By: William Holmes
On Saturday night, Showtime will present a three-bout card from the UIC Pavilion in Chicago, Illinois. It will feature a return to Showtime television of Andrzej Fonfara, a boxer who became famous because of his spirited effort in a loss to Adonis Stevenson. The famous Kameda brothers of Japan will be competing on Saturday’s card, but only undefeated Tomoki Kameda will be televised.
The untelevised card is also pretty solid, as Caleb Truax will take on Scott Sigmon in a middleweight bout and Koki Kameda will take on Omar Salado in a bantamweight bout. Undefeated Jamal James and Adam Kownacki will also be competing on the undercard.
The following is a preview of the three televised bouts.
Javier Fortuna (25-0-1) vs. Abner Cotto (18-2); Super Featherweight
Javier Fortuna is a young hard hitting Dominican Super Featherweight that is knocking on the door of a title shot.
As an amateur, he was a member of the Dominican National Team and won a Pan American Silver Medal. His opponent, Abner Cotto, comes from a prestigious Cotto boxing family, but it is unlikely he’ll reach the heights of his cousin Miguel. He did win the silver medal in the 2007 Pan American Games.
Cotto will have a significant height and reach advantage over Fortuna, who will be about five inches smaller. However, Fortuna does hold an edge in power. He has stopped eighteen of his opponents, while Cotto has only stopped two.
Both men have been active in the past two years. This will be the third fight of 2014 for both Cotto and Fortuna. Fortuna has never tasted defeat and has stopped three of his past five opponents, while Cotto has two stoppage victories in his past five fights, but also has two losses.
Cotto has previously fought as a lightweight, and it may be difficult for him to cut down to the super featherweight division. His losses have come to Francisco Vargas and Omar Figueroa. He has defeated the likes of Jerry Belmontes, Daniel Ruiz, and Fernando Torres.
Fortuna had a close split decision victory over Luis Franco in 2013 and has defeated the likes of Juan Rodriguez, Francisco Lorenzo, Miguel Castro, Patrick Hyland, and Miguel Zamudio.
This should be an interesting bout, and Fortuna will need to solve the height and reach advantage of Cotto early on if he wants to win.
Cotto has been knocked out before and Fortuna has the power to knock him out again. Fortuna has to be seen as the slight favorite in Saturday’s bout.
Andrzej Fonfara (25-3) vs. Doudou Ngumbu (33-5); Light Heavyweight
Polish light heavyweight Andrzej Fonfara is coming off of a closer than expect loss to Adonis “Superman” Stevenson, and will be taking on the relatively unknown Doudou Ngumbu. Fonfara experienced considerable success as an amateur in Poland, but did not achieve any notable success on the international level.
Fonfara will have about a three-inch height advantage as well as a considerable edge in experience. He has fifteen stoppage victories to his record, including three stoppage wins in his past five fights. Ngumbu only has twelve stoppage victories on his record and only one stoppage victory in his past five fights. This will also be the first time Ngumbu has ever fought in the United States.
Fonfara’s losses have come to Adonis Stevenson, Derrick Findley, and Eberto Medina early on in his career. He also has some good victories on his resume, including wins over Samuel Miller, Garbriel Campillo, Tommy Karpency, Glen Johnson, and Roger Cantrell.
Ngumbu has lost to Igor Mikhalkin, Nadjib Mohammedi, Pawel Glazewski, and Isaac Chilemba. His resume is void of any notable names, but his best victories have come against Vyacheslav Uzelkov and Johnny Muller.
This is basically a touch-up fight for Fonfara, and he should give the large Polish contingent in Chicago a good showing against a clearly overmatched opponent.
Tomoki Kameda (30-0) vs. Alejandro Hernandez (28-10-2); WBO Bantamweight Title
Tomoki Kameda is a highly accomplished Asian boxer who has recently been making his name known outside of Japan. He turned professional at a young age, and experienced some success as an amateur, though he never competed in the Olympics.
He’s going against an opponent who is similar in height and reach but who has suffered a loss nearly every time he has taken a step up in competition.
Alejando Hernandez has lost three of his past seven fights, and they include losses to Akifumi Shimoda, Leo Santa Cruz, Orlando Ruiz, Omar Narvaez, Carlos Tamar, and Wilbert Uicab. His biggest accomplishments as a professional was a knockout over Marvin Mabait and a draw against Marvin Sonsona.
Kameda has defeated with relative ease nearly every opponent he has faced, and has fought in Japan, Mexico, the Philippines and the United States. His willingness to travel, sometimes to hostile territory, shows he is willing to take a risk if the opportunity presents itself.
He has defeated the likes of Pungluang Sor Singyu, Paulus Ambunda, Jairo Hernandez, and Immanuel Jaidjala. He’s only twenty-three years old and has the potential to be a young marketable star, but he needs some big wins over well-known Mexican or American boxers in the bantamweight division.
Hernandez isn’t a well known or accomplished bantamweight. He’s simply there to showcase Kameda’s talents and help land him a bigger fight. A Hernandez victory would be an absolutely shocking upset.