By Sean Crose
This Saturday, Premiere Boxing Champions will host the American debut of Irish standout Carl Frampton as the 20-0 super bantamweight does battle with the widely unknown Mexican fighter Alejandro Gonzalez Jr. (25-1-2). The fight will be part of a live CBS broadcast which will be aired from El Paso Texas starting at 4 pm eastern standard time.
Gonzalez, the son of a former champion in the 126 lb division, is a confident and likeable individual who the PBC website refers to as “quick fisted.” The real star of the show, however, will be Frampton, a flashy ring presence with a terrific skill set. I’ve written before of the man, stating how sometimes he’s aggressive like Duran while at other times he’s defensive minded, like a much smaller version of Gene Tunney.
Indeed, Frampton is one of the best smaller men in the business. He’s talented enough to drop an opponent while in retreat, which is as good a statement as any regarding a fighter’s ring ability. Simply put, Frampton could easily be pictured facing names like Rigondeaux, Santa Cruz, Mares and Lomachenko in the future.
For the moment, however, fans will have to content themselves with what is essentially a showcase fight. Now that he’s with PBC, though, US fans can expect to see a lot more of Frampton down the road on this side of the Atlantic. Besides, if last weekend proved anything it’s that boxing viewers can end up being surprised (paging Willie Nelson).
Saturday’s CBS card will also feature eternal heavyweight contender Chris Arreola (36-4) as he faces Frederic Kassi (18-3). Arreola doesn’t always look good in the ring – in fact sometimes he looks like he needs to go to Weight Watchers. Discipline issues aside, however, the guy is virtually always entertaining. What’s more, word is out that another heavyweight title shot – this time against Deontay Wilder – may await Arreola if he gets past Kassi this weekend.
As for Kassi, he was absolutely destroyed in highlight reel fashion by Amir Mansour in 2014…and hasn’t fought since then. Like Frampton, Arreola is clearly the favorite here. Given Arreola’s troubled history with discipline, however, there’s no guarantee of how he’s going to look in the ring on Saturday afternoon or how this one will turn out.
Overall, this CBS card is an opportunity for PBC to show off their European acquisition, Frampton. People may not be happy with the level of competition both Frampton and Arreola will face on Saturday, but it’s worth noting both men are extremely exciting competitors and rarely make for a boring fight. This broadcast, at least on paper, should be an entertaining one.