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Cotto-Pacquiao Undercard: Morel-Valdez a possibility?

Primera Hora (via reports that even though a bad cut suffered by Fernando Montiel on Saturday night will yet again postpone his fight with Eric Morel, the would-be challenger could find himself featured on the November 14 Cotto-Pacquiao undercard anyway. Morel might face Alejandro Valdez instead. Valdez was the man that caused the cut, and the man many feel was robbed of a would-be stoppage of Montiel due to shady officiating.

Morel (41-2, 21 KO) is Puerto Rican, so he'd "fit" on the card with Cotto headlining. The 33-year old has gone 6-0 with three stoppages since he returned to the ring in 2008 after his stint in prison. The Montiel fight has been postponed several times now, and was to be on the 11/14 card, but with Montiel out, we'll see. The idea to fight Valdez (21-3-3, 15 KO) comes from the WBO, who would sanction it as an interim title fight while Montiel recovers. It's rare, but this is a situation where an interim title kind of makes sense.

As for the rest of the undercard, here's what seems to me to be playing out:

  • Confirmed: Yuri Foreman (27-0, 8 KO) will test not just WBA junior middleweight titlist Daniel Santos (32-3-1, 23 KO), but the ability of viewers to stay awake. Why the organizers thought this card was a great place to showcase Foreman and Santos is beyond me. Yes, it's a major title fight, but Santos spends more time deciding not to fight someone than he does actively participating in the sport, which to be fair to him might be just as much Don King's fault. And Foreman is like televised Tylenol PM. He's got skills, but the man can't break an egg and fights with less urgency than just about anyone I've ever seen.
  • Confirmed: Jesus Soto Karass and Alfonso Gomez will bang it out in what could be a thriller of a fight between the two fringe welterweight contenders. Gomez was once nearly decapitated by Miguel Cotto, and Karass would be, too, but both guys have guts to spare and are in a must-win situation with this fight.
  • Probably Won't Happen: Bob Arum desperately wants a 135-pound title fight between Edwin Valero and Humberto Soto, but as much as we'd all crap our pants to see that barnburner paired with Cotto-Pacquiao, I just don't think it will. It is a feeling fed by absolutely nothing and I have no clue whether or not it's true, but I sort of get the impression Soto doesn't want this fight as much as he might let on, and that Valero isn't exactly itching to fight a non-star that stands a much better chance of fighting back than a lot of the schlubs he's drilled thus far.

In all honesty, unless Arum and Top Rank simply can't come up with a better fight than Morel-Valdez no matter how hard they try, I wouldn't expect to see that fight make the show. Neither guy has any name in the States whatsoever, despite that Morel is a pretty legit contender and Valdez was arguably robbed of what might have been 2009's biggest upset. It's not a bad fight by any stretch, but surely Top Rank could come up with something better. If you look at the other fights, you have Foreman (who Arum loves as a promotional tool, as harsh as that might sound) going for a title; Gomez was a "Contender" star who's been on TV a lot; and Valero-Soto is half a wet dream for a boxing diehard. Morel-Valdez is really none of these things.

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