Weekend Preview: Donaire, ‘Canelo’ in action
LATEEF KAYODE vs. ED PERRY
Rounds / weight class: 12 rounds / cruiserweights
Location: Santa Ynez, Calif.
The backdrop: Kayode (14-0, 13 KOs) is an exciting 27-year-old prospect from Nigeria who trains with Freddie Roach at the Wild Card Boxing Club in Hollywood, Calif. He won his first fight by decision and has knocked out every opponent since. Kayode, an imposing physical specimen, has punching power and solid skills but is still a work in progress. Perry (18-4-2, 11 KOs) isn’t likely to provide much resistance. He has won eight consecutive fights but has never faced an opponent of note. Perry is from Lafayette, Ind. Former junior welterweight titleholder Kendall Holt, who has lost two consecutive fights, will try to turn his fortunes around against Octavio Narvaez on the undercard.
Also fighting: Luis Franco vs. Eric Hunter, eight rounds, junior lightweights; Kendall Holt vs. Octavio Narvaez, eight rounds, welterweights
Rating the card:B-. It’s always fun to see a rising prospect, although this main event doesn’t figure to be particularly competitive.
GILBERTO GONZALEZ vs. NOE BOLANOS
Rounds / weight class: 10 rounds / lightweights
Location: Guadalajara, Mexico
The backdrop: Gonzalez (16-1, 12 KOs) has a good record and seven consecutive knockouts but the lanky Mexican (5-10; 178cm) has faced only young fighters and journeyman. Bolanos (21-5-1, 13 KOs) is no star but he’s the type of durable journeyman who can give a good fighter a tough time. He lost a unanimous but fairly close decision to capable Rene Gonzalez last December. Balanos, also from Mexico, has never been stopped in his seven-year career. Gonzalez could make a statement by becoming the first to do so.
Also fighting: Marco Antonio Periban vs. Darnell Boone, eight rounds, super middleweights; Charles Huerta vs. Arturo Camargo, eight rounds, featherweights
Rating the card: C+. This is a fairly interesting matchup, a tall, hard-punching prospect against a tough journeyman who comes to fight. Should be entertaining.
Also Friday: Sebastien Demers faces Renan St-Juste in a 12-round super middleweight fight in Montreal. David Lemiuex fights Purnell Gates in a 10-round middleweight bout on that card.
NONITO DONAIRE vs. WLADIMIR SIDORENKO
Rounds / weight class: 12 rounds / weights
Location: Anaheim, Calif.
Television: Top Rank pay-per-view
The backdrop: Donaire (24-1, 16 KOs) acknowledges that he’s not worthy of pound-for-pound status but everyone knows that he has that potential. The talented boxer-puncher from the Philippines simply hasn’t had the platform to show what he can do since he stopped Vic Darchinyan in 207. Sidorenko (22-2-2, 7 KOs) should be a significant test. The Ukrainian held a bantamweight title from 2005 to 2008 and remains capable at 34. He rebounded from close back-to-back losses to Anselmo Moreno to outpoint Mbwana Matumla in his last fight. However, a victory on Saturday would earn him a meeting with Fernando Montiel in February and a golden opportunity to demonstrate that he is among the best fighters in the world. Montiel is THE RING’s No. 1-rated bantamweight. On the undercard, lightweight titleholder Humberto Soto (53-7-2, 32 KOs) defends his title against Urbano Antillon (28-1, 20) in a can’t-miss action fight. Soto hasn’t lost since he was DQ’d for punching Francisco Lorenzo while he was down in 2008. He has since won and vacated a junior lightweight title and won a lightweight belt. This will be his third defense. Antillon is 2-0 since he was stopped in eight rounds by Miguel Acosta in July of last year. Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. had to pull out of the card because of illness.
Also fighting: Humberto Soto vs. Urbano Antillon, 12 rounds, for Soto’s WBC lightweight title; Mikey Garcia vs. Olivier Lontchi, 10 rounds, featherweights; Pawel Wolak vs Jose Pinzon, 10 rounds, middleweights
Rating the card: B+. Donaire, one of the best and most-exciting fighters alive, faces a real challenge in Sidorenko. Soto-Antillon is sure to be entertaining. And featherweight Mikey Garcia, the brother of trainer Robert Garcia, is an exciting young prospect. Not a bad card even without Chavez.
SAUL ALVAREZ vs. LOVEMORE N’DOU
Rounds / weight class: 12 rounds / welterweights
Location: Veracruz, Mexico
Television: HBO Latino
The backdrop: “Canelo,” the rising Mexican star with the red hair and big punch, takes another step up in his development against N’Dou, the former junior welterweight titleholder from South Africa. Alvarez (34-0-1, 26 KOs) is coming off a spectacular sixth-round knockout of Carlos Baldomir at junior middleweight in September. Baldomir and N’Dou have a lot in common. Both are former titleholders, both are 39 and both experienced a decline going into their fight with Alvarez, Baldomir losing three of his previous five fights and N’Dou going 3-3-1 in his last seven (losing to Paulie Malignaggi twice and Kermit Cintron). N’Dou is coming off a split-decision victory over unknown South African Bongani Mwelase in September. Still, N’Dou has far more experience than Alvarez, who is only 20. How Alvarez looks will determine the level of his next opponent. Daniel Ponce de Leon, coming off a third-round KO of Antonio Escalante, probably will have little trouble with Sergio Medina. The Argentine has not had success outside his native country.
Also fighting: Daniel Ponce de Leon vs. Sergio Medina, 10 rounds, featherweights; Victor Terrazas vs. Filomeno Jaramillo, 10 rounds, featherweights
Rating the card: B. The rise of Alvarez has us riveted. It will be interesting to see whether he has any trouble with an experienced veteran who has something left. Ponce de Leon is one of the most-entertaining fighters around.
Also Saturday: Shamone Alvarez takes on Ayi Bruce in a 12-round welterweight bout in Atlantic City, N.J., on gofightlive.tv. In Schwerin, Germany, Alexander Dimitrenko faces Albert Sosnowski in a 12-round heavyweight bout. And, in Glasgow, Scotland, Ricky Burns defends his WBO junior lightweight title against Andreas Evensen.
On Sunday: Chris John defends his WBA featherweight title against Fernand Saucedo in Jakarta, Indonesia.