CHRIS ARREOLA vs. KENDRICK RELEFORD
Rounds / weight class: 10 rounds, heavyweights
Location: Reno, Nev.
The backdrop: Arreola (31-2, 27 KOs) is definitely taking this fighting thing seriously. The all-action heavyweight contender from Southern California will be fighting for the second time in 13 days, a rarity among established fighters these days. He trimmed down to 234 pounds for his fight against Nagy Aguilera on May 14, which ended when referee Raul Caiz stopped the fight in the third-round with Aguilera taking a beating against the ropes. Releford, a journeyman, probably won’t provide much more resistance on Friday. Arreola says he’s now committed to training properly and hopes to get another opportunity to fight for a major title. Releford (22-14-2, 10 KOs) is from Fort Worth, Texas. Plus, heavyweight Tony Thompson has a little something left. He has four straight KOs after he was stopped in 11 by Wladimir Klitschko in 2008. And junior middleweight Javier Molina is a prospect to watch. Junior welterweights Josesito Lopez and Steve Chambers were supposed to fight in the main event but Lopez pulled out because of an injured hand.
Also fighting: Tony Thompson vs. Maurice Harris, 12 rounds, heavyweights; Javier Molina vs. David Lopez, 4 or 6 rounds, junior middleweights
Rating the card: B+. And card involving Arreola should get a high grade. He is the most-exciting heavyweight in the world.
Prediction: Early knockout.
CARLOS MOLINA vs. ANGEL CHACON
Rounds / weight class: 8 rounds, junior welterweights
Location: Pico Rivera, Calif.
The backdrop: The Molina family will be busy on Friday. Javier Molina, the twin brother of amateur Oscar Molina, is fighting on the Arreola-Releford undercard in Reno. Carlos Molina, the twins' older brother, will clock in for work in the Los Angeles area on the same night. Carlos Molina (14-0, 7 KOs) isn’t as gifted as his younger siblings – both Olympians — but has a good amateur pedigree, solid boxing skills and is very tough. He is off to a nice start in his career mostly against other young fighters. He also isn’t afraid to mix it up, which makes him fun to watch. Chacon (30-9-2, 15 KOs) is a former contender – who lost title fights to Antonio Cermeno and Erik Morales in 1997 and 1999, respectively – but he has seen better days. The 38-year-old former Olympian from Puerto Rico has lost his last four fights and five of six, although all were decisions. Only Morales was able to stop Chacon.
Also fighting: Luis Ramos vs. TBA, 8 rounds, lightweights
Rating the card: C+. Molina and Ramos are both solid prospects who give the fans their money’s worth. Chacon was once a very good fighter. Does he have anything left?
Prediction: Chacon probably still has guile, if little else. It will be interesting to see whether he can cause problems for Molina. The guess here is that the Puerto Rican is too far gone. Molina, a good boxer, will outwork his elder and win a one-sided decision.
Also Friday: Lukas Konecny of the Czech Republic defends his European junior middleweight title against Hussein Bayram of France in Usti nad Labem, Czech Republic.
OMAR CHAVEZ vs. GENARO TRAZANCOS
Rounds / weight class: 10 rounds, junior middleweights
Location: Mexicali, Mexico
Television: Fox Deportes
The backdrop: The youngest son of Julio Cesar Chavez will be fighting in his first scheduled 10-round fight in what is reported to be his first main event. This is his first outing in 2011 after fighting six times last year. Some believe Chavez (25-0-1, 18 KOs) is more talented than older brother Julio but time will tell. Little brother, who is learning on the job, has faced only journeymen or young fighters in his brief career. Trazancos (22-14-1, 13 KOs) is the most-experienced opponent Chavez will have faced but he probably won’t provide much resistance. The 36-year-old fellow Mexican was once 20-3-1 and a contender but has become an “opponent” for rising prospects. He is 2-11 in his last 13 fights, including nine KO losses – all to good fighters. He has been stopped by the likes of Steven Luevano and Edwin Valero. Some boxing authorities in Mexico reportedly objected to the matchup for fear of Trazancos’ safety.
Rating the card: C-. It’s always interesting to see how Julio Cesar Chavez’s sons are doing. And, heck, the odds are pretty good that this one will end in a knockout. So it could be entertaining while it lasts.
Prediction: Late-rounds knockout for Chavez. Chavez isn’t as advanced as most of Trazancos’ recent opponents but he’ll break down the faded veteran.
PEDRO GUEVARA vs. MARIO RODRIGUEZ
Rounds / weight class: 12 rounds, junior flyweights
Location: Mazatlan, Mexico
Television: AT&T U-verse
The backdrop: Guevara (14-0, 10 KOs) is a prospect from Mazatlan, meaning he’ll be fighting in front of a friendly crowd. He has stopped each of his last five opponents within five rounds and is coming off his most-important victory, a third-round KO against once-beaten Karluis Diaz in December. Guevara is just beginning to creep into the sanctioning-body rankings. Rodriguez (10-6-3, 7 KOs) could be a legitimate threat. The product of Sinaloa has had a spotty career but is coming off a decent performance in a unanimous-decision loss to strawweight titleholder Donnie Nietes last August. The most-accomplished fighter on the card is talented Jorge Linares, the former two-division titleholder and current lightweight contender. Linares (30-1, 19 KOs) is 3-0 since he was stopped by Juan Carlos Salgado in 2009, including a KO victory over veteran Jesus Chavez in October. He is ranked in the Top 10 by three of the four major sanctioning bodies. Cordero (24-1, 16 KOs) has an impressive record but was stopped by Jorge Solis in six rounds in his only meaningful test. He has fought only twice outside his native Colombia.
Also fighting: Jorge Linares vs. Francisco Cordero, 10 rounds, lightweights; Andres Gutierrez vs. Genaro Camargo, 10 rounds, featherweights
Rating the card: C+. Guevara reportedly is a good prospect. This will give us a chance to see for ourselves against a decent opponent. Linares is a gifted boxer, which makes him enjoyable to watch.
Prediction: This is a tough one. Guevara has to be favored but he’s largely untested. We should learn a lot about him in this fight. The hunch? His record will remain perfect.
Also Saturday: Jamie McDonnell of England defends his Commonwealth bantamweight title against Nick Otieno of Kenya in Sheffield, England.