April 14th, 2011 By John Signorella
New York, NY- After consecutive weeks of solid cards featuring furious exchanges in compellingly entertaining high profile bouts; another tumultuous weekend of “misunderstandings” is upon us. As always, let’s first take a look at the storied attraction.
HBO CONTINUES TO BRING DA’ PAIN
In the sixth defense of his WBC welterweight (147) crown; Andre Berto (27-0, 21 KOs) squares off against once promising contender Victor Ortiz (28-2-2, 22 KOs) over 12 or less rounds at the Foxwoods Resort & Casino in Mashantucket, Connecticut, Saturday at 9:45 PM ET on HBO.
MOVING ON PAST TRAGEDY
As a nine year unbeaten veteran of the sport; Haitian born champion Andre Berto had establish himself as one of the sport’s most promising talents. From his accomplishments; Andre found himself on the cusp of engaging in a bout that could have potentially boosted him to superstardom. However
, last January, in what was to be the biggest challenge of his career against Shane Mosley, Berto was forced to withdraw from the contest due to the devastating earthquakes that rocked Haiti. The tragedy cost Andre family members and obvious (and understood) time away from the sport. Since the unfortunate circumstance suffered to his homeland, a galvanized Berto has fought twice, knocking out both opponents.
HEADED FOR THE BIG TIME, ORTIZ QUIT DURING TEST!
In a “life or death” battle against tough champion Marcos Maidana, Ortiz floored Maidana in the first stanza. Maidana recovered, beat the count and rose to the occasion as an over confident Ortiz moved in for the kill. A clear-headed Maidana railed sending Ortiz flat on his back to the canvas. Ortiz quickly got up and a memorable war ensued. After six back and forth action filled rounds, Maidana hit the canvas once more, got up, and so did Ortiz. After rising to his feet, a weary Ortiz got drilled by a few more shots, took a knee on his own admission, and quit. Since committing” boxing’s biggest sin”, Ortiz picked up a few wins against “club fighters” and now finds himself back at the “big show” on HBO.
OPENING BOUT IS NOTHIN’ TO SLEEP ON
WBA light welterweight (140) strap carrier Amir Khan (24-1, 17 KOs) faces undefeated challenger Paul McCloskey (22-0, 12 KOs) in a scheduled 12 rounds of throw down from the M.E.N Arena in Manchester, United Kingdom.
KHAN’S GOT POWER AND GUTS
Fresh off an exhilarating war against fierce scrapper Marcos Maidana in which Britain’s Amir Khan proved his nay sayers wrong in regard to his chin, Khan returns home for his third title defense. Prior to his recent triumphs, Khan won his first 18 bouts, whacking out 14. Going into his 19th professional bout against unbeaten contender Breidis Prescott, the buzz was high for Amir to rise to prominence. However, Amir got starched by a right hand from Prescott and lasted just 54 seconds in the bout. Since the embarrassment against Prescott, Amir has won six straight (2 KOs) and managed to pick up the WBA strap. Khan’s recent win streak is highlighted with victories over Mexican legend Marco Antonio Barrera (W TD 5), Paulie Malignaggi (W UD 12), and the aforementioned Marcos Maidana (W UD 12).
Despite being a mandatory challenger with a perfect record, Paul McCloskey, outside of his home turf of the United Kingdom, is a relative unknown. Be that as it may, against limited European opposition; Paul has done what has been asked of him and has complied an impressive perfect record and has improved in the power department of late, knocking out five in a row.
“JUAN MA” JOINT ON SHOWTIME
Juan Manuel Lopez (30-0, 27 KOs) puts his WBO featherweight (126) title on the line against rugged 15 year veteran Orlando Salido (34-11-2, 22 KOs) in a proposed 12 rounds of championship boxing from the Coliseo Ruben Rodriguez in Bayamon, Puerto Rico, Saturday at 10:30 PM ET on Showtime.
NATURAL BORN SLUGGER
Boasting a knockout percentage of 90 percent, free-spirited combination throwing Juan Lopez has shown “lights out” type power. Contrast to his barrage of terror, Juan has shown a multiplicity of craft and intestinal fortitude; attributes which were highlighted by answering the final bell in his “life and death” battle with Rogers Mtagwa (W Lopez, UD 12). By displaying “heart”, which is a scarce trait of many of today’s prize fighters, “Juan Ma” is a rare breed. Since his blistering epic with Mtagwa, by knocking out 3 straight top featherweights in Steven Luevano (W TKO 7), Bernabe Concepcion (W TKO 2), and the great Rafael Marquez (W TKO 8), Lopez has been nothing short of menacing.
BEEN THERE DONE THAT, BUT WHERE IS IT GOIN’?
Streaky former IBF belt holder Orlando Salido’s career has seen many ups and downs. Even though his record suggests him to be somewhat of “a has been, never will be” type of fighter, it should be noted that most of his defeats came by way of some of the best fighters in his division. During those setbacks, for the most part, Salido gave a valiant effort resulting with him answering the final bell.
CURTAIN RAISER GOT SOMETHING FOR YA
Perfect record “somebody’s 0 gotta go” pugs Mike Alvarado (29-0, 21 KOs) and Vernon Paris (24-0, 14 KOs) square off in a scheduled 10 round welterweight (147) affair.
ESPN HOOKS IT UP TONIGHT!
As per usual, the popular fight series “ESPN Friday Night Fights” kicks off the boxing weekend. Each installment of the decorated series features news, analysis of upcoming bouts, interviews, celebrity guests offering insight into the world of boxing, and competitive scraps. This week; heavy handed light welterweights (140) Ivan Popoca (15-0-1, 10 KOs) and Ruslan Provodnikov (18-1, 12 KOs) are pitted in combat over 10 slated rounds at the Pechanga Resort & Casino in Temecula, California, tonight on ESPN 2 at 9 PM ET.