With the rematch between Humberto Soto and Urbano Antillon called off, Top Rank and Showtime needed a replacement bout for the May 7 pay-per-view headlined by Manny Pacquiao and Shane Mosley. Top Rank has announced that fight.
Junior welterweights Mike Alvarado and Ray Narh will face off for a very, very minor alphabet trinket. To say this is a step down from Soto-Antillon II would not do steps down justice, but this has all developed on short notice, and the good news is it isn't a Tom Zbikowski fight.
Alvarado (29-0, 21 KO) is a former prospect from Colorado, now 30 years old, whose career stalled out along the way and never really took a next step from beating solid gatekeepers and veterans. He served a five-month prison sentence a little while back before returning in April 2010, which contributed to slowing him down, as did more legal troubles last year which canceled a fight with Paul Malignaggi, which was scheduled for the Chavez-Duddy show last June.
As for Narh (25-1, 21 KO), he's a 32-year-old Ghanaian living in Pittsburgh. He's had lots of would-be steps up fall through before. He was last seen on Friday Night Fights slapping around the blown-up remains of Freddie Norwood in a largely unimpressive performance. He's not a prospect, no matter what anyone tells you, just a guy looking to get a late jump into relevance. He has shown real power at 135 and 140 in the past. His only loss was a knockout in 2:52 to Almazbek "Kid Diamond" Raiymkulov back in 2004.
It's a make-or-break fight with stakes for the fighters involved, at least. I know it's not what anyone wants to pay to see on a major PPV, and it's not what I want to pay to see either, but given the circumstances I expected something even less ambitious and meaningful.
So here's the full PPV card now:
Main Event, Welterweights, 12 Rounds
Manny Pacquiao v. Shane Mosley
Super Middleweights, 10 Rounds
Kelly Pavlik v. Alfonso Lopez
Super Bantamweights, 12 Rounds
Wilfredo Vazquez Jr. v. Jorge Arce
Junior Welterweights, 10/12 Rounds
Mike Alvarado v. Ray Narh