Doug Fischer

Weekend Preivew: top jr. welterweights and bantamweights in action

THURSDAY

TOMAZ ADAMEK vs. VINNY MADDALONE
Rounds / weight class: 12 rounds / heavyweights
Location: Newark, N.J.
Television: Integrated Sports PPV
The backdrop: Adamek (42-1, 27 knockouts), THE RING’s No. 4-rated heavyweight, stays busy with this fun matchup against New York-area club brawler Maddalone (33-6, 24 KOs), who won’t be able to compete with the popular Polish veteran but promises to make it a fight while it lasts.
Also fighting: Sadam Ali vs. Manuel Guzman, eight rounds, welterweights
Rating the card: C+. The main event carries no significance in the heavyweight division but the fight will deliver action and it’s nice to see a world-class boxer fight more than twice a year. Maddalone is Adamek’s fourth fight of 2010. Ali (10-0, 6 KOs) is the arguably the most talented prospect from the New York City area and worth keeping an eye on.

FRIDAY

MIKE PEREZ vs. JOSE HERNANDEZ
Rounds / weight class: eight rounds / lightweights
Location: Aguas Buenas, Puerto Rico
Television: Telefutura
The backdrop: Perez (10-0-1, 5 KOs), a 20-year-old unbeaten prospect from New Jersey, might receive the sternest test of his 2-year career from Hernandez (10-3, 4 KOs), a 23-year-old Texan who was a hot prospect himself until he suffered back-to-back losses to Sharif Bogere and Oscar Meza earlier this year.
Also fighting: Luis Cruz vs. Wilfredo Acuna, eight rounds, junior lightweights
Rating the card: B-. Perez and Hernandez promises to be a competitive boxer-pressure fighter matchup. Cruz (16-0, 13 KOs), a native of Las Piedras, Puerto Rico, is towering boxer-puncher who will likely crash the 130-pound ratings next year. He’s one to watch.

ANTONIO PITALUA vs. ED PAREDES
Rounds / weight class: 12 rounds / welterweights
Location: Kissimmee, Fla.
Television: Telemundo
The backdrop: Pitalua (50-4, 44 KOs) has lost one fight in his last 19 bouts — a two-round stoppage the late Edwin Valero last April — the other 18 bouts were won by knockout. The hard-punching Mexico-based Colombian veteran looks to be in with solid opposition with Paredes (25-3-1, 16 KOs), a 25-year-old fringe contender who is 14-1-1 in his last 16 bouts which includes a recent draw and victory over unbeaten prospect Joey Hernandez.
Also fighting: Darley Perez vs. Ramesis Gil, 8 rounds, lightweights
Rating the card: B-. Despite his advanced age (40), Pitalua is a reliable action fighter whether he’s fighting at lightweight, junior welterweight or welterweight. The co-feature between Perez (17-0, 14 KOs) and Gil (6-0-4, 5 KOs) looks like a fun scrap between hard-punching unbeaten prospects.

Also Friday: Former 140-pound beltholder Randall Bailey takes on rugged Said Ouali in a scheduled 12-round elimination bout for a welterweight belt in Antwerpen, Belgium.

SATURDAY

AMIR KHAN vs. MARCOS MAIDANA
Rounds / weight class: 12 rounds / junior welterweights
Location: Las Vegas
Television: HBO
The backdrop: Khan (23-1, 17 KOs), THE RING‘s No. 2-rated junior welterweight, and Maidana (29-1, 27 KOs), the magazine‘s No. 4-rated 140 pounder, meet in a fascinating pure boxer vs. pure puncher matchup. Khan, a UK star who wants to make his name in the U.S., has decided edges in height, reach, speed and technique, but the hard-chagrining Argentine can take a better punch and possesses the power to end the end the fight at any given moment.
Also fighting: Victor Ortiz vs. Lamont Peterson, 10 rounds, junior welterweights
Rating the card: A-. Khan-Maidana will decide the No. 1 contender to the winner of the up-coming Tim Bradley-Devon Alexander fight, which will crown THE RING’s junior welterweight champ. The co-featured bout of the World Championship Broadcast will determine if Ortiz (28-2-1, 22 KOs), who was stopped by Maidana last June, or Peterson (28-1, 14 KOs), who was out-pointed by Bradley last December, are ready to advance to elite contender status in the deep 140-pound division.

YONNHY PEREZ vs. JOSEPH AGBEKO
Rounds / weight class: 12 rounds / bantamweights
Location: Tacoma, Wash.
Television: Showtime
The backdrop: Perez (20-0-1, 14 KOs), a sturdy volume-punching technician from Colombia, and Aggreko (27-2, 22 KOs), an athletic boxer-puncher from Ghana, engaged in a Fight-of-the-Year candidate last October when Perez outworked Agbeko over 12 face-paced rounds to take the game African’s title via unanimous decision. There’s no reason to assume the hungry top-five contenders won’t battle to another Fight-of-the-Year candidate in their rematch headliner to this Championship Boxing broadcast.
Also fighting: Vic Darchinyan vs. Abner Mares, 12 rounds, bantamweights
Rating the card: A-. The main event features THE RING’s Nos. 3 (Perez) and 5 (Agbeko) bantamweights. The co-feature pit’s the RING’s No. 1-rated junior bantamweight, Darchinyan (35-2-1, 27 KOs), against the magazine’s No. 4-rated bantamweight, Mares (20-0-1, 13 KOs). Darchinyan brings experience, punching power and a bizarrely awkward style to the ring. Mares brings youth, technique, versatility and heart to the table. Both fights are sure to deliver drama.

Also Saturday:

Juan Alberto Rosas defends a 115-pound title against former junior bantamweight beltholder Cristian Mijares and bantamweight titleholder Fernando Montiel, who is already scheduled to face Nonito Doanire on Feb. 19, engages in a 10-round non-title fight with Jovanny Sioto in the co-featured bouts of a Fox Deportes-televised card in Torreon, Mexico.

British light heavyweight standout Nathan Cleverly takes on Alejandro Lakatos in a scheduled 12-ropund bout for vacant interim 175-pound title and middleweight contender Matthew Macklin defends his European title against Ruben Varon in co-featured bouts in Liverpool, England.

Former super middleweight titleholder Jeff Lacy fights Dhafir Smith in a scheduled 12-round bout in his native St. Petersburg, Fla.

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