By: Brando Chacon (@forever_boxing)
This weekend the infamous Al Haymon debuts his Premier Boxing Champions (PBC) on NBC. Haymon has been working hard behind the scenes getting contract deals with many TV channels such as NBC, Spike TV, Bounce TV and many other rumored networks. Though Haymon has been a shady figure in the sport, his new TV contracts and PBC concept have been a huge step forward for the whole sport of boxing, as boxing tries to return to the mainstream stage once again.
The action packed fights on this card hold a lot of implications for future potential fights. A star on the road back to redemption is Abner Mares, who with a win may land himself a fight against Leo Santa Cruz in the near future. He faces off with Arturo Santos Reyes, who is a tough Mexican fighter whose most famous fights have been losses to Fernando Montiel and Hozumi Hasegawa. In his last outing, he lost to the South African Simpiwe Vetyeka. Abner shouldn’t have a tough night since Reyes isn’t very heavy handed shown by his record of only 5 KO’s in his 18 victories. Abner may not achieve a KO since Reyes is a pretty durable opponent but he should win a comfortable UD.
The co-main event of this card features an exciting bout involving Adrien “The Problem” Broner, who looks to continue his road to stardom, up against the Mexican-American John “The Gladiator” Molina. Both fighters are among the most exciting fighters in the division, Broner is a flashy fighter who uses his quick hands, fast combinations and his counterpunching to breakdown his opponents, while Molina relies more on his body shots, heavy hands and constant pressure. Broner is the favorite in this fight; however Molina is an opponent we all know shouldn’t be taken lightly or just ask Mickey Bey himself. Molina earned a come-from-behind KO win against the undefeated Bey and managed to knock Argentinean Brawler Lucas Matthysse down twice in a war that ended in a 10 round KO defeat. That fight was later voted as Fight of the Year by the BWAA in 2014.
Broner’s only loss came by a UD against the hard-hitting Marcos Maidana back in December of 2013. Though Broner was beaten convincingly, his best moments of the fight were where he was active with his punches and not simply standing in the pocket. Broner has fast hands, excellent combination punches and a tremendous heart which he showed in the Maidana loss. He can win this fight if he stays active with his punches and dictates the pace and distance of the fight. Molina has a 4 inch height and 2 inch reach advantage and should look to use that to his advantage if he wants the victory. Molina has to use his strong jab, batter Broner from the outside and keep Broner at a distance. He can’t let Broner dictate the pace of the fight. However, I can’t see Broner losing this fight due to his immense talent and the fact that this is a must-win if he still has any aspirations of being a superstar in the sport. A loss here can write off any potential mainstream stardom for him. Broner should win by late TKO or UD.
The main event of this card has the potential to be an all-out brawl between two great fighters. Keith “One Time” Thurman squares off with Robert “The Ghost” Guerrero in a fight that has been talked about for the past few years. Thurman is a power punching boxer who has that “One Time” KO power, yet poses underrated technical boxing skills. Guerrero is similar in the sense that he can brawl and make it dirty, but he can also be a very tricky and technical southpaw. This fight can turn out to be a chess match between the two, but most likely will become a very action packed fight. It’s a fun matchup between two tough fighters with a lot at stake for both and a win here can potentially lineup the winner with a big payday. Guerrero may try to use his tricky style to keep Thurman on his toes and may attempt to make the fight dirty to frustrate Thurman. He has a good chin, so Thurman shouldn’t be overly excited thinking he can get a quick KO; Thurman should expect Guerrero to last deep into the rounds. The key for Thurman is to stay patient, look for openings and making sure Guerrero respects his power early on.
Experience is an important factor in this fight to acknowledge. Though “One Time” may be destined for greater things than Guerrero, he lacks the experience Guerrero has and has never faced a fighter on Guerrero’s level. Guerrero has the experience to make him a dangerous opponent against anyone; however Thurman is the bigger man and will be the biggest opponent Guerrero has ever faced. I have been a big fan and supporter of Thurman since his TKO victory of Orlando Lora in 2012 and feel that he has improved in every fight since then. Though Guerrero is a tough rugged fighter, I believe Thurman’s power will be the deciding factor and will not allow Guerrero. This will be a tough fight for both fighters but Thurman should be able to walk away with a hard-fought UD.
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