Weekend Preview: Hopkins vs. Arnaoutis
DEMETRIUS HOPKINS vs. MIKE ARNAOUTIS
Rounds / weight class: 10 rounds / welterweights
Location: Ontario, Calif.
The backdrop: Hopkins (29-1-1, 11 KOs) has fought only once in 19 months, easily outpointing faded Jesse Feliciano in a meaningless bout in March. That could leave Philadelphian with some rust. He is trying to climb back to contender status after his disappointed split-decision loss to Kendall Holt in 2008. Arnaoutis (22-5-2, 10 KOs) also is trying to reestablish himself as a player in the division at 30 after losing three of his last four fights. The New York-based Greek’s performance in a one-sided loss to Delvin Rodriguez in April was particularly weak.
Also fighting: Francisco Contreras vs. Eric Cruz, 8 rounds, junior welterweights
Rating the card: C. Hopkins and Arnoutis are well-established fighters, which is a plus. But they both might be in decline, which is a minus. At least they should be hungry. We’d rather watch Contreras (14-0, 13 KOs), a big punching Dominican based in New Jersey. Cruz (7-3-3, 7 KOs) is tough and also has pop but might be overmatched here.
ULISES SOLIS vs. ERIC ORTIZ
Rounds / weight class: 10 rounds / flyweights
Location: Reno, Nev.
Television: Fox Sports Net / Fox Sports en Espanol
The backdrop: This card is part of the events commemorating the 100th anniversary of the historic Jack Johnson-Jim Jeffries fight in 1910. Solis (30-2-2, 21 KOs) has won two straight since he lost his 108-pound title to Brian Vilora by an 11th-round knockout last year, including a sixth-round KO of tough veteran Bert Batawang in March. Solis is THE RING’s No. 8-rated junior flyweight. Ortiz (32-10-3, 21 KOs) briefly held a junior flyweight title in 2005 but, at 33, is no longer a contender. He has been stopped in two of his last three fights, the latter a fourth-round KO against Luis Concepcion for an interim flyweight title in April.
Also fighting: Mark Melligen vs. Anges Adjaho, 10 rounds, welterweights
Rating the card: C+. Solis shouldn’t have too much trouble with Ortiz, who appears to have little left. The Melligen-Adjaho fight could be interesting. Melligen (18-2, 13 KOs) has a substantial following in his native Philippines. Adjaho (25-2, 14 KOs), from Benin but based in New York, was giving Antonio DeMarco some trouble before he was stopped in the ninth round in his last fight, almost exactly a year ago.