Saturday, April 01, 2023  |


Weekend Preview: Prospects in action

Fighters Network

Mike Jones (right) bloodies Hector Munoz with an uppercut en route to a fifth-round stoppage on the Pavlik-Martinez undercard in April. Jones, who fights Irving Garcia in a ShoBox main event on Friday, is one of many prospects featured on TV this weekend. Photo / Emily


Rounds / weight class: 12 rounds / welterweights
Location: Atlantic City, N.J.
Television: Showtime
The backdrop: After years of being under the radar, Jones (17-0, 15 knockouts) is finally getting the opportunity to showcase his talent on national television. The 6-foot-tall Philadelphia prospect exhibited his boxing skill outpointing former title challenger Henry Bruseles on a Fox Sports Net-televised show in February. Against Puerto Rico’s fundamentally sound and gutsy Garcia (17-4-3, 8 KOs), Jones might get the chance to show off his punching power and athleticism in the ShoBox main event.
Also fighting: Antwone Smith vs. Lanardo Tyner, 10 rounds, welterweights
Rating the card: B. If Jones-Garcia is half as good as Garcia’s last fight, a four-round shootout with Luis Carlos Abregu last May, fans are in for a treat. The opening bout of the ShoBox broadcast features one of the best welterweight prospects in the sport. Smith (18-1-1, 10 KOs) made a name for himself with consecutive victories over Noberto Gonzalez, Richard Gutierrez, and Henry Crawford last year. The Miami native is in tough against Tyner (23-3, 14 KOs) but his talent and grit should extend his unbeaten streak to 15 bouts.

Rounds / weight class: 10 rounds / lightweights
Location: Lincoln, R.I.
Television: ESPN2
The backdrop: Molina (20-1, 16 knockouts) has scored two quickie knockouts since dropping a 10-round decision to veteran Martin Honorio last November. Lundy (18-0-1, 10 KOs), a brash 26-year-old prospect from Philadelphia, is the lanky Southern California puncher’s first step-up fight since his only loss.
Also fighting: Vladine Biosse vs. Joe McCreedy, 8 rounds, light heavyweights
Rating the card: B. This Friday Night Fights main event may well be the proving ground for Molina, who was ill during his loss to the more experienced Honorio. In Lundy, the taller, rangier Molina is facing a confident and athletic prospect who has proven his mettle by defeating four fighters — Darnell Jiles Jr. (8-0), Esteban Almaraz (7-0), Jason Cintron (10-0), and Tyrese Hendrix (18-0-1) — who were previously unbeaten. The opening bout between Biosse (6-0, 4 KOs) and McCreedy (11-4-2, 6 KOs) should be a fun scrap between New England-area fighters.

Rounds / weight class: 10 rounds / junior middleweights
Location: Denver
Television: Telefutura
The backdrop: Lara (11-0, 6 knockouts) is stepping in for Vicente Escobedo, who had to pull out of the original Solo Boxeo main event with Raymundo Beltran due to illness. The former Cuban amateur standout will take on Puerto Rican journeyman Correra (8-3, 3 KOs).
Also fighting: Ricky Lopez vs. Derrick Wilson, 6 rounds, junior featherweights
Rating the card: B-. Lara-Correra is a step down from Escobedo-Beltran, which was a competitive matchup. The slick junior middleweight southpaw should have little trouble outboxing the heavy handed but soft-chinned Correra. The opening bout between Denver-born prospect Lopez (7-0, 2 KOs) and wild-swinging spoiler Wilson (6-1-2, 2 KOs) will likely steal the show.


Rounds / weight class: 12 rounds / featherweights
Location: San Juan, Puerto Rico
Television: Showtime
The backdrop: Top Rank has big plans for the popular Lopez (28-0, 25 KOs) — the Puerto Rican boxer-puncher already has a September showdown with Rafael Marquez scheduled — but the southpaw titleholder has to get by Concepcion (28-3-1, 15 KOs) first.
Also fighting: Nonito Donaire vs. Hernan Marquez, 12 rounds, junior bantamweights
Rating the card: B+. Concepcion is not in Lopez’s class but the aggressive Filipino has a fearless style that will make the fight entertaining while it lasts. Donaire (23-1, 15 KOs) is too big, fast, powerful and skilled for game Mexican southpaw Marquez (27-1, 20 KOs), but the Filipino-American (who hasn’t been on a non-pay-per-view show since December of 2007) is such an amazing talent the fight is still worth watching.

Also fighting:
Popular teenage standout Saul Alvarez takes on Luis Cuello, who gave Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. a good fight last March, for vacant a “interim” junior middleweight title in Guadalajara, Mexico, on Saturday.

Former two-time junior flyweight beltholder Brian Viloria faces off against former title challenger Omar Soto in a flyweight bout in Manila, Philippines on Saturday.