Though HBO will be airing just the main event live on Saturday night from Reliant Arena in Houston, the undercard of the Julio Cesar Chavez Jr vs Peter Manfredo Jr card has some notable names in action.
The biggest news of the undercard is that after 20 months out of the ring following an absolutely horrible performance against Manny Pacquiao at Cowboys Stadium, former welterweight titlist Joshua Clottey will return to action. Here's a full rundown of the lineup.
Middleweights, 8 Rounds
Joshua Clottey (35-4, 20 KO) vs Calvin Green (21-6-1, 13 KO)
Green, 33, has become a favored opponent by big-time promoters for bringing their fighters back from layoffs. He's gutsy, he tries to make a fight happen, and he fights like he's got nothing to lose, which is appropriate because he really doesn't. He's also a light hitter, tiny for anything above welterweight, and isn't hard to find. Green was hand-picked to face Sergio Mora following a 19-month layoff by Mora, and Alfonso Gomez coming off of a 14-month break.
Clottey, who turned 34 in October, will want to get back to the bigger stages soon. Outside of the Manny debacle, he's been very competitive in losses to Antonio Margarito and Miguel Cotto (some felt he beat Cotto) and has wins over Zab Judah and Diego Corrales. Don't let the Pacquiao fight fool you if that's all you know of Clottey: He's a very good fighter, and it's good to have him back. Word is he'll work down to the junior middleweight division in time. This is pure rust-shaker material.
Welterweights, 8 Rounds
Wale Omotoso (19-0, 17 KO) vs Lanardo Tyner (25-4-2, 13 KO)
Omotoso, 26, is a Nigerian fighting out of Australia, signed this year by Top Rank. "Lucky Boy" was pretty shaky in his last outing, a win over Calvin Odom on September 10's Gamboa vs Ponce De Leon undercard, getting floored in the first round. The video above doesn't show that knockdown, nor does it show the crowd's hostile reaction to referee Sparkle Lee's terrible fifth round stoppage.
Omotoso is now trained by Freddie Roach, but that's no guarantee for improvement or success. Tyner, 36, is small, but not a total pushover. In July 2010, he shut down Antwone Smith's running rise out of obscurity, and if Omotoso is as flawed as he appeared two months ago, this could be a bit of a trap for him.
Light Heavyweights, 6 Rounds
Marcus Johnson (20-1, 15 KO) vs Billy Bailey (11-12, 4 KO)
Johnson, 26, is fighting for the first time since his loss on ShoBox to Dyah Davis in April, a listless performance where the criticisms of Johnson's prospect years -- laziness, lack of dedication, etc. -- seemed to catch up to him against an opponent he couldn't just physically dominate. This should be an easy comeback for him at home in Houston.
Featherweights, 4 Rounds
Luis Zarazua (1-0, 1 KO) vs Richard Avila (1-5, 0 KO)
Zarazua was a Texas amateur standout and is still a teenager now that he's turned pro, which came just a couple of weeks ago on October 29. Here's the video of his pro debut. Don't blink, 'cause it's short and nasty:
Also on the card, with TBA opponents: Floyd Mayweather Sr-trained lightweight Mickey Bey Jr (17-0-1, 9 KO); and rough-edged 24-year-old Jose Pinzon (19-2-1, 12 KO), who in December 2010 gave Pawel Wolak a bit more than he bargained for before the Pole broke him down.