HBO PPV Preview: Herrera vs. Gomez, Tapia vs. Lemieux, Khan vs. Canelo
By: William Holmes
On Saturday night Golden Boy Promotions will partner up with HBO to broadcast at least three fights on pay per view.
The brand new T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada will be the host site for this card in which Canelo Alvarez will defend his WBC Middleweight title against Amir Khan. Two other fights are on tap for the card as David Lemieux looks to bounce back from his loss to Gennady Golovkin when he takes on “Jersey Boy” Glen Tapia in the middleweight division. The opening bout on the card should be between Mauricio Herrera and Frankie Gomez in the welterweight division.
The following is a preview of all three televised bouts on the pay per view.
Mauricio Herrera (22-5) vs. Frankie Gomez (20-0); Welterweights
The opening bout of the night should be a coming out party for Frankie Gomez.
Freddie Roach once called Frankie Gomez his most prized prospect in the Wild Card Gym, and he has the amateur pedigree to back up that claim. Gomez won the 2009 US National Championships as an amateur in 2009 and has yet to taste defeat.
Mauricio Herrera will be a major step up in competition for Gomez and he is a crafty and tough veteran. Herrera however, is thirty five years old and will be eleven years older than Gomez. Gomez will be about a half an inch taller but will be giving up about an inch and a half in reach. Herrera has spent most of his career fighting in the lightweight division and fought in the junior welterweight division in his last fight.
Gomez’s biggest concern should be his recent lack of activity. He only fought once in 2016 and in 2015, and twice in 2014. His only big victories have come against Vernon Paris and Jorge Silva.
Herrera has beaten the likes of Hank Lundy, Johan Perez, Ji Hoon Kim, and Mike Dallas Jr. His losses have come to Jose Benavidez, Danny Garcia, Karim Mayfield and Mike Alvarado.
Herrera is the perfect test for Gomez at this stage of his career and it’s a test that Gomez should pass. Gomez’s past three wins have come by decision and Saturday should be no different.
David Lemieux (34-3) vs. Glen Tapia (23-2); Middleweights
This is a crossroads fight for both Lemieux and Tapia and both are coming off of tough stoppage losses. However, both boxers are under the age of thirty and have plenty of time to make another title run.
Lemieux is known for his incredible power and has stopped thirty one of his opponents. Tapia only has fifteen stoppage victories. Tapie will have an edge in height and reach, as he is an inch and a half taller and will have a three inch reach.
Lemieux won several Canadian Amateur Championships but did not compete in the Olympics. Tapia placed in several golden gloves tournaments as an amateur, but did not enjoy success on the international level.
Lemieux has the better resume as a professional. He has defeated the likes of Hassan N’Dam N’Jikam, Gabriel Rosado, Fernando Guerrero, Hector Camacho Jr., and Elvin Ayala. His losses were to Gennady Golovkin, Joachim Alcine, and Marco Antonio Rubio.
Tapie has defeated the likes of Daniel Dawsom, Abraham Han, and Ayi Bruce. He has lost to Michel Soro in a mild upset and James Kirkland.
Tapia’s chin has been exposed as suspect in recent fights and he will have a difficult time avoiding the power of Lemieux. A victory for Lemieux in combination with his drawing power in Montreal will likely lead to another future title shot for him.
Canelo Alvarez (46-1-1) vs. Amir Khan (31-3); WBC Middleweight Title
Amir Khan has been chasing a mega fight with either Floyd Mayweather Jr. or Manny Pacquiao and has come up short. He surprised everyone by signing on the dotted line to fight the current WBC Middleweight Champion Canelo Alvarez.
Amir Khan will be jumping up two weight classes to take on the bigger Canelo. Khan is four years older than Canelo and has the faster hands. He will be giving up about a half an inch in height but will have about a half an inch reach advantage.
Canelo does have a clear advantage in power and has the stronger chin. Canelo’s lone loss was by decision to Floyd Mayweather Jr. and two of the three losses for Amir Khan were by knockout. Canelo has stopped thirty two of his opponents while Khan has only stopped nineteen.
Canelo has also been the more active boxer. He fought twice in 2015 and in 2014. Khan only fought once in 2015 and 2013, but did fight twice in 2014.
Khan does have the edge in amateur experience. Khan won the silver medal in the 2004 Summer Olympics and Canelo won the gold medal at the 2005 Junior Mexican National Championships and then turned pro at the age of fifteen.
Khan’s losses were to Danny Garcia, Breidis Prescott, and a disputed decision loss to Lamont Peterson. He has beaten Chris Algieri, Devon Alexander, Louis Collazo, Julio Diaz, Carlos Molina, Zab Judah, Marcos Maidana, and Paul Malignaggi.
Canelo has defeated the likes of Miguel Cotto, James Kirkland, Erisandy Lara, Alfredo Angulo, Austin Trout, Shane Mosley, and Miguel Vazquez.
Khan’s speed could give Canelo problems, but it will be essential for him to stay out of the range of Canelo’s punches. Canelo looked very good in his last bout against Miguel Cotto and he has more power in his hands than Garcia and Prescott, both boxers that were able to stop Khan.
The most likely scenario is that Canelo will use his size to his advantage and trap Khan by the ropes and stop him before the championship rounds.