SHARIF BOGERE vs. FRANCISCO CONTRERAS
Rounds / weight class: 10 rounds, lightweights
Location: Las Vegas, Nevada
The backdrop: Bogere (20-0, 12 knockouts), a talented Ugandan amateur standout now coached by noted trainer Ken Adams in Las Vegas, survived the toughest test of his 3½-year career when he narrowly out-pointed gutsy veteran Raymundo Beltran in a ShoBox: The New Generation main event in May. More than a few observers thought Beltran deserved the nod after their entertaining 10-round scrap (which can be watched in its entirety at this link courtesy of Showtime). Beltran neutralized Bogere’s speed and athleticism with relentless pressure, counter punching and roughhouse tactics during the infighting. However, the 22-year-old boxer-puncher, who is obviously still learning, mixed in enough boxing and lateral movement with his brawling to earn the decision. Bogere’s second consecutive ShoBox main event will be another, perhaps sterner, test. This time the smallish lightweight (he’s barely 5-foot-6) takes on Contreras (16-0, 13 KOs), a rangy fellow undefeated prospect known for his punching power. The 27-year-old native of the Dominican Republic has been training with Robert Garcia at the noted young trainer’s gym in Oxnard, Calif., where he’s had the opportunity to spar quality rounds with WBA lightweight titleholder Brandon Rios. In other words, Bogere can expect Contreras to be ready for their main event. On the undercard, talented 21-year-old Houston native Jermell Charlo (15-0, 7 KOs) takes on capable Santa Barbra, Calif., resident Francisco Santana (12-2-1, 6 KOs). Charlo is coming off a six-round decision over journeyman Larry Smith in June. Santana is coming off a six-round draw with undefeated (6-0) Julian Williams in May. His two losses are to unbeaten Bay Area-prospect Karim Mayfield.
Also fighting: Jermell Charlo vs. Francisco Santana, eight rounds, junior middleweights
Rating the card: B+. Two talented lightweights — one gifted with speed, the other with power — putting their unblemished records on the line. This is what ShoBox is all about.
Prediction: Bogere by close but unanimous decision.
• Russian veteran and former title challenger Roman Karmazin takes on rugged Ghanaian standout Osumanu Adama in a 12-rounds IBF middleweight title eliminator in Chicago.
RAUL MARTINEZ vs. RODRIGO GUERRERO
Rounds / weight class: 12 rounds, junior bantamweights
Location: Tijuana, Mexico
Television: Fox Deportes
The backdrop: This Top Rank Live! main event is a rematch of an entertaining and closely contested 12-rounder last November that was won by Martinez (28-1, 16 KOs) via split nod. The return bout should be just as competitive even though the 29-year-old former U.S. amateur standout from San Antonio hasn‘t fought since. The only blemish on Martinez’s otherwise solid resume is a failed flyweight title challenge against Nonito Donaire, who blew him out in four rounds in the Philippines in 2009. Martinez has won four bouts since the TKO loss and has looked sharp. He’ll need to be at his best to once again beat Guerrero (15-3-1, 10 KOs), a 23-year-old protégé of Marco Antonio Barrera who is more experienced than his record would indicate. The iron-chinned Mexico City native out-pointed future beltholder Juan Alberto Rojas in his 12th pro bout and veteran title challenger Luis Maldonado in his 14th pro outing before getting dominated in a 12-round decision loss to then-unified 115-pound titleholder Vic Darchinyan last March. On the undercard, 31-year-old Tijuana native Jackie Nava (24-4-3, 11 KOs) takes on Soledad Edith Matthysse (9-2-1, 1 KO). Nava, one of Mexico’s most popular female boxers (who happens to be a damn good fighter), is coming off a draw and a close unanimous decision loss to Ana Maria Torres in two 10-round barnburners that had Mexican fans buzzing for weeks. Matthysse, the 31-year-old sister of junior welterweight contender Lucas Matthysee, lacks Nava’s experience but comes from a fighting family and probably knows her way around the ring.
Also fighting: Jackie Nava vs. Soledad Edith Matthysse, 10 rounds, junior featherweights
Rating the card: B+. Martinez and Guerrero are evenly matched young contenders who both possess solid skills and uncommon guts. Nava is a female standout worth watching.
Prediction: Martinez wins a close and competitive but unanimous decision.
• Undefeated British standout Kell Brook, THE RING’s No. 10-rated welterweight, faces Polish veteran Rafal Jackiewicz, the magazine’s No. 7 contender, in a 12-round WBA welterweight title elimination bout in Sheffield, England.
Mexican 108-pound titleholder Ramon Garcia Hirales, THE RING’s No. 8-rated junior flyweight, defends his WBO belt against Filipino standout Donnie Nietes, the former WBO 105-pound belt holder, in Bacolod City, Philippines.