Jorge Arce features again on the Manny Pacquiao vs Timothy Bradley undercard on June 9. (Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images)
Manny Pacquiao will face Timothy Bradley on June 9 in boxing's next big mega-event, and the pay-per-view undercard has been finalized. Here's a quick run-down of what you'll be seeing for your $60.
Mike Jones vs Randall Bailey (12 Rounds, Welterweights)
Jones (26-0, 19 KO) is at the point of his career where it's time to truly make something happen. At 29, he's not a guy with a ton of upside left, so he's probably more a what you see is what you get fighter, even though he's only come into the public eye in the last couple of years. At six feet tall, he's a big welterweight, but doesn't have crazy reach or anything (his 72" reach is equal to Mayweather's, and well short of Paul Williams' freakish 79" reach), and he's proven beatable and hittable against lesser opponents like the gritty Jesus Soto Karass.
In his last fight, Jones easily outworked Sebastian Lujan on the Cotto vs Margarito II undercard, which was a disappointing fight as Lujan sort of mentally bowed out a lot earlier than expected. That hittable thing could be a problem against Bailey (42-7, 36 KO), who has a right hand that at age 37 still might be the single hardest punch in all of boxing, pound-for-pound. The guy can flat-out crack, but is vulnerable defensively in a big way, and isn't much of a boxer. Outside of his monster right, he offers very little at this level. He's a walking Puncher's Chance.
Guillermo Rigondeaux vs Teon Kennedy (Super Bantamweights, 12 Rounds)
Let's be clear about why this fight has been placed on this card: Nobody gives a crap about Guillermo Rigondeaux (9-0, 7 KO), one of the greatest amateur fighters of all-time, who now holds a world title in the pro ranks after just nine fights. He's very, very good when he's on his game, but he's also boring when he's not fully there or when he's presented with an actual opponent, he has no personality, and he can't sell any tickets. Promoters took a bath in January when he and Rico Ramos sold 375 tickets in Las Vegas for a gate of $14,525. This was a televised show on a premium network, mind you, as Showtime aired the bout in a "special" ShoBox on a Friday night.
Kennedy (17-1-2, 7 KO) is a decent fighter who went to a dull draw with Christopher Martin in January, but shouldn't be any real trouble for Rigondeaux. The 25-year-old Philly fighter is winless in his last two, having dropped a decision to Alejandro Lopez prior to facing Martin.
Jorge Arce vs Jesus Rojas (Super Bantamweights, 10 Rounds)
2011 was a rebirth year for the Mexican brawler Arce (60-6-2, 46 KO), as he jumped up to 122 pounds and easily stole the show on the Pacquiao-Mosley PPV, beating down Wilfredo Vazquez Jr to pick up another world title against massive odds, handing the Puerto Rican his first loss.
Since beating Vazquez, the 32-year-old Arce has fought three straight rematches, avenging his loss to Simphiwe Nongqayi, beating Angky Angkota again (this one was pointless), and then beating Lorenzo Parra in February of this year. Arce has taken his win over Vazquez and used it to float in the background -- he may face Nonito Donaire in September, but then again he may not, since that fight keeps being talked about but not happening.
Rojas (18-1-1, 13 KO) is a Puerto Rican mediocrity they're going to sell to you as a power punching knockout artist who has been dying for the day he could defend the island's flag against the rival Mexicans, but he drew Jose Luis Araiza last time out, which is the only non-loss in Araiza's last six outings, and Rojas' loss was a pretty clear eight-round defeat to Jose Angel Beranza. This fight is a water-treader for Arce, but he has a habit of pretty much always being in fun fights, so it could still be the show's best fight, since it has Jorge Arce and his blood.