Sunday, March 26, 2023  |



Weekend Preview: Guerrero, Solo Boxeo returns


Robert Guerrero (left) and Roberto David Arrieta strike a pose before they strike each other in their Telefutura-televised main event at the Tropicana Casino in Las Vegas on Friday. Photo / Tom Boy Promotions


Rounds / weight class: 10 rounds / lightweight
Location: Las Vegas
Television: Telefutura
The backdrop: Former two-division titleholder Guerrero (25-1-1, 17 knockouts) makes his return to the ring after taking eight months off to help care for his wife, who is bravely battling leukemia (and is thankfully in remission), in the main event of the new season of “Solo Boxeo.” Guerrero’s opponent, Arrieta (35-17-4, 17 KOs), is a serviceable journeyman from Argentina.
Also fighting: Juan Carlos Valasquez vs. Robert Guillen, six rounds, featherweights.
Rating the card: B-. It’s great to have the “Solo Boxeo” series back after a year hiatus but this main event isn’t going to start the new season off with a fight-of-the-year bang. It’s simply a chance for Guerrero, who’s engaging in his second lightweight bout, to knock off some rust and get some exposure on a big fight weekend. Nothing wrong with that. Arrieta, who is 13-4 in his last 17 bouts (losing only to South African beltholders Mzonke Fana and Cassius Baloyi, Victor Ortiz and Vicente Escobedo), should give Guerrero some quality rounds of work. Valasquez (9-1, 5 KOs), the lesser of the twins, looks to rebound from his first loss against 33-year-old journeyman Guillen (5-6-3, 1 KO). Heavyweight prospect Deontay Wilder (9-0, 9 KOs) is also on the card. The imposing 2008 Olympic bronze medalist has yet to box past the second round, and his opponent, Alvaro Morales (4-7-5), probably won’t be the first to take him into the third.

Rounds / weight class: 10 rounds / super middleweight
Location: Chicago
Television: Showtime
The backdrop: Johnson, an athletically gifted young prospect with a solid amateur background, engages in his first (and long overdue) step-up fight against undefeated regional (North Carolina) veteran Derek Edwards (25-0, 13 KOs).
Also fighting: Don George vs. Osumanu Adama, 10 rounds, super middleweights.
Rating the card: B+. This card is what ShoBox is all about, hot prospects being tested by fellow prospects in competitive bouts (at least on paper). Johnson, a 24-year-old Houston resident, and George, a popular 25-year-old Chicago native, have the talent, look and styles to develop into fan-friendly contenders, but their opponents should give fans a better grasp on their potential. George (19-0-1, 17 KOs), a charismatic jock who missed 2008 due to a multiple felony sexual assault charges (which he did not plead guilty to), might steal the show with his take-no-prisoners attack. His opponent, Ghana’s Adama (17-1, 13 KOs) is known for his chin, but George’s right hand is something special.

Rounds / weight class: 10 rounds / lightweight
Location: Miami
Television: Telemundo
The backdrop: Grizzled fringe bantamweight contender Gonzalez (24-3, 20 KOs) looks to get back into the rankings with victory over once-beaten Mexican veteran.
Also fighting: Sherali Dostiev vs. Orlando Rizo, eight rounds, featherweights.
Rating the card: C+. Gonzalez is a quality fighter but he’s in against an unknown with Araiza (27-1, 18 KOs), who has won all of his bouts since his pro debut against future 105-pound titleholder Robert Leyva but has never beaten a quality opponent. Gonzalez has won three bouts since giving former 118-pound beltholder Joseph Agbeko a good fight in December of 2008. Prospects Dostiev (5-0, 2 KOs) and Rizo (9-0, 8 KOs) should make for a decent scrap.


Rounds / weight class: 12 rounds / welterweights
Location: Las Vegas
Television: HBO Pay-Per-View, 6 p.m. PT
The backdrop: Mayweather-Mosley matches two top-three welterweight contenders and top-five pound-for-pound players who are first-ballot hall of famers in the biggest boxing event of the year. Mosley (46-5, 39 KOs), at 38 is getting a bit long in the tooth, but he’s still the best fighter 33-year-old Mayweather (40-0, 25 KOs) has faced.
Also fighting: Saul Alvarez vs. Jose Cotto, 10 rounds, welterweights.
Rating the card: B+. The main event is one of the best (and certainly the highest-profile) boxer vs. fighter matchups that can be made, but any fight involving the defensive-minded Mayweather is a potential stinker, and the pay-per-view undercard isn’t anything to write home about although at least one of the three televised bouts will probably be entertaining. Alvarez (31-0-1, 23 KOs), Mexico’s 19-year-old sensation, should get tested a bit by Cotto (31-1-1, 23 KOs) even though the older brother of Miguel Cotto is a natural lightweight. A 10-round featherweight bout between former 122-pound beltholder Daniel Ponce Deleon (38-2, 32 KOs) and Cornelius Lock (19-4-1, 12 KOs) and a 10-round welterweight bout between hyped Hector Saldivia (31-1, 24 KOs) and tough Said Ouali (26-3, 18 KOs) should deliver solid action.

Also: Hozumi Hasegawa (28-2, 12 KOs), THE RING’s No. 1-rated bantamweight, and Fernando Montiel (40-2, 30 KOs), the magazine’s No. 10-rated bantamweight, engage in Japan’s biggest event this year when they meet on Friday in Tokyo. Both are borderline pound-for-pound-level veterans with skill and power. The winner should be considered a top-10 pound-for-pound fighter.