On Saturday night, July 20th at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, the main event between Manny Pacquiao (61-7-2) and Keith “One Time” Thurman (29-0) will be the main focus followed by the IBF Super Middleweight fight between the champion Caleb Plant (18-0) and Mike Lee (21-0).
I would argue that some of the undercards featured that night in both the PPV and the Fox telecast will be just as exciting. Let’s look at the preview of the fights that are intriguing to me on paper and shed light on two young prospects that are coming up who will also be fighting that night.
Omar Figueroa Jr. (28-0-1) vs. Yordenis Ugas (23-4)
This fight has the making of being an all out WAR! Let’s start with Omar Figueroa Jr., who is no stranger to what we like to call the “phone booth” style of fighting. Omar has tremendous heart and can go blow for blow with the best of them. The only issue has been his out of the ring activities, which include lack of commitment in training and maintaining fitness. Those discrepancies have come to haunt him but somehow he manages to still pull off the victory. Will he take this WBC title eliminator seriously enough to really make some noise in the welterweight division?
Yordenis Ugas fought one of his best fights ever against the current WBC champion Shawn Porter back in March. His performance was so gutsy that some had him winning by the very split decision he lost to that night in a very cold Dignity Health Sports Park. That night, he wanted more engagement and more blow for blow action but Porter did not and chose to stay on the outside the majority of the fight. This time, he is going to have a fighter that is all about coming forward so will Ugas embrace this and give the fans a fight for the ages?
Sergey Lipinets (15-1) vs. John Molina Jr. (30-8)
Sergey Lipinets lost his Super Lightweight Title to the great Mikey Garcia back in March of 2018. Since then, the rugged fighter from Kazakhstan moved up to welterweight and stopped Lamont Peterson, sending him to retirement. Many have wondered if he can withstand punches from a big welterweight and whether his power would move up with him. Those questions will more than likely be answered this weekend as John Molina Jr. is as a war veteran in that ring and will push him to the limits.
John Molina Jr. has thrilled fans for years and still believes he can compete at a high level. He lost by unanimous decision to Omar Figueroa Jr. in February this year but he put in the type of performance that merited an opportunity like the one he is getting against Lipinets. He will be fighting two opponents on Saturday night: Father time and Lipinets. One is undefeated and the other will give him everything he can handle. Does the thirty-six year old from Covina,CA have one more in him?
Prospect Spotlight: Rolando “Rollies” Romero (9-0) & Efe Ajagba (10-0)
Rolando “Rollies” Romero is tough, hard hitting lightweight fighter that truly tries to live up to his twitter name of @SignUp4Kos. Romero was quite busy in 2018, which saw him fight four times that year. He is already heading in that same direction this year with Saturday night being his third fight of the year. In his last outing, Romero had what was quite possibly a “knockout of the year” candidate when he crushed Andres Figueroa with a left hook stopping him in the fourth round.
Efe Ajagba is a heavyweight prospect who has quickly made a name for himself with his knockouts and opponents just walking right out of the ring prior to the sound of the bell to start the fight. In April, Ajagba was just beating up Wallisch leading to the referee stopping the fight.
These two young knockout artist are looking to steal the show and maybe add to an already stack of nominees for “Knockout of the Year” on top of their own submission from previous fights.
This weekend, it’s a boxing buffet and like most buffets, make sure you try a little of everything without getting full off of just one item.
Enjoy the fights and follow me on twitter @abeg718…
..as I will be in Las Vegas this weekend.