The September 17 undercard for the Floyd Mayweather Jr vs Victor Ortiz pay-per-view ("Star Power"!!!!) is set, and the four fights offer what is, upon a relaxed inspection, a potentially very exciting night of fights that Golden Boy deserves credit for in terms of action matchmaking.
Mayweather (41-0, 25 KO) and Ortiz (29-2-2, 22 KO) meet in the main event at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, and that fight alone will sell the pay-per-view to over a million homes, like clockwork. There's no way the fight will underperform on pay-per-view, really, as Mayweather's absences make the heart grow fonder for his dedicated fans, and the heart grow fonder to see him finally lose for his haters -- both of whom tend to buy the shows.
Here's what you'll see beforehand.
WBC Junior Middleweight Title, 12 Rounds
Saul "Canelo" Alvarez (37-0-1, 27 KO) vs Alfonso Gomez (23-4-2, 12 KO)
This is a physical mismatch on paper, but has fine potential as a fight. Alvarez, freshly 21 years old, is exaggerating when he says Gomez, 30, is one of the best in the world, but he's right to assume this will be a fight that he has to earn. Gomez has never rolled over and given anyone anything. He didn't stop fighting against Miguel Cotto back in '08 when Cotto steamrolled him. Canelo will be a solid favorite, but the action potential is here. That will be a sort of recurring theme.
WBC Junior Welterweight Title, 12 Rounds
Erik Morales (51-7, 35 KO) vs Jorge Barrios (50-4-1, 35 KO)
When you get past the grossness of the WBC showing egregious favoritism toward Morales by sanctioning this as a vacant title fight, it's a fine fight and should be a war. Both of them are proud, hot-headed fighters who have deserved reputations for providing good fights. Barrios is one of the sport's more outrageous trash talkers, so we'll see if he can get under Morales' skin, which should be fun. I hate the fact that this fight is being put together to manufacture Morales' as Mexico's first four-division "champion" in history, but like the fight, and though I feel bad for Anthony Crolla getting tossed aside for Barrios, I don't actually have a problem with that part of the matchup.
Junior Welterweights, 10 Rounds
Jessie Vargas (16-0, 9 KO) vs Josesito Lopez (29-3, 17 KO)
Here's a good fight that there's no philosophical issue with whatsoever. Prospect Vargas, 22, has blown through Vivian Harris and Walter Estrada in his last two. Sure, those aren't the most amazing wins, but they were solid for where he was at, and now he takes a good challenge from the tough Lopez, a 27-year-old from Riverside, Calif., who you may be familiar with if you're a Friday Night Fights regular. This is a legit fight for a couple of hungry guys looking to step up, and as a tone-setter, could be just about perfect and like the other two fights, has serious potential to be a good fight.
There are things to complain about with this card, but the fights themselves really should be good. You may want to hate -- I admit I kind of wanted to -- but the trio of undercard bouts could see a ton of toe-to-toe action leading into an intriguing main event between an aging superstar who is a once-in-a-generation talent and a potential next generation superstar who seems to have found himself as a welterweight. If this card even gets close to living up to its overall potential, it could be a hell of a night of fights.