, defends his WBO title against Rogelio Omar Rossi in Ludwigsburg, Germany.
Alberto Mosquera faces Brunet Zamora in a scheduled 12-round junior welterweight bout for vacant WBA “interim” in Panama City.
Jason Booth defends his British junior featherweight title against Scott Quigg in Bolton, England.