By Jackie Kallen
I am really stoked to be heading to Vegas this weekend for the Mayweather/Cotto fight. Covering that for Boxinginsider.com will be fun, but it is the great list of undercard fights that will round out the weekend. Not to mention the fights at The Hard Rock the night before.
I am a big Alvarez fan so I don’t expect Shane Mosley to be much of a threat to him. I always enjoy watching 21 year-old Canelo display his skills, so I will enjoy the fight for however long it lasts. On the other hand, it kind of depresses me to see 40 year old Mosley struggle to survive in the ring. He hasn’t won a fight in over three years and his speed and power have diminished greatly. Look at Bernard Hopkins. It’s like looking at Shane Mosley.
Mosley went the distance with Manny, Money, and Sergio Mora. But I don’t expect him to be standing on Saturday night when the fight is over. I think the young turk will have more to bring to him than he is capable of handling. This could be the first time we see the former champ stopped.
The Jesse Vargas fight interests me, also, since my fighter Michael Dallas jr. was offered this fight. Too bad it was on two weeks notice or we would have entertained the idea. Vargas is definitely a name we are gunning for, but not yet.
However, Stevie Forbes is a solid battler who is always in shape and ready for any challenge. He stepped up and accepted the fight. Having lost six out of his last nine fights, Forbes was smart to grab the payday. Winning or losing will make no difference in the long run. At 35 years of age and with 10 losses under his belt, he wins just by getting into the ring with the undefeated prospect. Once the check clears, he will be smiling and talking about his next outing.
I am also interested in tracking the progress of 23 year-old welterweight Keith Thurman. He fought on the same card as Michael Dallas jr in Tucson a few years ago and he looked impressive. At 16-0 with 15 knockouts, he is interesting to watch. He only went the distance one time, three years ago, but he clearly won almost every round.
Then there is jr. welterweight Deandre Latimore. I work with Virginia’s Jimmy Lange, and Latimore’s name keeps popping up as a possible opponent. For that reason alone I want to take a look at him. He is facing Carlos Quintana, whose only losses were to Berto, Cotto, and Paul Williams. I have to assume Quintana will win, but you never know.
On Friday night, there are fights at the Hard Rock Hotel and former “Contender” Ishe Smith is fighting Ayi Bruce. When we started taping the NBC show in 2004, many expected Smith to be the winner. A loss to the eventual winner (Sergio Mora) derailed that plan and he has lost four times since. Is he through or is there some life left in this 33-year old battler?
I am also looking forward to the female fight between Jessica Rakoczy and Brittany Cruz. There are few woman’s fights on cards anymore and that’s a shame since they are usually exciting and well-fought. In a match like this, either girl can win. Though Jessica has more than twice as many fights as Cruz, the 22 year old challenger is up to the task.
The main event on Friday night is a WBC title fight at super-featherweight between two southpaws–Daniel Ponce De Leon and Eduardo Lazcano. Both have lost before, though Lazcano has never been stopped. Ponce De Leon is a much harder hitter, so that may change on Friday night.
Nothing better than a weekend of fights in Sin City. What goes on there will definitely not stay there (fight-wise) since I will be sharing it all with the loyal Boxinginsider.com readers.
Jackie Kallen is a boxing manager who has been in the business for over three decades. Her life inspired the Meg Ryan film “Against the Ropes” and she was a part of the NBC series “The Contender.” www.JackieKallen.com, www.facebook.com/JackieKallen