Weekend Preview: Berto tries to bounce right back
ELOY PEREZ vs. DANIEL JIMENEZ
Rounds / weight class: 10 rounds, junior lightweights
Location: Salinas, Calif.
The backdrop: Perez (21-0-2, 5 KOs) is a very good boxer with little power who has been beating good fighters and is close to receiving a shot at a 130-pound title. The resident of Salinas, Calif., is ranked No. 4 by the WBO. Perez had two close calls over the past 15 months, winning majority decisions over Gilberto Sanchez Leon in May of last year and Dominic Salcido in October. He is coming off a shutout decision over Alejandro Rodriguez in April. This is a good opportunity for Perez because he hasn’t had much national TV exposure. Jimenez (20-3-1, 12 KOs) is a talented junior lightweight but has been inactive, fighting only twice in the past three years. The Puerto Rican handed Olympian Vicente Escobedo is first loss by a split decision — a big victory that seemed to portend significant success — but lost two subsequent important fights, a 12th-round KO to former titleholder Roman Martinez In 2007 and a decision to one-time champion Jesus Chavez in 2008. He is coming off a fifth-round junior welterweight TKO over Miguel Angel Munguia in February. He has gone up and down in weight, which also might not serve him in this fight.
Also fighting: James Parison vs. Paul Mendez, 6 rounds, middleweights
Rating the card: C+. Perez is a good fighter but doesn’t have the power that fans love. And Jimenez is a question mark given his inactivity and weight issues, although his experience against elite fighters is a plus.
Prediction: Perez has fought consistently and well. And this probably is just a small step up in opposition. He’ll win a clear unanimous decision.
JAN ZAVECK vs. ANDRE BERTO
Rounds / weight class: 12 rounds, welterweights
Location: Biloxi, Miss.
The backdrop: Berto (27-1, 21 KOs) is coming off the worst night of his career, a unanimous-decision loss to Victor Ortiz in a fight-of-the-year candidate that cost him his WBC welterweight title in April. Berto’s worst isn’t bad, though. He gave a memorable performance in defeat, putting Ortiz down twice. His reward? A title shot in his next fight, against the IBF 147-pound beltholder. This could be another entertaining fight. Berto is a busy, aggressive fighter who intends to hurt you with every punch. Zaveck (31-1, 18 KOs) seems to be the same type of fighter. They are even similar in stature, Berto 5-8½ (174cm) and Zaveck 5-7½ (172cm). The difference might be their talent levels. Berto isn’t the greatest boxer in the world but he’s a very good athlete with quick hands and considerable power. Zaveck actually is the better boxer but he doesn’t have the same gifts as his opponent, which could decide the fight. Zaveck, who is from Slovenia but fights out of Germany, won the title by stopping Issac Hlatshwayo in 2009 and has successfully defended it three times. That includes a victory last September over Rafal Jackiewicz, who in 2009 handed Zaveck his only loss. Zaveck has fought only once outside Eureope, when he fought Hlatschwayo in South Africa. The undercard is deep. Oosthuizen, rated No. 10 by THE RING, is an unbeaten (15-0-1, 11 KOs) super middleweight contender. Pryor (16-3, 11 KOs) is coming off an impressive majority-decision upset of Librado Andrade in May. Russell (17-0, 10 KOs) is one of the most-exciting prospects in the sport.
Also fighting: Gary Russell Jr. vs. Leonilo Miranda, 10 rounds, featherweights; Thomas Oosthuizen vs. Aaron Pryor Jr., 12 rounds, super middleweights; Randall Bailey vs. Yoryi Estrella, 10 rounds, welterweights.
Rating the card: B+. The only drawback here is that Zaveck is unknown in these parts. That doesn’t mean he can’t fight, though. The main event should be fun to watch. It will be interesting to see how good Oosthuizen is. And Russell is always a pleasure to watch. Miranda was a KO artist in Mexico (32-3, 30 KOs) who hasn’t panned out in the U.S.
Prediction: Berto has too much speed and power for Zaveck but he’ll have to work hard for the knockout, which will come around the ninth round.
OMAR CHAVEZ vs. ALBERTO MARTINEZ
Rounds / weight class: 10 rounds, welterweights
Location: Mexicali, Mexico
Television: Fox Deportes
The backdrop: The younger brother of Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. has won consistently but against limited opposition and primarily in the friendly confines of his native Mexico. Chavez (26-0-1, 19 KOs) has stopped his last four opponents inside four rounds, perhaps a sign that the 21-year-old is maturing into a good puncher. He started his pro career at 16 with very little amateur experience. Martinez (15-1, 10 KOs) has a good record but has beaten a string of inexperienced nobodies. He was stopped in the third round by someone named Filemon Pineda – 5-3 at the time – in March but has won four straight since. Jorge Paez Jr. (28-4-1, 17 KOs), the son of the former titleholder, also is still developing.
Also fighting: Jorge Paez Jr. vs. Rodrigo Juarez, 10 rounds, welterweights
Rating the card: C. It’s always fun to watch the offspring of famous fighters. And Chavez is pretty good. He also can punch a little. Martinez probably won’t provide much resistance.
Prediction: Chavez’s KO string will continue, probably in the middle rounds.
- Humberto Soto faces Jose Alfaro in a 10-round junior welterweight fight in Los Mochis, Mexico.
- Marco Antonio Rubio faces Mohammed Akrong in a 12-round middleweight fight in San Luis Potosi, Mexico
- Vic Darchinyan faces Evans Mbama in a 12-round bantamweight fight in Yerevan, Armenia
- Jamie McDonnell defends his European bantamweight title against Stuart Hall in Yorkshire, England.