clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

PBC on Bounce TV preview: Phil Lo Greco vs Joseph Elegele

Phil Lo Greco takes on Joseph Elegele in a welterweight main event this Sunday on Bounce TV.

Scott Christ is the managing editor of Bad Left Hook and has been covering boxing for SB Nation since 2006.

This Sunday on Bounce TV (9 p.m. ET, streaming live on their site), Premier Boxing Champions' "Next Round" series is back with fights from Lakeland, Florida, featuring the welterweight and light heavyweight divisions.

Here's a look at the top two matchups.

Phil Lo Greco vs Joseph Elegele

Phil Lo Greco

Phil Lo Greco v Hector Orozco

Record: 27-2 (15 KO) ... Streak: W1 ... Last 5: 3-2 ... Last 10: 8-2 ... Stance: Orthodox ... Height/Reach: 5'8" / 68" ... Age: 31

Thoughts: "The Italian Sensation" from Toronto is perhaps most famous for being friends with Paulie Malignaggi, and for being present for some of Malignaggi's greatest trash talking videos. In the ring, he's still looking to pick up his first really meaningful win.

Sure, he's beaten club fighters you have have heard of here and there -- Brandon Hoskins, Daniel Sostre, Rafael Cobos, Pablo Munguia, Roberto Valenzuela -- but that's about all there is on his record. He's well traveled, fighting in Canada, the States, Italy, Germany, and Hungary. And he's not untalented. But is he anything more than a gatekeeper?

Probably not. I mean, he's 31 and we've seen him in twice with better talents. In 2013, he was trounced over 10 rounds by Shawn Porter, who was coming off of a pretty lousy performance against Julio Diaz in a draw. That fight was the first of Porter's run where he started to put his potential together. Lo Greco was undefeated and had a chance to establish himself as a possible player. He came up well short.

Last year, Lo Greco returned after a nearly two year break, and in his second bout back, he was signed up as a stepping stone for blue chipper Errol Spence Jr. Spence stopped him in three.

There's really nothing in Lo Greco's skill set that sets him apart from your average decent fighter -- he's significantly better than a club fighter, but significantly less than world level.

Joseph Elegele

James Luedde/Premier Boxing Champions

Record: 15-2 (11 KO) ... Streak: W2 ... Last 5: 3-2 ... Last 10: 8-2 ... Stance: Southpaw ... Height/Reach: 6'0" / N/A ... Age: 31

Thoughts: Elegele, who turned pro in 2009, at one time looked like a potentially intriguing prospect. A tall southpaw welterweight, he had the physical tools to be imposing. But it never really went anywhere for him. He lost to Aron Martinez by technical decision in 2011, then by unanimous decision to Javier Molina in 2013.

He's fought just two times since 2013, winning a six-round split decision over a 4-9 fighter in 2014, but he scored what may be his best win to date in his January 31 fight this year, stopping Alex De Jesus in the sixth round, on another PBC on Bounce card.

Now, De Jesus was certainly no top prospect -- he's in his early 30s and had also barely fought since 2010 -- but his only loss before was in 2009 against Cesar Cuenca in Argentina.

In past fights, Elegele has had a tendency to give up his height and reach advantages, fighting shorter than he ideally should, which isn't terribly unusual. Paul Williams, another tall welterweight, used to do the same thing all the time. Elegele is not as good as Williams was, but like Williams, he has seemed to simply be more comfortable fighting without using his natural advantages.

Matchup Grade: C-. It's not a mismatch. But a Lo Greco-Elegele fight isn't going to convince anyone to go out of their way to watch this show, either. Lo Greco has been proven well below top level, and Elegele is a busted prospect himself. He says he's better since working at the Mayweather gym, and while that might win him this fight, what then? Maybe they can find a welterweight title for him and Adrien Broner to fight for, I guess?

Steve Lovett vs Craig Baker

Steve Lovett

Suzanne Teresa/Premier Boxing Champions

Record: 15-0 (12 KO) ... Streak: W5 ... Last 5: 5-0 ... Last 10: 9-0 (1 NC) ... Stance: Orthodox ... Height/Reach: 6'2" / 71½" ... Age: 31

Thoughts: "Tough Love" is an Aussie who moved to Houston in 2013 to try to push his pro career forward, hooking up with trainer Ronnie Shields (after working out with Freddie Roach and Buddy McGirt) and signing with Al Haymon. He's yet to take a real step up, so this fight should be just that, even if there are certainly several steps to take up the ladder.

In his last fight, Lovett fought veteran Samuel Miller last November in Dallas. Miller got himself disqualified for a bunch of punches to the balls and groin. Outside of a no contest against Ricardo Campillo in 2014, where Lovett suffered a bad cut due to an accidental clash of heads, it's the only fight he's had in the U.S. where he hasn't won by stoppage.

Lovett is 31 and the clock is ticking if he's going to become something more. It's hard to say he's a noteworthy prospect, as he's a bit old for that, but he's got some talent.

Craig Baker

Suzanne Teresa/Premier Boxing Champions

Record: 16-1 (12 KO) ... Streak: L1 ... Last 5: 4-1 ... Last 10: 9-1 ... Stance: Orthodox ... Height/Reach: 6'2" / 75" ... Age: 32

Thoughts: Baker, from Baytown, Texas, upset Umberto Savigne in February 2015 on ShoBox, stopping the Cuban in the second round. That was the first remotely decent opponent he'd ever faced, though. A former cruiserweight who moved down to light heavyweight in 2014, Baker was still relatively untested when he faced Edwin Rodriguez in a PBC on NBC fight last May in Boston.

That fight showed Baker has a lot of spirit and some legit power. He lost in the third round, but it was a pure slugfest while it lasted, both guys trading heavy shots. And Baker was stopped early in that fight, too, as referee Robert Benoit jumped the gun, with Baker pleading his case, still of clear mind, even if he was at that moment being dominated by Rodriguez.

It was a good fight. That's the high end hope for this matchup, too: even if it's not a meeting of elites, it could be great fun.

Matchup Grade: C+. It's not a marquee fight and it's unlikely that either guy is going to become a serious contender, but there is the chance this could be a hoot in terms of entertainment value. Both fighters have good KO percentages, and Baker comes to fight every time.

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the Bad Left Hook Daily Roundup newsletter!

A daily roundup of all your global boxing news from Bad Left Hook