Tonight at 9 p.m. EDT on ESPN2 and ESPN3.com, Friday Night Fights is back with a super middleweight main event that could be pretty explosive, as contender Adonis Stevenson meets former middleweight title challenger Noe Gonzalez in a 12-round bout that will have ratings implications for all four major sanctioning bodies.
Usually I won't bother to go into this stuff, but this is a unique case of a fight having major ramifications for two guys looking for title shots. This isn't an eliminator and it's not one sanctioning body putting something up for grabs, it's all four of them. The WBC's Silver title, held by Gonzalez (28-1, 20 KO), is on the line. Stevenson (17-1, 14 KO) holds the IBF's Inter-Continental title, and that's on the line, as are the NABA (WBA) titles and NABO (WBO) titles, also held by Stevenson.
So in short, tonight's winner will be in a fairly good position to land a title shot with any of the major organizations. Past that it's a fight where both guys can punch and both leave things to be desired defensively.
In the co-feature, Colombian-Canadian light heavyweight prospect Eleider Alvarez (7-0, 5 KO) will take on journeyman Rayco Saunders (22-15-2, 9 KO). Saunders has been in the ring with a lot of solid fighters, both prospects and veterans, over his 10-year carer, and the 37-year-old from Pittsburgh is the right type of step for 28-year-old Alvarez, who has gotten a late start on his own pro journey, turning to the paid ranks in 2009 but not really getting going until last year. His last fight was a first round knockout win in 2:33 over Emiliano Cayetano (21-4, 12 KO), an aged Dominican club fighter whose record was better than Saunders', but probably not his talent.
Join us tonight, as we start here and will move to ShoBox (Taylor vs Truax, Lara vs Hearns) at 11 p.m. EDT, with live updates all night.