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Prescott keeps busy on Friday Night Fights

16
Jul

Ten months ago Breidis Prescott shocked the British boxing world by knocking out 2004 Olympic silver medalist Amir Khan in one brutal round.

The victory upped Prescott’s undefeated record to 20-0 with 19 KOs, earned him a spot in THE RING’s lightweight rankings, and put him on the radar of fight fans on both sides of the Pond.

Yet it’s Khan who is challenging for a major world title on Saturday. It doesn’t seem fair, and in a sporting sense, it isn’t. However, boxing is also a business, and the once-beaten Khan is still a much bigger name than Prescott or any other world-ranked lightweight, save for perhaps champion Juan Manuel Marquez.

However, Marquez never drew crowds and TV ratings like Khan commands in Britain.

Thanks to his showing at the Athens Games his first 18 pro bouts were televised on British commercial network ITV. The Prescott fight, Khan’s 19th pro bout, was a pay-per-view event at ┬ú14.99 a buy in the UK and it was fought in front of 18,000 at the M.E.N. Arena in Manchester.

Khan’s UK/U.S. pay-per-view showdown with the shopworn Marco Antonio Barrera in March was fought in front of 20,000 at the same arena.

Prescott (21-0, 19 knockouts) will never draw those kinds of numbers on his name alone but the 26-year-old puncher can become a bigger name in the States if he keeps fighting on ESPN2, which is why the Colombian’s brain trust has put him on Friday Night Fights for the second time this year.

Prescott headlined FNF in February when he beat up and outclassed Humberto Toledo until the journeyman decided to get himself disqualified in the 10th round by biting his antagonist.

On Friday, Prescott will take on a better class of opponent when he faces Mexico’s Miguel Vazquez in the FNF main event from the Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino in Las Vegas.

Vazquez (24-3, 12 KOs) should present a solid challenge to Prescott. The Guadalajara native has only lost to two fighters, undefeated 140-pound titleholder Timothy Bradley and Jalisco’s unbeaten teenage phenom Saul Alvarez.

Alvarez, who is now a welterweight prospect, narrowly outpointed Vazquez in Vazquez’s pro debut and won a 10-round rematch last year. Vazquez was outpointed by Bradley two years ago when the Southern California prospect was 20-0. Bradley won the WBC title in his very next fight.

It’s safe to say that Vazquez, who has fought eight undefeated fighters, will not be intimidated by Prescott’s record or the Colombian’s reputation as a puncher.

That’s good news. Prescott needs to be in a real fight and he needs to win it in impressive fashion if he ever hopes to get where Khan will be on Saturday.

Prescott is rated No. 7 by the WBC, No. 5 by the WBA and No. 4 by the WBO. A showdown with one of the alphabet-rated contenders ranked ahead of him — such as Michael Katsidis (rated No. 1 by the WBO) or Joan Guzman (rated No. 2 by the WBA) — could make him the mandatory for those sanctioning organization belts.

And who wouldn’t want to see Prescott test his size and power against the pure aggression of Katsidis or the skill and savvy of Guzman?

Before fans can get to those gems, Prescott has to at least emulate Bradley and Alvarez and turn back Vazquez’s challenge.

The nine-bout card also features former Cuban amateur stars Guillermo Rigondeaux and Erislandy Lara, both of whom will make the FNF broadcast.

World amateur champ Lara (6-0, 4 KOs) will face journeyman spoiler Darnell Boone (16-11-2, 6 KOs) in an eight-round junior middleweight bout.

Over the past five years, Boone has been in with the best middleweight prospects the sport has to offer and has never failed to give them tough fights. The Atlanta-based Ohioan has gone the distance with current light heavyweight titleholder Jean Pascal and current super middleweight conteder Andre Ward (who he dropped). Boone troubled undefeated Craig McEwan in his last fight, dropping an eight-round split decision last month.

It will be interesting to see how Lara imposes his slick southpaw style on Boone.

Two-time Olympic champ Rigondeaux (1-0, 1 KO) takes on Roberto Guillen (4-2-3) in a six-round junior featherweight bout.

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