As we're previewing the three undercard fights for Saturday one-by-one (with one left to go), I thought I'd point you to a different take from the LA Times.
The undercard for Saturday's Miguel Cotto-Manny Pacquiao bout in Las Vegas is a compelling one, featuring five unbeaten boxers and a WBA world welterweight title fight.
I would be remiss if I didn't argue this point, though. I know I'm trying to be positive and all, but does anyone really find this undercard to be compelling? There's a chance that JSK-Gomez is a decent fight, but what does that do? Two guys not in the welterweight top ten. Santos-Foreman might be for a title, but it's not a welterweight title and it's a dreadful fight on paper. Also I'm hoping they're counting the entire show (and assume they are), because the only unbeaten fighters on the TV undercard are Yuri Foreman and Julio Cesar Chavez Jr.
Arum is being honest about Chavez, and confident about the show's potential:
"Yeah, he'll drive the pay-per-view," said Arum, who is confident Saturday's card will surpass 1 million buys. "I don't care what anybody says. I'm not running an election. I'm trying to do business."
I said before I totally get why Bob put JCC Jr. on this show, and do not blame him one bit. I wish they'd found an opponent with a pulse, but hey, how much can you really ask?
As for Troy Rowland, he's not just happy to be here, he's looking to win:
"He's undefeated, and we've got just one chance to take his zero away. That's what we've been training to do," Rowland said. "I've been reading stuff on the Internet that says, 'Oh, well, he's fighting a nobody' because nobody knows my name. But I've been around a while. I've had some good fights.
"He's a hard fighter and I'm a hard fighter. So we're going to tear it up."
I'm not trying to be a jerk or rude or anything, but the reason people say Chavez is fighting a nobody is because Rowland is a nobody. "Nobody knows my name," he says. Yes, correct, and that's what makes you a nobody. His having been around a while (with nobody having heard of him) and having had some good fights (that nobody's ever seen) don't change that. I have nothing in the world against Troy Rowland and would probably freak out if he scores the upset, but he's being slighted by media because he's a step down on paper for Chavez and, well, a nobody. He's a 34-year-old club fighter. Nobody's spreading lies, he's just never fought close to this level, and 34 is generally not the breakout age for a boxer.
In real terms, there's nothing Chavez actually gains from beating Rowland. He simply stays in the position he's at, awaiting his being made a gift mandatory title challenger in 2010 (which has already been promised him), with the Bobfather waiting for the time to take the risky move, which will either amount to a bigger star being born for Chavez, or a cashing-in of his chips.