Lem Satterfield

Ricardo Alvarez-Sergio Thompson on Canelo Alvarez-Alfredo Angulo card

Sergio Thompson will face Ricardo Alvarez on Saturday at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. The former junior lightweight title challenger replaces injured WBC lightweight beltholder Omar Figueroa Jr.

Figueroa (22-0-1, 17 knockouts) cited a re-injured left hand on Friday as his reason for pulling out of the bout with Alvarez (23-2-3, 14 KOs).

Figueroa-Alvarez was to be part of the four-bout Showtime Pay Per View telecast headlined by a junior middleweights Canelo Alvarez, the young brother of Ricardo Alvarez, and Alfredo Angulo.

Alvarez-Thompson will not be part of the pay per view broadcast, since a lightweight bout between former two-division titleholder Jorge Linares and Nihito Arakawa has been elevated to open the show.

The card will feature the first defense by IBF 154-pound titleholder Carlos Molina against prospect Jermall Charlo, the 23-year-old twin brother of unbeaten junior middleweight contender Jermell Charlo, as well as WBC 122-pound beltholder Leo Santa Cruz in a defense against Cristian Mijares.

Thompson (28-3, 26 KOs) has never been stopped, falling by majority decision to Azael Gonzalez in November 2009, split-decision to Alisher Rahimov in September 2010, and unanimous decision to RING No. 4-ranked Takashi Miura during a failed bid to earn the Japanese slugger's WBC junior lightweight belt in August.

The loss to Miura ended a 13-fight winning streak that had included 12 knockouts for Thompson, who stopped Linares in the second round in March 2012. Thompson bounced back from the loss to Miura with a first-round stoppage of Cesar Chavez in December.

Ricardo Alvarez was last in the ring in December for a unanimous decision over Rod Skalka.

 

THE UNDERCARD
 

Also on the Canelo-Angulo card are bouts featuring junior lightweight Will Tomlinson (21-0-1, 12 KOs) of Australia in his U.S. debut against Jerry Belmontes (18-3, 5 KOs), Francisco Vargas (18-0-1, 13 KOs) opposite Abner Cotto  (17-1, 8 KOs), junior featherweight 2012 U.S. Olympian Joseph "Jo-Jo" Diaz Jr. (9-1, 6 KOs) against Jovany Fuentes (5-3, 4 KOs), and junior welterweight Keandre Gibson (8-0-1, 3 KOs) opposite Antonio Wong (12-6-1, 7 KOs).

In the opening bout, light heavyweight Steve Lovett (7-0, 5 KOs) of Australia meets an opponent to be determined.

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