Saturday night’s original ESPN (10 pm ET) main event was to be a vacant WBO light heavyweight title fight between Joe Smith Jr and Maxim Vlasov, but with Vlasov testing positive for COVID on Thursday, that’s been postponed, and the intended co-feature has been bumped to main event status.
In the new main event, we’ll see former lightweight titlist Richard Commey (29-3, 26 KO) look to bounce back from his Dec. 2019 wipeout loss to Teofimo Lopez, as he takes on Jackson Marinez (19-1, 7 KO), who was last seen in Aug. 2020 dropping an extremely questionable decision to Rolando Romero.
This really isn’t anyone’s idea of a strong ESPN main event, but it is a good matchup for both guys, who want to win and get or stay in the mix at 135, which is a very hot division.
Who wins? We pick it:
Scott Christ (3-0)
If you guys engage with me during live fights in the comments sections, you probably know I like to gamble. And what’s more is I like to gamble stupid shit; I almost never put a bet down if the odds aren’t at least +400. I’m not rich, man, I can’t do a Floyd Mayweather and fire down a ton of money on an obvious favorite and make back a lesser, but still substantial amount of money basically for free. I don’t have the money to do it in the first place, and if I’m wrong I will be financially ruined. A real high roller can shrug it off. A normal dumbass just has a gambling problem.
So I bet small amounts of money on the hope that one out of eight or 10 underdog parlays or whatever will hit, enough to stay about even overall and fart around having something to pay attention to, a marvelous way to reignite my interest in sports and start caring if the Bulls have a big third quarter and cap off a parlay by beating the Pelicans.
Point is, I have nothing at stake here beyond my questionable pride, so I’m picking Marinez on a gut feeling. Richard Commey is a big step up in competition from Rolando Romero, but Marinez also beat Romero, no matter what the judges said or how many hangers-on told Romero that if you turn the sound off, aaaaaaaactually...
Commey might wind up being too much for Marinez on power and pressure, and I don’t think Jackson’s going to bomb the veteran out with a nasty shot the way Teofimo Lopez did. But Commey also has losses — however questionable — to Robert Easter Jr and Denis Shafikov. I’m picking Marinez to nick a close one with plenty of debate after. Marinez SD-12
Wil Esco (2-1)
This is an interesting fight in that Marinez has proven he’s got good boxing ability but I wonder if his style is going to impress judges enough to win rounds. Marinez should’ve pretty clearly beaten Rolando Romero when they faced off, but the house fighter took that fight on the judges scorecards, however questionable the decision. Commey might find himself in a favorable position in that regard, as I don’t know that Marinez can emphatically beat Commey well enough to win a judge’s decision, and I don’t believe he’s got the power to stop Commey like Teofimo Lopez did.
That puts Marinez up against it, really. I think Marinez will give a good account of himself but I think Commey’s power shots will carry enough rounds for him to take a comfortable decision when it’s all said and done. I’ll take Commey to win a decision. Commey UD-12
Patrick L. Stumberg (2-1)
My three greatest takeaways from footage of Jackson Marinez vs. Rolando Romero in descending order of prominence:
- Romero sounds like an angry duck when he throws a punch.
- Romero is not very good at boxing.
- Marinez is pretty good at boxing.
That’s not to say that Marinez isn’t a very skilled fighter, just that Romero’s incompetence stood out more than the former’s competence. Against Commey, who would take that evening’s Romero behind the woodshed, that’s not going to cut it. Marinez’s jab and movement don’t look sufficient to keep the Ghanaian mauler off of him for any length of time, and the disparity in firepower makes that a damning deficiency. Commey’s just too destructive to offer the opportunities Romero lacked the craft to properly take advantage of.
Unless that Lopez loss took Commey’s edge off, he’s too much for Marinez. Pressure and power secure a mid-round stoppage. Commey TKO-6
Lewis Watson (1-2)
This fight signals a sort of bounceback attempt by both Commey and Marinez. Commey after being ironed out by Lopez and Marinez following a disputed loss to Rolando Romero. I still think Commey has plenty to offer in the division. He might have to fight a little smarter than just walking forward and throwing bombs against Marinez, but I do think even if he does use this approach that he’ll break through eventually. Marinez isn’t a power puncher and Commey will happily take three to land four. I’m still not sure we actually know how good Commey is, but this could be a fun fight to edge us a little closer to understanding. Commey TKO-9