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Why did PBC match Javier Fortuna against Omar Douglas?

Forget Garcia-Vargas. This is the best fight on PBC this Saturday, and it’s because of one simple factor.

Patrick Hyland v Javier Fortuna Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images

Last June, when Javier Fortuna (30(22)-1-1) was upset by Jason Sosa (19(15)-1-4), I suspect PBC saw something that made them drool: two power left hooks that crumpled Fortuna in R11. All of a sudden, Sosa won a fight in which he was down on all three scorecards.

As it happens, PBC has on their roster a fighter who’s a left hook specialist. Omar Douglas (17(12)-0) may have his flaws, but one thing he does extremely well is throw the left hook to the body.

That’s not to say Douglas isn’t decent at other things. He’s got a decent jab-cross combo. He’s also good at cutting off the ring. Yet if there’s anything Douglas does better than most, it’s finding a solid home for his left hand at the bottom of the ribcage.

Douglas is a prospect who’s been featured on a number of PBC cards. Unlike a few PBC prospects, he’s won all his fights even if they haven’t always been easy. And here — almost custom made for Douglas — is a former world titlist who could give their prospect legitimacy.

There’s no question that Douglas will land the left hook to the body on Fortuna. There is a question, though, on whether Fortuna will necessarily succumb — or whether he’ll weather the storm and give Douglas some punishment. Yes, against Sosa, Fortuna fell victim to a pair of left hooks, but it took till R11 for him to be stopped. Let’s not forget he was winning the fight till that moment.

Douglas can certainly bang, but so can his opponent. Fortuna consistently sends guys to the canvas — and Douglas is there to be hit. There will come a time in Douglas’ career, perhaps this time, where his left hook will get a tad too predictable and someone will time it with a counter.

PBC has booked this match as a prospect/gatekeeper match-up, but I’m not sure that applies here. Fortuna should not be seen as a gatekeeper considering he’s only two years older than Douglas, and still has potential as a world class fighter. Still, he’s shown a perceived vulnerability that seems custom made for Douglas, and Douglas will be looking to exploit it.

This fight really comes down to the power left hook to the body. Can Douglas make Fortuna succumb to his signature punch? Or will Fortuna assert his will before that happens?

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