By: William Holmes
Golden Boy Promotions will present another action packed card on Showtime on Saturday night in Carson California. The main event of the night features Marcos Maidana and Josesito Lopez in a welterweight bout. A loss for either fighter could signal the beginning of the end as both have experienced mixed success in the past few years but a loss will eliminate the possibility of a title shot in the near future.
The co-main event of the evening is between Erislandy Lara and Alfredo Angulo for the vacant WBA interim junior middleweight title. Since junior middleweight kingpin Canelo Alvarez is lined up to fight Floyd Mayweather Jr. in September, the winner will likely set himself up for a bigger payday against another top junior middleweight.
Showtime is going head to head with HBO on Saturday and the following is a preview of the televised bouts on Showtime.
Erislandy Lara (17-1-2) vs. Alfredo Angulo (22-2); WBA Interim Junior Middleweight Title
Erislandy Lara has been considered by many to be legitimate challenger for Canelo Alvarez’s WBC Junior Middleweight belt but a disappointing draw with Vanes Martirosyan in November of this year put those plans on ice.
Lara is a gifted southpaw with a Cuban amateur boxing pedigree. He won the gold in the 2005 world amateur championships and made his professional debut in 2008 after defecting from Cuba.
Both Lara and Angulo are thirty years old and Lara will have a slight reach advantage but the slightly shorter fighter inside the ring. Like most professional Cuban boxers, Lara is a solid technical fighter and isn’t known for engaging in reckless brawls. Lara has defeated the likes of Grady Brewer, Ronald Hearns, and Freddy Hernandez. He lost to Paul Williams in July of 2011 but many observers felt Lara should have been given the decision. He also has a draw with Carlos Molina.
Angulo competed in the 2004 Summer Olympics for Mexico but failed to medal. He has considerable power as he has eighteen wins by KO or TKO. Angulo is a high volume puncher and is not afraid to mix it up. He was detained for seven months by the United States due to visa issues and had to take nearly a year off.
Angulo did fight twice in 2012 in back to back months. He defeated Raul Casarez and Jorge Silva. Angulo has defeated Joachim Alcine, Joel Julio, Harry Joe Yorgey, Gabriel Rosado, and Richard Guiterrez. His defeats were to Kermit Cintron and James Kirkland.
If Angulo can make the fight a brawl he has a legitimate shot at winning. But if Lara can avoid engaging in unnecessary exchanges he should win Saturday’s bout.
Marcos Maidana (33-3) vs. Josesito Lopez (30-5); Welterweights
Both Maidana and Lopez are naturally junior welterweights that have recently moved up in weight to take on bigger opponents for a bigger payday. Lopez will be the slightly taller man on Saturday but the size difference will not be noticeable in the ring.
Neither Maidana or Lopez are known for their amateur background, but they are both known for their willingness and eagerness to engage in crowd pleasing brawls while ignoring their own physical safety.
Maidana is by far the more powerful fighter. Lopez only has eighteen stoppages on his ledger while Maidana has stopped thirty of his opponents. Maidana is also the better tested fighter. He’s defeated Jesus Soto Karass, Erik Morales, DeMarcus Corley, and Victor Ortiz. His losses were to Devon Alexander, Amir Khan, and Andriy Kotelnik. His losses to Kotelnik and Khan were close decisions that could have swung in Maidana’s favor.
Lopez doesn’t have the list of conquered talented opponents that Maidana has. He shocked the world in June of 2012 with a 9th round stoppage of Victor Ortiz who had just previously fought Floyd Mayweather Jr. Lopez displayed an incredible chin and relentless pressure that caught most observers by surprise. He then went up in weight (again) to face Saul Alvarez only to get blown out by the much bigger and powerful fighter.
Lopez has defeated Victor Ortiz, Michael Dallas, Jr., and Sergio Rivera. His losses were to Wes Ferguson, Edgar Santana, Jessie Vargas, and Rodrigo Lopez.
Maidana is the favorite on Saturday but if they give the crowd what they’re known for, a violent and reckless brawl, one punch could change the outcome of the fight.