Michael Katsidis, Jesus Chavez, Carlos Hernandez and Jorge Barrios will compete in a four-man lightweight tournament on pay-per-view on April 4th, and Golden Boy is looking to add a main event piece to the puzzle as well.
Recently signed Top Rank fighter Edwin Valero is also likely to battle 38-year old Colombian slugger Antonio Pitalua in the main event, for a vacant interim lightweight title.
The card will be produced by Golden Boy and distributed by HBO, like last September's Casamayor-Marquez show.
The idea for the tournament is for the winner of it to eventually face the winner of the February 28 fight between Juan Manuel Marquez and Juan Diaz (both Golden Boy fighters), or this Saturday's bout between Nate Campbell (who could be with Golden Boy by then) and Ali Funeka.
On the pay-per-view, Katsidis (24-2, 20 KO) will face the veteran Chavez (44-4, 30 KO). Chavez hasn't had a major fight since his surgically repaired knee gave out on him against Julio Diaz in 2007, but he has fought twice since then. Katsidis had a verbal deal to fight Julio Diaz on the April 10 edition of Friday Night Fights, but this fight was a better money deal for him.
Barrios (47-4-1, 34 KO) hasn't fought since his gruesome, Joker-like lip cut loss to Rocky Juarez on September 6. He will face 38-year old Hernandez (43-7-1, 24 KO), who has fought just once since losing to Kevin Kelley in 2006. Hernandez won a split decision over Hector Allatorre last August.
The tournament is a novel idea in theory, but this is promotional company ownership of a division at its worst, too. The fights sound good on paper, but none of the fighters really have any business being considered top challengers. Hernandez hasn't won a big fight since outpointing Steve Forbes in 2003. Barrios' best win ever is probably taking Mike Anchondo's "0" (he's lost to Juarez, Joan Guzman and Acelino Freitas in competitive battles) and he's never fought at 135 pounds. Katsidis still has no major wins on his record and was outclassed by Diaz and outgunned by an old Joel Casamayor. And Chavez has not won a big fight since 2005.
Honestly, none of them are even in the division's top ten.
As for the proposed main event, Valero (24-0, 24 KO) and Pitalua (46-3, 40 KO) are both serious bangers, nasty punchers, and have the type of meshing potential to put on a Fight of the Year candidate. Pitalua last fought in September, knocking out Jose Armando Santa Cruz in the sixth round.
The good news is that it could be a very nice night of fights. The bad news is that the tournament idea stinks when you let it simmer for a minute or two, and they'll also be going head-to-head with a 140-pound title unification bout between Timothy Bradley and Kendall Holt on Showtime. Chances are I'll order the PPV, mostly to provide a round-by-round for those of you smart enough to watch Bradley-Holt instead.