Tonight on FS1 (9 p.m. ET), Edner Cherry faces Lydell Rhodes in a lightweight main event, with Omar Douglas taking on Alexei Collado in the super featherweight co-feature in the latest edition of PBC’s Tuesday night series.
Here’s a look at the matchups.
Edner Cherry vs Lydell Rhodes
Record: 34-7-2 (19 KO) ... Streak: L1 ... Last 5: 4-1 ... Last 10: 8-1 (1 NC) ... Stance: Orthodox ... Height/Reach: 5'8" / 69" ... Age: 33
Thoughts: A good veteran fighter, a little better than his record, and coming off of what some felt should have been a world title win against Jose Pedraza, instead a disputed loss. I personally thought Cherry won that fight clear as day, and that the two 9-3 cards in Pedraza’s favor were nonsense, but what’s done is done.
Cherry had come into that fight on a great run. He’d been a lightweight earlier in his career, and fought at 140 pounds to challenge Tim Bradley in 2008, a wide loss. He went back to 135, and has since come down to 130. Between the losses to Bradley and Pedraza, Cherry went 10-0 with one no-contest. This is a fighter who started his career 3-2-2 in his first seven fights, so for him to come as far as he has and to get two world title fights is really quite an achievement. (His later losses before Bradley came to Ricky Quiles, Jose Armando Santa Cruz, and Paulie Malignaggi.)
Cherry is a steady operator, a polished pro who knows his way around the ring. He’s also very durable, having never been stopped in his 15-year career.
Record: 23-1-1 (11 KO) ... Streak: L1 ... Last 5: 3-1-1 ... Last 10: 8-1-1 ... Stance: Orthodox ... Height/Reach: 5'5" / 69½" ... Age: 28
Thoughts: Rhodes had a little bit of hype not long ago. Not a ton, but a little bit. An Oklahoma native now fighting out of Las Vegas, Rhodes was trained by Floyd Mayweather Sr for a while, and has worked in training camps with Manny Pacquiao. He’s kind of what you’d expect of a Floyd Sr influenced fighter, a lot of style, but sometimes the substance isn’t quite there.
That showed up about a year ago against Jared Robinson, when Rhodes went to an eight-round draw in a fight he was certainly supposed to win. And his fight with Sergey Lipinets in October resulted in Rhodes’ first loss, coming by 10-round decision.
He’s 28, so he’s pretty much what he is, good or bad. What he’s looking to do here is shake the tag that maybe he might just be a good sparring partner and gym fighter who can’t quite get it done when the lights are on. It’s not going to be easy for him to do that, but Rhodes does have some talent. He credits Freddie Roach and the Pacquiao camp for reigniting his love for the sport, and he’s been training at the Wild Card ahead of this fight.
Rhodes is also moving down in weight for this fight. He’s spent most of his career fighting around 140, sometimes a bit over, sometimes a bit under, and weighed in at a career-low 133 for this fight. His opponent is a study in how moving down in weight mid-career can work. Will Rhodes be better fighting lighter? We’ll see.
Matchup Grade: C+. Not the most significant fight you’ll find, but a pivotal fight for both of these guys. Cherry looked like a legit contender against Pedraza, who would go on to handily defeat Stephen Smith earlier this year, while Rhodes has stumbled in his last two fights. This is must-win for both men if they want to be in the conversation at 130/135.
Omar Douglas vs Alexei Collado
Record: 16-0 (11 KO) ... Streak: W16 ... Last 5: 5-0 ... Last 10: 10-0 ... Stance: Orthodox ... Height/Reach: 5'7" / 72" ... Age: 25
Thoughts: Douglas is a familiar face on the FS1 series now, as this will be his third straight fight on an FS1 card, after beating Braulio Santos in September and Frank de Alba in December.
He was able to beat Santos fairly handily, putting him down in both of the first two rounds and running away with the 10-round decision. The fight with de Alaba was a bit more of a problem. Douglas escaped with a majority decision win, a debatable decision but certainly not a robbery.
Douglas isn’t really what you’d call a standout prospect, but if he can keep winning, well, he’ll keep moving forward. At 25, he’s getting into what should be his prime, and to the point where he’s going to be about as good as he’s going to get.
Record: 19-1 (17 KO) ... Streak: W1 ... Last 5: 4-1 ... Last 10: 9-1 ... Stance: Orthodox ... Height/Reach: 5'9" / 67" ... Age: 28
Thoughts: Collado is a Cuban who originally wound up in Ireland with Gary Hyde, and fought his first 15 fights from 2008-11 in Ireland and the United Kingdom, before he came across the Atlantic and brought his career to the United States. He now lives in Miami. He fought on an All Star Boxing card in 2013, after missing all of 2012, and then fought three times under the short-lived Iron Mike Productions banner.
The last of those came in April 2014 in a ShoBox main event against Rod Salka. Salka will unfortunately largely be remembered as a bad opponent for Danny Garcia, but he’s not a bad fighter, and that night he got the better of Collado, dropping the Cuban in the third round and scoring the upset.
To be frank, if Collado were a serious prospect, he should have beaten Salka. Salka is capable, he can box, but he won’t beat top fighters. A long list of light opposition didn’t prove much about Collado. The loss to Salka, however, did.
That’s not to say he can’t come back, but, well, we’ll have to see it to believe it. He didn’t fight for almost two years after losing to Salka, popping up in the Dominican Republic this past February to beat a club fighter in two rounds.
Matchup Grade: C+. Much like the main event, this one is must-win for the two fighters -- Collado badly needs a quality win after that loss to Salka in 2014, and Douglas can’t afford to lose, simply because even though he’s undefeated, he’s not a blue chipper. This could go any number of ways. Maybe Collado really just isn’t very good. Or maybe he’ll show up looking great. Who knows?