This Friday night from the Toshiba Plaza outside of the new T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, Golden Boy presents a night of fights in anticipation of the big Canelo-Khan card on Saturday, with a pair of good looking matchups in the lightweight and welterweight divisions.
The show will air live on Estrella TV, and we will have a live stream available on the site, too, at 10:00 pm EDT. Here's a look at both fights.
Marvin Quintero vs Petr Petrov
Record: 28-6 (24 KO) ... Streak: W2 ... Last 5: 3-2 ... Last 10: 7-3 ... Stance: Southpaw ...Height/Reach: 5'7" / 65" ...Age: 29
Thoughts: Quintero has been a pro for 14 years, once sniffed a world lightweight title, and since then has not had the best run of luck. In 2012, he faced Miguel Vazquez on HBO for the IBF lightweight belt, and in a miserable fight, had an argument enough for a win, not so much because Quintero did so well, but because Vazquez was so reluctant to engage -- even for Vazquez, it was a dreadfully dull performance.
But Vazquez retained his belt by split decision. Quintero was back four and a half months later against Rustam Nugaev, and suffered a left hand injury that forced the stoppage of the fight after four rounds, giving Nugaev the win. In 2015, Quintero was stopped early by Jose "Chepo" Gonzalez in Puerto Rico, this time due to an ankle injury.
He has won his last two fights over a club fighter named Cesar de la Mora and busted prospect Jeffrey Fontanez, so he's coming in with some momentum.
Looking back over Quintero's career, he was stopped in his fifth pro fight in 2005, stopped in 2009 by Tyrone Harris, and he was knocked out in two rounds by Daniel Attah in 2010, so he's been stopped five times, twice by injuries, in his career. He doesn't take the best shot, but he does deliver a good one, with an 86% knockout percentage in his victories, and each of his last 12 wins, dating back to 2009, have come by stoppage. He really is a more exciting fighter than he was able to show against Vazquez in 2012, so don't base your willingness to watch him fight just on that showing.
Record: 36-4-2 (17 KO) ... Streak: W4 ... Last 5: 4-1 ... Last 10: 8-2 ... Stance: Orthodox ...Height/Reach: 5'6" / 69½" ...Age: 33
Thoughts: The good news for Quintero is that Petr Petrov is no Miguel Vazquez. Petrov, a Russian who now lives in Spain, is a solid veteran fighter whose career has hit a new level of notoriety -- or, well, it did in 2014, when he won ESPN's enjoyable Boxcino lightweight tournament, beating Fedor Papazov, Chris Rudd, and Fernando Carcamo.
Since then, he's had trouble finding fighs. He got in the ring just once in 2015, ending an 11-month layoff to beat veteran Gamaliel Diaz over 10 rounds in April. And now he hasn't fought in 13 months again.
The two real most notable fights of Petrov's career didn't come on ESPN2, though. They came in 2011 in Argentina and 2013 in Montenegro. In Argentina, he was knocked out in four rounds in a junior welterweight bout by Marcos Maidana, a somewhat forgotten middle bout during a stretch where Maidana faced Amir Khan, Erik Morales, Petrov, Devon Alexander, and then Jesus Soto Karass. It wasn't a test for Maidana, who put Petrov down in the first round and twice more in the fourth.
In Montenegro, he dropped a decision to Dejan Zlaticanin, a legitimate lightweight contender who went on to upset Ricky Burns in 2014, and then smash previously unbeaten prospect Ivan Redkach last year.
On paper, this is a competitive matchup that should have some decent action. Both guys are right about the same level, below world class, but fringe contenders in the 135-pound ranks, and the style matchup should work, too. Quintero's more of a pure puncher, while Petrov is a solid boxer-puncher with decent enough power, especially against a fighter with at least a somewhat suspect chin.
Matchup Grade: B-. Both guys are at about the same level, and need the win if they hope to find a world title shot next year. More significantly for us, it should be a plenty watchable fight, and worth tuning in to see.
Pablo Cesar Cano vs Alan Sanchez
Pablo Cesar Cano
Record: 29-4-1 (21 KO) ... Streak: W1 ... Last 5: 3-1 (1 no contest) ... Last 10: 6-3 (1 no contest) ... Stance: Orthodox ...Height/Reach: 5'9" / 70" ...Age: 26
Thoughts: Cano is a familiar face at this point, to the degree that you might be a little surprised that he's only 26 years old. He came from relative obscurity in 2011 to face Erik Morales on eight days notice for the vacant WBC junior welterweight title on the Mayweather-Ortiz card, giving a solid showing but losing after 10 rounds due to a cut.
Cuts have been a recurring problem for Cano ever since. In 2012, he was cut early against Johan Perez, then suffered a much bigger cut due to a clash of heads, stopping the fight in the seventh round and sending it to the cards, where Cano won a technical decision. He was badly cut again later that year against Paulie Malignaggi. In 2014, he lost by stoppage to Fernando Angulo when the fight was halted in the ninth round on the advice of the doctor.
So we've known who Cano is for five years, and he's been a pro for 10. He's a grizzled young vet, one who has battled Morales, Malignaggi, Shane Mosley, and Ashley Theophane, among others. He's 1-3 in those fights, beating Theophane by split decision in 2013, but arguably his best night came in his 2012 decision loss to Malignaggi, which was plenty controversial. That night, Cano seemed to get the better of Paulie, but Malignaggi got hometown split decision scores in Brooklyn. (I had it 115-112 for Cano, who dropped Malignaggi in round 11.)
More recently, Cano quietly had a win over Juan Carlos Abreu in early 2015 changed to a no-contest after violating a rule that pertains to use of drugs, alcohol, or stimulants before or during the fight. His most recent bout came in December, when he beat Silverio Ortiz over 10 rounds.
Cano is, when he's at his best, a heavy-handed fighter with a good motor who can take a good shot. He's been stopped twice, but both times were due to cuts. The cuts are always a factor for him, and Alan Sanchez and his team will certainly know that going in. Not only does Cano cut fairly easily, but when he is cut, it has a tendency to be a bad one.
Record: 17-3-1 (9 KO) ... Streak: W5 ... Last 5: 5-0 ... Last 10: 9-1 ... Stance: Orthodox ...Height/Reach: 6'1" / 76" ...Age: 25
Thoughts: Sanchez is a streaking young welterweight who doesn't have a pretty record, but is a solid fighter. He started his career in 2009, and went 5-2-1 in his first eight fights, going 12-1 since then. His first two losses came by majority and split decision over four and six rounds, his most recent a UD-10 loss to Luis Collazo in 2013. He later avenged his second loss against Artemio Reyes, stopping Reyes in the first round of their 2012 rematch.
Sanchez's better wins have come over guys like Ed Paredes, Jorge Silva, and Manuel Leyva, so not exactly the cream of the welterweight crop or anything, but fighters not realistically far off from the level of Cano, either.
In his most recent bout on November 20 in Las Vegas, Sanchez stopped previously unbeaten prospect John Karl Sosa of Puerto Rico, dropping him three times in the sixth round.
Simply put, if Sanchez is looking to at some point graduate from these shows and onto a more significant card, he has to beat Cano, who is not an easy out by any means. Losing to Cano at this point would establish Sanchez at the same level he's been at. At 25, there's time to rise up, but it requires a victory here, or too much more time is going to be spent with promoters seeing him as this level of fighter.
Matchup Grade: B-. Obviously the whole thing here is graded on a curve. No doubt Canelo-Khan is more interesting to most people than Cano-Sanchez, but for this level this is a well-matched fight, could be pretty exciting, and there is a good chance that Cano's head will get busted open again, which is often a gnarly visual with him.