Weekend Preview: Mosley and Mora take center stage
JOSE NAVARRO vs. NESTOR ROCHA
Rounds / weight class: Eight / bantamweights
Location: Los Angeles
The backdrop: Navarro (27-5, 12 KOs), a 2000 Olympian and four-time junior bantamweight title challenger who is only 29, looked sharp outboxing Benji Garcia in a rust-shaking six rounder in May. Rocha (22-2, 8 KOs) looked even better knocking out the same tough journeyman in two rounds in July. It was the 28-year-old fringe contender’s first bout since he was stopped in one round by former bantamweight titleholder Hozumi Hasegawa last July. Fans will be treated to a quality bantamweight boxing match if Navarro, a savvy southpaw boxer, and Rocha, a crafty technician, bring the same form they showed in their bouts with Garcia. The winner might find himself back in the ratings.
Also fighting: Luis Ramos Jr. vs. TBA, eight rounds, lightweights.
Rating the card: B-. Navarro-Rocha should provide competitive rounds of intelligent boxing from two seasoned practitioners of the Sweet Science. The rest of the Solo Boxeo broadcast is so-so. Lightweight prospect Ramos (16-0, 8 KOs) was scheduled to face former featherweight beltholder Eric Aiken (16-7-1, 12 KOs), but the Ohioan pulled out of the fight earlier this week. Ramos, a southpaw from Orange County, is worth watching but don’t expect much from his late-sub opponent.
FREDDY HERNANDEZ vs. MIKE ANCHONDO
Rounds / weight class: 10 rounds / welterweights
Location: Primm, Nev.
The backdrop: Hernandez (28-1, 19 KOs), unbeaten since dropping a split decision to Golden Johnson 5¾ years ago, is coming off the best performance of his career — a chilling one-punch KO of former junior welterweight titleholder DeMarcus Corely in February. Anchondo (30-2, 19 KOs), a former 130-pound beltholder, has won three in a row — including an eight-round split decision over undefeated prospect Mauricio Herrera in December — since suffering a third-round KO to Darling Jimenez in 2007. Hernandez is five inches taller than Anchondo and owns a significant reach advantage but the 31-year-old fringe contender from Mexico City might find the 28-year-old L.A. native to be a trickier opponent than Corley. Anchondo, a 10-year vet, can adopt a frustrating stick-and-move style when need be and probably will do so against his naturally bigger opponent.
Also fighting: Luis Franco vs. Wilton Hilario, 10 rounds, junior lightweights.
Rating the card: C+. The main event of this ShoBox card might be a boring game of cat and mouse, but the co-feature between Franco (6-0, 5 KOs), a 2004 Olympian from Cuba, and Hilario (12-1-1, 9 KOs), a Minnesota-based Dominican who is coming off a 12-round decision loss to Martin Honorio in March, could be interesting.
Also Friday: Undefeated junior flyweight prospect Omar Rosales takes on well-traveled journeyman Armando Torres in a 12-round Telemundo-televised main event from Mexico City.
SHANE MOSLEY vs. SERGIO MORA
Rounds / weight class: 12 rounds / junior middleweights
Location: Los Angeles
Television: HBO Pay-Per-View
The backdrop: Fans will find out whether Mosley (46-6, 39 KOs), who struggled to let his hands go against Floyd Mayweather Jr. in a one-sided decision loss in May, is a faded veteran at age 39 when he takes on Mora (22-1-1, 6 KOs), a former 154-pound beltholder who has a quirky boxing style. Mosley could be in for a frustrating and even humiliating night against the motivated 29-year-old East L.A. native if his age has indeed caught up with him. If not, Mora had better be ready for the fight of his life.
Also fighting: Saul Alvarez vs. Carlos Baldomir, 10 rounds, junior middleweights; Victor Ortiz vs. Vivian Harris, 10 rounds, junior welterweights; and Daniel Ponce de Leon vs. Antonio Escalante, 12 rounds, featherweights.
Rating the card: B. The most even matchup on this pay-per-view card is the opening bout between de Leon and Escalante. The other bouts feature young fighters against aging veterans who haven’t looked good lately. The Alvarez-Baldomir and Ortiz-Harris crossroads bouts might deliver entertaining shootouts or the younger fighters could dominate their elders. It’s a gamble whether these fights and the main event will live up to their hype. The only can’t-miss slugfest is de Leon-Escalante.
JORGE ARCE vs. LORENZO PARRA
Rounds / weight class: 12 rounds / junior featherweights
Location: Culiacan, Mexico
Television: Fox Sports en Espanol
The backdrop: Arce (55-6-1, 42 KOs), who is 9-3 in his last 12 bouts (the losses coming to talented titleholders Cristian Mijares, Vic Darchinyan and Simphiwe Nongqayi) has won three in a row this year, including a first-round KO of former 115-pound beltholder Martin Castillo. Parra (31-2, 18 KOs), once the best flyweight titleholder in the world, has only fought four times since losing his belt (after failing to make weight) to Japanese rival Takefumi Sakata via third-round TKO in March of 2007. The skillful Venezuelan, who suffered a 12th-round TKO to Celestino Caballero in a junior featherweight title bout in 2008 and sat out 2009, might be a spent bullet but his style can certainly trouble Arce if he has anything left.
Also fighting: Humberto Soto vs. Fidel Monterrosa, 12 rounds, lightweights.
Rating the card: B. The main event of this Top Rank Live card could turn out to be a quality slugger-vs.-boxer matchup between former titleholders, but the other televised bouts don't look competitive on paper. Lightweight beltholder Soto (52-7-2, 32 KOs) is receiving his second gimme defense with Monterrosa (23-1, 18 KOs), an untested Colombian prospect who was knocked out in his one fight outside of Colombia. Omar Chavez (23-0-1, 16 Kos), the younger brother Julio Cesar Chavez Jr., is in with a rank journeyman (big surprise).
Also Saturday: European light heavyweight champ Nathan Cleverly, THE RING’s No. 8-rated 175-pound contender, takes on No. 6 Karo Murat in a 12-round title eliminator in Birmingham, England.