Saturday night at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas is going to have a fairly active card before the middleweight championship between Saul “Canelo” Alvarez and Gennady “GGG” Golovkin takes place. A former four division champion returns to the ring, a super welterweight title will be on the line, and a middleweight fight that is sure to be action packed are included in the card at T-Mobile Arena. Let’s take a look at these matches.
Roman Gonzalez versus Moises Fuentes
Remember when there was a small guy with the nickname of “Chocoltito” that had all of a sudden captured the eye of boxing fans for his unbeaten record and becoming a multi-division champion in 2016? He was being considered as one of the top pound-for-pound fighters in the sport and seemed to be a buzzsaw of sorts in the flyweight division. In 2017 after winning a close fight against Carlos Cuadras to win a super flyweight title, he lost by decision to Srisaket Sor Rungvisai in an upset of sorts in March and then was knocked out emphatically by Sor Rungvisai in September that people questioned whether he would be back in the division or even in boxing again. Now over one year after that loss, the Nicaraguan comes back to face Fuentes who has been a former champion, but that was at minimumweight six years ago and he has lost three of his last four fights (including his last one to WBC flyweight champ Daigo Higa).
This fight will be in the super flyweight division, which indicates that if Gonzalez wins he will be challenging other top contenders in that division which Juan Francisco Estrada, Donnie Nietes, and champions Khalid Yafai and Jerwin Ancajas. I am not sure if Gonzalez will be able to fare well against those fighters as I feel that he reached his limit at flyweight, but for the time being many will welcome his return to the squared circle on Saturday night.
Jaime Munguia versus Brandon Cook
When the rematch between Canelo and Golovkin was originally scheduled then cancelled because of Canelo’s positive test, there was talk that Golovkin would face Munguia as a replacement on May 5th. That fight did not come to fruition and Golovkin ended up fighting Vanes Martirosyan that day. On the flip side, Munguia ended up facing Sadam Ali for the WBO super welterweight title and beat him easily for that belt. Now after one defense of that title, he now is at a position to where even more people will notice him in the ring as he takes on Brandon Cook. What is interesting about this fight is that Cook is at a nearly similar position as where Munguia was. He was supposed to face former welterweight champion Kell Brook in July, but Brook pulled out due to an injury. Now Brandon has an opportunity to become a world champion just like Munguia.
Cook is coming off two wins by KO, but his lone loss came a year ago to Kanat Islam by knockout and Munguia is seen to be as a big guy in the super welterweight division. With this being his second defense of the WBO title, Munguia looks to improve on the performance that he had against Liam Smith where he did score a unanimous decision win but showed some openings that other fighters could take advantage of. Cook intends to make the most out of this moment and will most likely blitz the young champion early. We’ll see if Munguia adjusts quickly or not.
David Lemieux versus Spike O’Sullivan
For some, this may end up as the fight of the night. Two middleweights that are come forward fighters that look to do damage in close quarters will go against each other and both are looking forward to it. Lemieux is the former IBF middleweight champion that has tried to get back in the title race but failed in his battle against Billy Joe Saunders in December. On the same card, O’Sullivan knocked out Antoine Douglas to position himself among the top contenders for one of the title belts in the division. He has never fought for a world title, but he wishes to do so very soon. He will have to get through Lemieux in order to make that wish possible.
Spike mentioned back in July that he wanted a fight with Lemieux and that request was answered. Now it is time to see who will stay among the discussion in the middleweight division as the main event will decide who will be ranked at the top and the fights next month (Jacobs-Derevyanchenko and Saunders-Andrade) shape who is next in the rankings. Lemieux and O’Sullivan will surely give the fans in attendance a good fight and I look forward to it. I’m not sure who is the favorite in this matchup which makes this fight even more intriguing.
Cover photo by Hogan Photos