Ponomarev-Solomon tops competitive Pacquiao-Bradley undercard
Much has been documented about the three televised fights that will lead up to Manny Pacquiao-Tim Bradley III on Saturday.
All four bouts will air on HBO Pay-Per-View.
That leaves the non-televised undercard, which in the past often consisted of mismatches between unbeaten prospects against veteran fighters with less-than-modest records.
That will not be the case on Saturday afternoon as five unbeaten fighters risk their ‘0’ in three competitive fights.
The best of the evenly-matched fights, pits unbeaten welterweight contenders Konstantin Ponomarev and Brad Solomon in 10-round bout.
Ponomarev (29-0, 13 KOs), who is originally from Miass, Russia, owns impressive victories over fringe contenders Steve Claggett and Mikael Zewski. However, in his most recent bout on Nov. 20, Ponomarev had to work harder than expected to win an eight-round majority decision over Ramses Agaton.
Ponomarev, who is trained by Abel Sanchez in Big Bear Lake, Calif., is ranked in the top 10 in three of boxing’s governing bodies.
Solomon (26-0, 9 KOs) scored very modest wins of his own in 2015. On the Floyd Mayweather Jr.-Manny Pacquiao undercard, Solomon defeated Adrian Granados by split decision over 10 rounds in a fight that could have gone either way.
Granados scored an upset win over Amir Imam in November of last year.
In his last bout on Oct. 16, Solomon, who resides in Lafayette, Louisiana, won a 10-round unanimous decision over Raymond Serrano.
Unbeaten light heavyweight Oleksandr Gvozdyk will fight former world title challenger Nadjib Mohammedi in a 10-round bout.
The heavy-handed Gvozdyk (9-0, 7 KOs) knocked out Mike Snider in the opening round of his last bout on Feb. 13. Gvozdyk, a 2012 Olympic Bronze Medalist from Ukraine, currently resides in Oxnard, Calif. and is trained by Robert Garcia.
Mohammedi (37-4, 23 KOs) will be Gvozdyk’s toughest opponent on paper with over four times as many pro fights. Mohammedi has faced numerous contenders and world titleholders, including his last fight on Jul. 25 of last year.
In that fight, Mohammedi was overwhelmed by the punching power of Sergey Kovalev, who knocked Mohammedi out in the third round.
In another clash between unbeaten welterweights, hard-hitting Egidijus Kavaliauskas (12-0, 11 KOs) will face Deniz Ilbay (15-0, 8 KOs) in an eight-round bout.
Kavaliauskas has reeled off 11 consecutive wins by knockout, including his last bout on Feb. 13, stopping Prenice Brewer in the second round.
Like Gvozdyk, Kavaliauskas resides in Oxnard and is trained by Robert Garcia.
Ilbay will be fighting for the first time outside his native Germany.
Francisco A. Salazar has written for RingTV since October of 2013 and has covered boxing in Southern California and abroad since 2000. Francisco also covers boxing for the Ventura County (CA) Star newspaper, Boxingscene.com, and Knockout Nation. He can be reached by email at [email protected] or on Twitter at FSalazarBoxing