By: William Holmes
On Sunday night the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, Nevada will be the host site for Al Haymon’s Premier Boxing Champions Fight card to be televised live on Fox.
The main event of the evening will between Jermell Charlo and Jorge Cota in the junior middleweight division. The co-main event of the evening will be between former world champion Guillermo Rigondeaux and Julio Ceja in a WBC Junior Featherweight Eliminator.
The undercard features fighters such as Joey Spencer, Alberto Mercado, Jesus Ramos, Leduan Barthelemy, and Ryan Karl.
The following is a preview of the co-main event and main event of the evening.
Guillermo Rigondeaux (18-1) vs. Julio Ceja (32-3); Junior Featherweight Division
Guillermo Rigondeaux was once considered a pound for pound great, but a loss to Vasily Lomachenko in 2017 affected his status on the pound for pound list.
At thirty eight years old he’s clearly past his prime, and is twelve years older than his opponent. However, Rigondeaux will have about a four and a half inch reach advantage but will be giving up an inch in height.
Rigondeaux has twelve stoppage wins on his resume while Ceja has twenty eight stoppage victories. Rigondeaux only loss was by stoppage to Vasily Lomachenko, Ceja has been stopped twice in his career.
Ceja is the younger brother of Luis Ceja but has no notable amateur experience. Rigondeaux is a two time Olympic Gold Medalist and is considered by many to be an all time amateur great.
Rigondeaux bounced back from his defeat to Lomachenko by defeating Giovanni Delgado quite easily. Other notable opponents include James Dickens, Drian Francisco, Joseph Agbeko, Nonito Doniare, Roberto Marroquin, and Teon Kennedy.
Ceja notable wins include Anselmo Moreno and Hugo Ruiz. His losses were to Jamie McDonnell, Hugo Ruiz, and a loss in his last fight to a 17-4 Franklin Manzanilla.
Even though Rigondeaux is getting older, he’s still a technical wizard, and should have no problems getting past Ceja.
Jermell Charlo (31-1) vs. Jorge Cota (28-3); Junior Middleweight Division
Jermell Charlo’s career hit an unexpected speed bump when he lost his last bout to Tony Harrison in a close upset.
However, many felt he did enough to win that fight and he’s still a top rated contender.
On Sunday he’ll be facing Jorge Cota, a contender that also lost his last bout, but it was against a relative unknown in Jeison Rosario.
Charlo is two years younger than his opponent, but both will be about the same height with about the same reach. Cota actually appears to have an edge in power as he has stopped twenty five of his opponents while Charlo has only stopped fiftee, but Cota’s resume is littered with low level opposition.
Charlo has beaten the likes of Austin Trout, Erickson Lubin, Charles Hatley, John Jackson, Vanes Martirosyan, Gabriel Rosado, and Harry Joe Yorgey. He has been fairy active and fought twice in 2018 and twice in 2017.
Cota’s notable wins include Yudel Jhonson and Euri Gonzalez. His other two losses were to Erickson Lubin and Marco Antonio Rubio. Cota fought once in 2019, once in 2018, and three times in 2017.
Charlo also has a clear edge in amateur experience as he was a bronze medalist in the Junior Olympics.
Cota has an impressive knockout ratio, but he has to defeat any top rated contenders and lost to fighters that many would expect Charlo to beat easily.
Charlo is expected to breeze through this fight.