By Jackie Kallen
I sure wish I was going to be in LA this coming weekend for the fights at the Home Depot Center on Saturday night. There are several interesting fights on the card. Fortunately the main bouts will be on HBO, but even some of the undercard fights are worth watching.
Photo: Chris Farina. Top Rank
I am a fan of Vanes Martirosyan and have seen many of his fights. At 32-0 (20), he is fun to watch and is a really nice guy on top of it. He’s 26 years old, and at the peak of his game. He is starting to get acknowledged as one of the top 154 pounders in the division, and his win two years ago against then-unbeaten Joe Greene made people sit up and take notice.
Originally from Armenia, Vanes trains out of Glendale, CA and has earned the nickname “Nightmare” because that is exactly what he gives his opponents. None have come close to beating him. Although he got dropped by Kassim Ouma in their 2010 fight, Martirosyan still won by a nice margin.
He will be facing Ryan Davis, which should be an easy night’s work for Vanes. Davis, a game journeyman with a 24-9 record, is 33 years old, 5’6″ tall and is not the hardest puncher in the game. He always gives it his best, but he has been stopped three times. It is unlikely that he will give Martirosyan much of a challenge. Although he did last 12 rounds with Zab Judah back in 2007, Davis is not in the same league as Vanes.
Kelly Pavlik is jumping back in the ring again to face off against Will Rosinsky. This could be a decent fight if Will brings his A game. At 16-1 (9), he is stepping up by fighting Pavlik, but that is exactly what he needs to do at this stage of his career. He recently scored wins against Zane Marks and Aaron Pryor, Jr. and his only blemish is a decision loss to unbeaten Edwin Rodriguez.
After his impressive win over Scott Sigmon last month, Pavlik showed that he is back in top shape and has the hunger and drive again that he had in his earlier days. This will be Rosinsky’s 2nd 10-rounder so hopefully he has trained hard and will rise to the occasion. Both men can punch, though, so this one may not go the distance.
There are several undefeated boxers on the undercard and I am curious to see how 14-0 heavyweight Andy Ruiz, Jr. does against Jonte Willis. I also think the Brad Solomon/Hector Munoz fight should be a good one. At 17-0, Solomon is working his way up the welterweight ladder. Munoz has had almost as many KOs as Solomon has had total fights, so this will be an important stepping stone for the undefeated Louisiana native.
The main event pits my former fighter Nonito Donaire against the South African known as Mongoose. Jeffrey Mathebula has a 26-3-2 record and has never fought outside South Africa. It will be a test of his resilience to see how he handles the time difference, the hometown crowd, and the unfamiliar surroundings. He holds the IBF Super bantamweight belt and Nonito holds the WBO title. He won it five months ago against Wilfredo Vasquez, jr, in San Antonio. Both belts will be on the line as these two sluggers go toe-to-toe.
Since I have never seen Mongoose fight, I have nothing to go by, but I do know how great a fighter Nonito is. His only L was an early-on decision loss back in 2001. He has not tasted defeat in 11 years and I doubt he is planning on losing this weekend. When you are on a roll like he is, losing is not an option. Donaire is easily the best Super Bantamweight in the world and I hope he extends his winning streak until he retires. He’s only 29 years old, so he has a long way to go before he starts to consider hanging them up.
All in all, this should be a great night of boxing in Southern California.
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 serie