The September 19 televised undercard for the Floyd Mayweather Jr.-Juan Manuel Marquez has been finalized. There are no surprises and, but now everything is official.
The highlight of the undercard, of course, is the featherweight title rematch between undefeated Chris John and Rocky Juarez. The two met on February 28 and fought to a draw in Houston. That same night, Marquez stopped Juan Diaz in a Fight of the Year contender. John-Juarez surprised the first time around by being a very good fight when most of us expected a technical affair with John beating Juarez handily. Most felt John won the bout, but Juarez made it a fight and rocked John late. The numbers are what they are, and they say that the winner of the first fight almost always wins the rematch, and John is the favorite. But Juarez is a live dog and has to be aware that the title shots are going to stop coming if he fails here.
The second featured bout will pit lightweights Michael Katsidis and Vicente Escobedo, who both impressed at Golden Boy's Lightweight Lightning show in April. Escobedo may finally be building some real steam as a contender, and Katsidis is rarely in anything less than a good fight. If Escobedo attacks Katsidis the way he did Carlos Hernandez, we could have an absolute war on our hands.
Zab Judah rounds out the card, taking on Mexican veteran Antonio Diaz in a welterweight clash. Judah had been set to face Matthew Hatton, but suddenly and strangely demanded that the fight take place at 140 pounds, a weight at which Hatton has never fought and Judah hasn't made in years. Judah apparently has no problem fighting Diaz at the higher weight, which is bizarre. Diaz is probably a more dangerous fight than Hatton, not that either of them should be a threat at all.
In summary, the September 19 HBO pay-per-view card:
- Main Event: Floyd Mayweather Jr. (39-0, 25 KO) v. Juan Manuel Marquez (50-4-1, 37 KO), 144-Pound Catchweight
- WBA Featherweight Title: Chris John (42-0-2, 22 KO) v. Rocky Juarez (28-4-1, 20 KO), Rematch
- Interim WBO Lightweight Title: Michael Katsidis (25-2, 21 KO) v. Vicente Escobedo (21-1, 13 KO)
- Welterweights, 10 Rounds: Zab Judah (37-6, 25 KO) v. Antonio Diaz (46-5-1, 29 KO)