PBC on NBC Preview: Fonfara vs. Smith, Payano vs. Warren, Lubin vs. Sandoval
By: William Holmes
On Saturday night the UIC Pavilion in Chicago, Illinois will be the host site for the next installment of Premier Boxing Champions (PBC) on NBC.
Three fights are scheduled to be televised, with the main event featuring a bout between Andrzej Fonfara facing off against contender Joe Smith Jr. Rau’shee Warren is also scheduled to rematch Juan Carlos Payano for the WBA Bantamweight championship. Rising star Erickson Lubin is also scheduled to fight on the televised portion of the card when he takes on Daniel Sandoval in the junior middleweight division.
The following is a preview of all three televised fights.
Erickson Lubin (14-0) vs. Daniel Sandoval (38-3); Junior Middleweights
Erickson Lubin is only twenty years old and he already has fourteen bouts on his professional resume.
He had a successful amateur career and was considered by many to win a gold medal in the 2016 Olympics but he decided to turn pro instead. Daniel Sandoval is five years older than Lubin, bt will be about one inch taller and an inch and a half longer.
Lubin has been very active since turning pro. He fought five times in 2015 and once in 2016. Sandoval, by contrast, has not been very active and fought once in 2016, once in 2015, and two times in 2014. Additionally, Sandoval has fought mainly in Mexico but he has made an occasional trip to the United States for a fight.
Lubin has not faced anyone of note, but has defeated the likes of Alexis Comacho, Orlando Lora, and Ayi Bruce. Sandoval has one four of his past five fights by stoppage and has defeated the likes of Grady Brewer, Richard Guiterrez, and Gabriel Martinez.
Lubin is a young, hard hitting prospect. Sandoval has not been in the ring with quality opponents, but his thirty five stoppage victories should be of some concern to Lubin. Lubin has ten stoppage victories on his resume.
Lubin is considered by many to be one of the top young prospects in the sport of boxing. Sandoval has the power to score an upset victory, but Lubin has the talent to become a future world champion.
Juan Carlos Payano (17-0) vs. Rau’shee Warren (13-1); WBA Bantamweight Title
This is a rematch of their title bout in 2015 which featured Payano escaping with a split decision victory over Rau-Shee Warren. It was a highly entertaining bout, but many felt Warren should have been declared the winner. Warren also lost two points for fouls in their original bout.
Payano is thirty two years old and three years older than Warren. They have the same reach and Payano is slightly taller than Warren. They both are not known for their knockouts. Payano only has eight stoppage victories while Warren only has four.
Warren has been very active, as he fought four times in 2014 and two times in 2015. Payano has not been as active, but he does have a better resume of defeated opponents. Payano has defeated the likes of Anselmo Moreno, Jundy Maraon, and Jose Araiza. Warren has mainly faced average competition and has defeated the likes of Javier Gallo and Jose lUis Araiza.
Both boxers had successful amateur careers. Payano competed for the Dominican Republic in the 2004 and 2008 Olympics. Warren is a three time Olympian for the United States and won the 2007 World Amateur Championships as a flyweight.
Many felt Warren defeated Payano the first time they fought but he gave away the fight with his needless fouls. He should be able to avoid the mistakes he made last time and win convincingly in the rematch.
Andrzej Fonfara (28-3) vs. Joe Smith Jr. (21-1); Light Heavyweights
Joe Smith Jr. has a good record, but he has not faced anyone of note.
Fonfara is twenty eight years old and two years older than Smith. He will also have a two and a half inch height advantage.
Neither boxer had any notable success on the international circuit as an amateur, but Fonfara did have success on the national circuit in Poland as an amateur.
Fonfara has been active as he fought twice in 2014 and in 2015. Smith, however, has fought four times in 2014, three times in 2015, and once in 2016.
They both have average stoppage power. Fonfara has stopped sixteen of his opponents while Smith has stopped seventeen.
Fonfara clearly has the edge in quality of defeated opponents. He has defeated the likes of Nathan Cleverly, Julio Cesar Chavez Jr., Gabriel Campillo, Tommy Karpency, and Glen Johnson. His losses were to Adonis Stevenson in a close bout, Derrick Findley, and Eberto Medina. Smith has defeated the likes of Will Rosinsky and Cory Cummings. His lone loss was to Eddie Caminero in 2010 by TKO.
Fonfara will be fighting in front of a friendly crowd in Chicago and is angling for a rematch with Adonis Stevenson. He should easily defeat Joe Smith and face Stevenson next.
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