FERNANDO GUERRERO vs. DERRICK FINDLEY
Rounds / weight class: 10 rounds / middleweights
Location: Salisbury, Md.
The backdrop: Guerrero (20-0, 16 knockouts) is a talented former amateur standout but he doesn‘t always look like a blue-chip prospect. The 24-year-old native of the Dominican Republic struggled to outpoint Gabriel Rosado, Ossie Duran and Ishe Smith. However, the aggressive southpaw boxer-puncher is already a hot ticket seller in his adopted hometown of Salisbury, Md., and his all-action style could make him a bona-fide attraction one day. Findley (17-4, 11 KOs), a 26-year-old journeyman based in Gary, Ind., is the kind of opponent against which Guerrero normally shines against, but the Chicago native should provide the hometown hero some quality rounds. On the undercard, welterweight prospect Shawn Porter (17-0, 13 KOs) takes on former lightweight contender Anges Adjaho (25-4, 14 KOs), who has lost his last three bouts but remains a capable boxer even at the heavier weight. And undefeated super middleweights Dominic Wade (10-0, 8 KOs) and Grover Young (4-0, 2 KOs) meet in a scheduled four-round bout.
Also fighting: Shawn Porter vs. Anges Adjaho, 10 rounds, welterweights
Rating the card: B. Although Guerrero, Porter and Wade should win their bouts, each prospect is in with fairly decent opposition. Plus, this is a historic Friday Night Fights show as the broadcast marks the first time a boxing event has been televised in 3D in the U.S. (Available to 3D-ready televisions only, of course.)
MERCITO GESTA vs. GENARO TRAZANCOS
Rounds / weight class: 10 rounds / lightweights
Location: San Francisco
The backdrop: Gesta (20-0-1, 10 KOs) emerged as a prospect to watch in 2010 by winning four bouts by KO, including an impressive fourth-round stoppage of lightweight fringe contender Oscar Meza. The 23-year-old San Diego-based Filipino’s aggressive southpaw style reminds some of a young Manny Pacquiao. Unfortunately, this Solo Boxeo main event won’t be much of a showcase for Gesta as his opponent, Trazancos (22-13-1, 13 KOs), was one of his KO victims from last year. On the undercard, Eloy Perez (19-0-2, 5 KOs), a crafty 130-pound prospect from Salinas, Calif., tries to rebound from an uneventful 10-round majority decision over Dominic Salicido last October when he faces seasoned vet Roger Gonzalez (27-3, 18 KOs), who was last seen taking Yuriorkis Gamboa into the 10th round of a somewhat competitive fight in January of 2009.
Also fighting: Eloy Perez vs. Roger Gonzalez, 8 rounds, junior lightweights
Rating the card: C+. Trazancos put up a good fight against Gesta before being stopped in the seventh round last August, but at age 36 and having lost eight of his last nine fights (seven by knockout), the Mexican journeyman doesn’t figure to improve on his last performance against the talented Filipino. The co-featured bout should be a brisk match between skilled boxers but Gonzalez’s inactivity gives Perez a decided edge.
Also on Friday:
Former WBO welterweight titleholder Carlos Quintana (27-3, 21 KOs) takes on Ishmael Tetteh (21-6-2, 10 KOs) in a scheduled 10-round junior middleweight bout in Ponce, Puerto Rico.
Jan Zaveck (30-1, 17 KOs), THE RING’s No. 7-rated welterweight, defends his IBF title against Paul Delgado (25-9-1, 4 KOs) in a scheduled 12-round bout in Ljubljana, Slovenia.
FERNANDO MONTIEL vs. NONITO DONAIRE
Rounds / weight class: 12 rounds / bantamweights
Location: Las Vegas
The backdrop: Montiel (44-2-2, 34 KO) assumed THE RING’s No. 1 bantamweight ranking by knocking out Hozumi Hasegawa in the excellent titleholder’s native Japan last April. The 31-year-old dual beltholder from Los Mochis, Mexico, has exhibited devastating form in two subsequent bouts. Donaire (25-1, 17 KOs), a 28-year-old San Francisco-based Filipino who first turned heads by knocking out then-undefeated Vic Darchinyan in 2007, looked equally devastating (if not more so) brutally dismantling former titleholder Wladimir Sidorenko over four rounds last December. The winner of their showdown will not only be considered the sport’s best 118 pounder by many fans but will likely emerge as a star in his boxing-proud country. On the undercard, welterweight prospect Mike Jones (23-0, 18 KOs), of Philadelphia, takes on hardnosed slugger Jesus Soto-Karass (24-5-3, 16 KOs) of Los Mochis, Mexico in a rematch of their controversial 10 rounder won by the athletic Philly native last November.
Also fighting: Mike Jones vs. Jesus Soto-Karas, 10 rounds, welterweights
Rating the card: A. This Boxing After Dark is as good as it gets. The opening bout is a rematch of an entertaining fight that could be better the second time around as both Jones and Soto-Karass are better prepared for each other this time around. The main event is an elite-level showdown between dynamic, ultra-talented boxer-punchers. The winner of Montiel-Donaire should be in everyone’s pound-for-pound Top Five.
Also fighting on Saturday:
Felix Sturm (34-2-1, 14 KOs), THE RING’s No. 1-rated middleweight, defends his WBA title against Ronald Hearns (26-1-1, 21 KOs), the son of boxing legend Thomas Hearns, in a scheduled 12-round bout in Stuttgart, Germany.
Five-time title challenger Rocky Juarez (28-7-1, 20 KOs) will try to snap a four-bout non-winning streak against once-beaten Alejandro Sanabria (26-1-1, 21 KOs) in a scheduled 12-round junior lightweight bout in Rosarito, Mexico.
Photo of Fernando Montiel by Chris Farina-Top Rank. Photo of Nonito Donaire by Naoki Fukuda.