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New York- I don’t care that Adrien Broner is returning to the ring after a two year hiatus Saturday night as the main event on Showtime. The lone interest is to see how Broner reacts to the first punch thrown at him and undefeated Jovanie Santiago has the ability to push back any type of comeback for Broner.
Besides the fact, Broner has lost interest and also would need a tough hill to climb to become a five-time champion and fighting Saturday night at 147.
Yes, Showtime has a relatively good triple header with former heavyweight world title challenger Dominic Breazeale and highly touted contender Otto Wallin, who will square off in the 12-round co-feature. And former world champion Robert Easter Jr. and contender Ryan Martin who will meet in a 12-round super lightweight bout to open the telecast.
But Saturday night, the interest is about a good old Mexican war. Miguel Berchelt and Oscar Valdez, presented by Top Rank and televised on ESPN for the featherweight title, with memories of two Mexico legends when Marco Antonio Barrera and Erik Morales had their punch-for-punch brawls.
And Gabriel Flores Jr, vs. Jayson Velez is not a bad junior lightweight fight. So boxing, though once again going head-to-head with telecasts, leaves one thought. You need to tune in for Berchelt vs. Valdez that has the makings of fight of the year and a good one for the sport.
Because it can never disappoint when two hard punching fighters, in particular featherweights from Mexico, fight for a title. I can tell you first hand covering Barrera and Morales at ringside was epic.
The punches from Berchelt and Valdez are expected to be epic. So Adrien Broner is the last option, unless he gets in the ring way before the ESPN main event begins.
So what about Berchelt and Valdez? They are throwbacks of a sort to that era of Barerra and Morales. And in the era now, of perhaps the face of boxing with Canelo Alvarez, who stands to become the greatest fighter from Mexico, this is as good as it gets.
Yet the punches they will throw will cast a doubt as to how close they’ re as friends.
Berchelt and Valdez eat at the same food spots in Mexico. They are no strangers outside the ring. They will not be strangers inside the ring Saturday night when then go punch-for-punch as expected. Yet, Berchelt has the ability to land the perfect punch inside if Valdez allows that opportunity.
With all that in mind, Mexican boxing is again in the spotlight. Both fighters know about that Mexican history, the historic champions and wars in the ring. They admired Morales, Barrera, and the legacy of Julio Cesar Chavez.
It was a Mexican tuff war when Barrera and Morales represented Mexico City. Morales stood up for small town Tijuana, and these two multiple champions fought each other three times for pride, bragging rights, and titles in three different weight classes.
Morales won the brutal first bout in February of 2000 for the super bantamweight championship. Two years later, Barrera took Morales’ WBC featherweight title, then grabbed his rival’s super featherweight belt two years later after that. All three fights went the distance and led to close decisions, with the first and third bouts earning “Fight of the Year” honors.
Indeed, Saturday night we could be headed to the next and great trilogy. Berchelt and Valdez have the ability to do that at the MGM Grand “Bubble” in Las Vegas. It’s a fight that boxing fans world wide will want to see again as I expect this fight to end via a draw or close decision for Berchelt.
Boxing deserves a fight of this magnitude. And if they do fight again a second or third fight would deserve to be fought before a full house of fans,and not a limited number as to protocols in place because of the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic.
So on a night when boxing has another conflict, guess what fight I will be viewing?
Throwing The Punches: Last week when Joseph Diaz lost the IBF Jr. lightweight title on the scales it did not make a difference. He would win the fight against Shavkatdzhon Rakhimov, but again my contention is weigh the fighters the old way on fight day. Does it make a difference?
Ready for Canelo Alvarez? Second time in the last few months on DAZN next Saturday. When was the last time a champion had an agenda to fight four or five times a year….
This Date in Boxing History Sixto Escobar regains the world Bantamweight title, beating Harry Jeffra by a fifteen-round decision.
Rich Mancuso: Twitter@Ring786 Facebook.com/Rich Mancuso
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