While the bigger names of this weekend will be Floyd Mayweather vs. Andre Berto and Peter Quillin vs. some guy named Michael Zerafa, the real fights of the weekend will take place on the undercards of those two events. In what would be likely the most competitive fight taking place in Foxwoods Resort in Connecticut, Jermall Charlo will face Cornelius Bundrage for the IBF World Super Welterweight title.
Later on that night, Badou Jack vs George Groves for the WBC World Super Middleweight title and Rocky Martinez vs Orlando Salido for the WBO World Super Featherweight title are two good fights that will be on the undercard of Mayweather-Berto.
Cornelius “K9” Bundrage (34-5 with 19 KOs) vs. Jermall Charlo (21-0 with 16 KOs)
Bundrage has done a lot more in his career and comes in as the champion after winning it against Carlos Molina almost a full year ago. Some other signature wins on his resume include two wins against Cory Spinks and one against Kassim Ouma. Charlo, on the other hand, has not faced near the level of competition that K9 has. His best win was against Antwone Smith, which was two years ago. However, anyone that watches him in the ring can see the potential.
I can see Bundrage trying to bully Charlo, being the 42-year-old veteran that he is. However, a year is a long time out the ring. And as the years go on, the long out of the ring, the harder it is to recover.
The 25-year-old Charlo is up and coming and most people think it’s his time to shine despite never facing anyone near the level of Bundrage in his career. I agree with them, and I’m picking Charlo to use his reach advantage, keep K9 outside, and win by unanimous decision 116-112.
Badou Jack “The Ripper” (19-1 with 12 KOs) vs. “Saint” George Groves (21-2 with 16 KOs)
Jack finally got his first taste of a world title when he defeated Anthony Dirrell this past April. It was the best notch on the 31-year old’s resume thus far. Jack must show that he is not the same guy that got put down twice and stopped by Derek Edwards. George Groves is a big fan favorite and was skyrocketing up rankings. He was winning the fight against UK legend George Groves before getting stopped in the 9th. In their rematch, he was even with Froch before getting stopped again in the 8th.
Has he been ruined? Or did he just reach his limit?
Jack is a good technically skilled fighter that will try to outbox Groves. However Groves has a little bit more pop and he has faced and defeated people that I would consider to either be on the same level or higher than Jack in Glen Johnson and the current IBF World Super Middleweight Champion, James DeGale.
So unless you think the stoppages setback Groves career, he is the more proven fighter. I don’t think Groves is done and will show that on Saturday. Because of this, my pick is Groves by stoppage in the sixth round.
Roman “Rocky” Martinez (29-2 with 17 KOs) vs. Orlando “Siri” Salido (42-13 with 29 KOs)
This is a rematch of one of the fight of the year candidates from earlier this year. That fight was filled with non-stop action, low blows, and knockdowns. Rocky won that one by unanimous decision, but the relentless attack style by Salido made the 32-year-old Rocky have to stay on point for every moment of the fight. The referee will be very crucial in how much he allows the 34-year-old Salido, known as one of the dirtiest fighters in the sport, to get away with.
Vic Drakulich has been named the ref for this fight, and I honestly think there is a solid chance that Salido could end up getting DQ’d if he fights the way he did in the first fight. If Drakulich forces both fighters to fight clean, Martinez is clearly the better boxer right now.
Salido will continue to test the limits and throw those hard wide body shots, but I do think Rocky will once again be able to outbox him. If Salido doesn’t get himself disqualified, I’m still picking Rocky to win by unanimous decision 117-110.
So this weekend should actually be a better than expected weekend. Whether it’s worth the price that is being charged for the two fights above being on a PPV may be another story. However, instead of harping on the mismatches of Mayweather vs. Berto and Quillin vs. Zerafa, I say we concentrate on the fights that actually will be competitive and have us talking the next day.
This will likely be the best weekend for boxing until October, so I suggest you get your monthly fix of boxing in and enjoy the fights.