Dan Rafael's latest blog has some big updates on the Hatton-Pacquiao PPV undercard on May 2, and there's some interesting stuff.
- Steven Luevano will still defend his 126-pound title against Bernabe Concepcion. That's not changing. That's the "feature" undercard bout.
- James Kirkland will be on, likely against Michael "Midnight Stalker" Walker (19-1-2, 12 KO). Walker has fought at middleweight and super middleweight. Kirkland may also get a title shot against Sergiy Dzinziruk on a June 27 Boxing After Dark card, which could also feature Victor Ortiz getting a title shot at Andriy Kotelnik. A third fight on the card: a Chris John-Rocky Juarez rematch. That's a hell of an interesting card. Bring it on.
- Top Rank wanted Mike Alvarado against Lucas Matthysse, the brother of the guy Kermit Cintron memorably waxed on the Gatti-Gomez card in 2007. That's not happening.
- Instead, a couple of four-rounders featuring top prospects will be on the show. Right now it looks like Top Rank will showcase Matvey Korobov and Golden Boy will present one of my current favorites, Erislandy Lara.
It's a decent card, considering the main event is absolutely cannot miss if you have any interest in boxing and not only is a huge commercial fight, but a legitimate potential Fight of the Year candidate. Lara and Korobov are both excellent prospects and putting them on this card will introduce them to people that otherwise legitimately may never see them. Lara in particular is thrilling. Kirkland is always entertaining, and Luevano is a Pacquiao undercard staple in what should be a decent fight, and could be better. Luevano can be pushed into very entertaining fights (think Mario Santiago).
Also: on the March 21 card in Germany, Chris Byrd will fight an eight-round cruiserweight bout, and Tony Thompson will also be in action. Neither will be on ESPN. Both have helped Vitali Klitschko in training for his main event fight with Juan Carlos Gomez.