The undercard for Star Power has been finalized. Here's how we rate each of the fights in terms of competitiveness and potential for fireworks:
Erik Morales vs. Lucas Matthysse (the Las Vegas co-feature event)
The presence of Matthysse makes this fight a more legitimate and interesting contest than would be the case had the original opponent, Barrios, made it through customs. As it is, Matthysse is a far more deserving challenger for the vacant WBC 140 lb. belt he and Morales will be contesting, a "world championship" that has now been stripped from Timothy Bradley not once, but twice (the first time was after another unification fight, against Kendall Holt). A lot of people like this fight, but any fight with a tough opponent like Matthysse that Morales takes at this stage of his career makes me a little queasy. Morales took a lot of punishment from Maidana, and Matthysse is almost as strong, and a better defensive boxer (both Alexander and Judah had problems hitting him consistently). Ironically, since Matthysse's workrate is noticeably lower than Maidana's, Morales may actually have a better shot of winning the fight, consequently becoming the first Mexican-born fighter to win titles in four different weight classes (122, 126, 130, and 140).
Jessie Vargas vs. Josesito Lopez (the Las Vegas broadcast opener)
Junior welterweight prospect Jessie Vargas is 16-0 with 9 knockouts, but his resume so far is pretty thin. He was fed the shot Vivian Harris in April (and, it should be noted, he took fewer rounds than Victor Ortiz did to finish off that version of Harris). Josesito Lopez I know even less about, but in his biggest win, he knocked out Mike Dallas Jr., who was also undefeated at the time. I think this very easily could be the best fight on the PPV card.
Saul Alvarez v. Alfonso Gomez (the Los Angeles main event)
The fight in which Alvarez won the WBC title at 154 lbs. was a joke (against the hapless Matthew Hatton, who, although game, had exactly no chance in a hundred to win). Alvarez's first defense, against another Englishman, Ryan Rhodes, was only just less so. Now, for Alvarez's second defense, his team has selected former Contender participant, Alfonso Gomez. Gomez has looked pretty good since he was destroyed by an in-prime pre-Margarito Miguel Cotto a few years back. He surprised the hell out of me by winning a technical decision against the tough Jesus Soto-Karass, then trampled all over the shell of Jose Luis Castillo, before blowing out Calvin Green in May. I expect him to give Alvarez, who I haven't completely bought into, all he can handle. If Canelo can beat Gomez as definitively as Cotto did, then he'll have answered some pretty important questions.
Floyd broke his silence today in a brief interview with Ben Thompson at Fighthype.com. The skinny:
In other words, same old Floyd.
Due to inactivity, Floyd was removed from The Ring Magazine's Pound-For-Pound Top Ten List this week, enabling Miguel Cotto to return to the list at number ten. Personally, I would've preferred the inclusion of someone fresher, like maybe Amir Khan or Yuriorkis Gamboa.
The current rankings are (courtesy of The Ring):
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