With just over a month left to go trying to convince boxing fans in a bad economy to spend $50 on a pay-per-view fight that HBO wanted nothing to do with, there remains no announced undercard for Hopkins-Jones II. The two legends meet on April 3 at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas.
There has been some talk, of course, but not much. Square Ring was cold to matching Daniel Edouard against Sergio Mora, and to a potentially exciting Jason Litzau-Rocky Juarez featherweight showdown. They were at last report highly interested in matching prospect Ismayl Sillakh (11-0, 10 KO) with Enrique Ornelas, the veteran Hopkins handled easily in December.
While Sillakh-Ornelas is a fine idea, it also still isn't official, and it's not like Golden Boy or Square Ring have been spending a whole lot of time promoting other fight cards. The only big show Golden Boy has going before Hopkins-Jones II is the Marcos Maidana-Victor Cayo edition of Boxing After Dark on March 27.
So what's the hold-up? Dan Rafael at ESPN keeps a good schedule, and he's got nothing listed. Even BoxRec hasn't gotten decent enough rumors to throw something on their schedule for the undercard.
Just 86 years of light heavyweight sitting as a four-star rematch, 17 years after the original battle in Washington, D.C.
What has become clear, if nothing else has, is that they're not exactly stacking this undercard. We hoped that the rumors of Khan-Maidana on this show would come true, but now Amir Khan and Marcos Maidana both have other fights. I expected with Philly's Hopkins in the headlining bout, we might have seen Golden Boy prospect Danny Garcia on the undercard, but that looks out, as does the potential to see Daniel Jacobs in action. Garcia is fighting on Friday, and Jacobs is rumored to be part of the Mosley-Mayweather show on May 1.
Most shameful if this undercard winds up being a genuine stinkbomb is that the ideas were there for something watchable. Litzau-Juarez might have been awful if both guys came out tentative (both have been a bit iffy the last couple of years), but also could've been a really good fight between a couple of guys badly needing the victory and an impressive performance. Sillakh-Ornelas is a good fight and a nice fit as an opener. And while I had about as much interest in Mora-Edouard as I might in drinking melted mayonnaise, I admit I'm at the point where I mostly try to take even a potential two out of three as something useful out of a PPV undercard. Sad state of affairs, perhaps, but boxing PPVs are what they are, and it's not going to change.