The May 7 HBO pay-per-view undercard beneath the Canelo Alvarez-Amir Khan main event is starting to take shape. After an initial plan to feature Lucas Matthysse's return against Mauricio Herrera fell through when Matthysse was injured, it now appears there are two fights close to being done for the show.
One would still feature Mauricio Herrera, a top 140-pound contender, but now against top prospect Frankie Gomez. That's a knock on wood scenario there, first of all that the fight can be made -- ESPN.com quotes Golden Boy's Eric Gomez as saying they're working on it, but it's not done yet -- and second of all that Gomez, like, makes weight. As snobby and obnoxious as it might be to doubt that a fighter would make weight for a fight on a big card, Gomez, whose talent is blue chip when he's in shape, has a history of not making weight and also just not fighting at peak condition.
If that fight does happen, it's extremely intriguing. When Gomez (20-0, 13 KO) is at his best, he's an exceptionally talented fighter, a guy that Freddie Roach has called the most talented fighter he trains. But Roach has been among Gomez's chief critics, too, openly admitting that Gomez has had trouble getting himself ready for fights in the past. There may be a sense that the 24-year-old Gomez needs a stiff challenge, and to either rise to the occasion or not.
If that's the thinking, then Herrera (22-5, 7 KO) definitely fits the bill. Despite a pedestrian-looking pro record on paper, Herrera, 35, is an extremely tough out. His last two losses have both been highly controversial, both coming in 2014 when he lost a majority decision to Danny Garcia, and then an unanimous decision to Jose Benavidez Jr. He's a tricky fighter, a crafty professional who is hard to hit and just plain awkward to fight, even for top guys.
Former middleweight titleholder David Lemieux will also be back in the ring, as he'll face Glen Tapia in a 10-round middleweight fight. Tapia was released by Top Rank last week, and has signed a deal with Golden Boy in order to get this fight.
Lemieux (34-3, 31 KO) was supposed to return on March 12 in Montreal, but missed weight last Friday and had his fight with James de la Rosa canceled. Eric Gomez told ESPN.com that Lemieux was sick before the fight, and missed about five days of training, which hurt him in his attempt to make weight. This fight is set at 160 pounds, so he's not moving up in weight, and if everyone is confident enough in him to make weight on a pay-per-view so soon, it's probably not a huge concern for him or his team that he missed the weight, or that he just can't make 160 anymore.
Lemieux last fought in October, stopped in the eighth round of a middleweight title unification bout against Gennady Golovkin.
Tapia (23-2, 15 KO) hasn't fought since last May, when he was stopped in four rounds by Michel Soro in a junior middleweight fight. He's moving up in weight for this one. His other loss came in December 2013, when he was stopped in six by James Kirkland, taking a pretty savage beating in the process. Against another pure power puncher like Lemieux, it seems like a bad matchup, but Tapia believes that trouble making weight for the Soro fight really sapped him of his strength last year, and that he'll be better off now at 160.
A fight between Brazilian junior middleweight prospect Patrick Teixeira (26-0, 22 KO) and former middleweight title challenger Curtis Stevens (27-5, 20 KO) is also reportedly close to being set for the pay-per-view card.
Do these fights excite you, or make you more likely to plunk down $60 or $70 for the pay-per-view?