Fernando Guerrero looks to notch a third straight win on Saturday, as he fights on the Khan vs Garcia undercard. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
Though the HBO broadcast on Saturday night will feature just the Amir Khan vs Danny Garcia main event, Sky Sports in the UK will be going live two hours earlier than HBO, and should have some undercard action for those watching their broadcast.
Even if they don't wind up showcasing anything -- though I'm sure they will -- here's a look at what's on tap for the Mandalay Bay undercard.
Middleweights, 10 Rounds
Fernando Guerrero (23-1, 18 KO) vs Jose Medina (17-10-1, 7 KO)
Guerrero, 25, was noted earlier in his career as a solid prospect drawing good, rabid crowds in his hometown of Salisbury, Maryland. Now he's a year removed from a bad upset loss in Texas on Friday Night Fights against Grady Brewer, and earlier this year he signed with Al Haymon to both rebuild and hopefully ignite his career.
So far, though, he's been pulled back in competition, and that's probably wise. He's definitely still young enough to make strides, and he's a very good natural athlete. He's got a fighter's mentality, too. When he lost to Brewer, he admitted his mistakes, and said he'd be back. So he's gone back to school, more or less. He's 2-0 since the loss, beating club veterans Robert Kliewer and Jason Naugler, and now he tackles Medina, a 29-year-old Mexican fighter more or less at that same level.
Truthfully, I'm not sure Guerrero is going to make it past this stage. At one point, he was one of my favorite prospects, but he's shown limitations, even before the loss to Brewer, and I think it's going to be a real battle for him to become a main event player. At 5'9", he's short for middleweight, and when they tried to bring him down to 154 against Brewer, that just didn't work. There's no big rush with Guerrero, but I wonder what his ceiling really is going to be. He's a nice kid and he works hard by all accounts, and he's got the raw physical tools. Now it's time to make him a boxer, and that's what they're trying to do. I say best of luck to him, even though I thoroughly disagree with taking a guy out of an area where he can draw crowds, especially if he's going to fight at this level anyway.
Lightweights, 8 Rounds
Jamie Kavanagh (10-0-1, 5 KO) vs Paul Velarde (3-1-3, 0 KO)
22-year-old Kavanagh is probably more famous than he deserves to be thanks to his presence at the Wild Card and occasional chances to be interviewed on TV during things about Manny Pacquiao or Amir Khan or whatever. He's a tough little fighter, but he's another prospect who appears to have a low ceiling, at least to my eye. Kavanagh is a battler, but he's just not got that extra gear to make him a special prospect. He struggled badly in December with Ramesis Gil, and was lucky to leave with a six-round draw. He's won twice since then, but he's still fighting very low-level competition, and that continues with this matchup. Kavanagh gets hit a lot.
Welterweights, 8 Rounds
Phil Lo Greco (23-0, 12 KO) vs Brandon Hoskins (16-1-1, 8 KO)
Lo Greco, 28, isn't really a prospect. When Golden Boy picked him up, I sort of compared him to a guy that MLB teams sign to fill out their minor league system. He's old to be a prospect, and he's best known as being Paulie Malignaggi's buddy. The Toronto native has fought in Canada, Hungary, Germany, and Italy in his career, and made his U.S. debut on the Hopkins-Dawson II show in April. He won that fight, but the guy he fought was worse than bad. Hoskins, from Missouri, has a record that might make you think he's a lot better than he is. He last fought on the Mayweather-Cotto show, losing to Keith Thurman in three totally one-sided rounds. He was really game in that fight, but no challenge whatsoever for Thurman.
Lightweights, 8 Rounds
Abner Cotto (13-0, 5 KO) vs Juan Montiel (5-5-3, 2 KO)
The 24-year-old Cotto is a cousin of Miguel, a 5'9" prospect who has looked good so far as a pro. He was an amateur standout in Puerto Rico and won silver in Rio at the 2007 Pan American Games as a featherweight. For where he is as a pro, he's got a couple of solid wins. Montiel hasn't fought since a close loss to Anthony Crolla on the Mayweather-Ortiz show last year, where he raised some warning flags on Crolla and did better than anyone expected. He's here to be chum, but he was also supposed to be last time, so we'll see.
Middleweights, 8 Rounds
J'Leon Love (11-0, 7 KO) vs Joseph De los Santos (11-9-3, 4 KO)
Love, 24, is a Michigan fighter who has seen his name get some media play, too, in large part because he was part of Antonio Margarito's camp for the Cotto rematch in December of last year, and thus got some face time on "24/7." He's a good fighter with real talent and some potential upside, too. De los Santos is a Dominican fighter, now living in Puerto Rico, who has served as a stepping stone for prospects over his career. He's got losses to Mikael Zewski, Yudel Jhonson, Eliezer Gonzalez, Eddie Gomez, and others. His records by location of fight: 2-6-1 in the United States, 2-3-2 in Puerto Rico, 1-0 in the Bahamas, and 6-0 on the Dominican Republic. Combined record of his six opponents in the Dominican Republic was 9-153-2.
Junior Middleweights, 4 Rounds
Daquarn Arnett (4-0, 2 KO) vs Eddie Cordova (3-2-1, 1 KO)
I know nothing about this fight. Arnett is a 19-year-old from Winter Park, Florida.