On this edition of No Holds Barred, host Eddie Goldman once again speaks with lifelong martial artist, former UFC and Battlecade Extreme Fighting matchmaker, TV commentator, and our senior correspondent, John Perretti.
On Saturday, September 15, during the weekend of Mexican Independence Day, the sport of boxing, if you can call it that, will have two major, televised, competing cards taking place in the same city, Las Vegas, at the same time.
The show at the MGM Grand Garden Arena will be headlined by the unbeaten WBC super welterweight champion Saul "Canelo" Alvarez defending his belt against rising star Josesito Lopez, who earned the title shot with an upset TKO win over Victor Ortiz in June. Also on that card, WBC featherweight champion Jhonny Gonzalez fights Daniel Ponce De Leon, Marcos Maidana faces Jesus Soto Karass in a 12-round welterweight fight, and IBF bantamweight champion Leo Santa Cruz fights Eric Morel. This card will be televised live on Showtime in the U.S., BoxNation in the U.K., and Televisa in Mexico.
Not far away, at the Thomas & Mack Center, recognized linear middleweight world champion Sergio Martinez will fight WBC middleweight champion Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. Also on that card, Roman Martinez will fight Miguel Beltran Jr. for the vacant WBO super featherweight title, WBA super bantamweight champion Guillermo Rigondeaux will defend his belt against Robert Marroquin, and Matthew Macklin will fight Joachim Alcine in a ten-round middleweight fight. This card will be televised live on HBO pay-per-view in the U.S., Primetime pay-per-view in the U.K., and Azteca in Mexico.
We spoke with John Perretti by phone Thursday about these fights.
Asked if he had to choose just one of these cards to watch live, perhaps surprisingly he replied that it was "a no-brainer" that he would choose the one headlined by Chavez Jr. and Martinez.
As for a prediction, he said in this interview, "If, indeed, this Martinez-Chavez fight is real and not a debacle, and not another uproar, a burning at the stake of Pacquiao, if it is real, I will tell you that Martinez will go down from a body shot and it will be a TKO for Chavez."
We also discussed the practice of Top Rank, Chavez Jr.'s promoter, of only booking fights when they are virtually certain that their fighter will win, which is why Chavez Jr. has not fought the 37-year-old Martinez until now. Top Rank boss Arum wants to build Chavez Jr. into a superstar on the level of Mayweather and Pacquiao. We discussed how these plans may or may not factor into what happens in this fight and the possibility of - gasp - another major controversy in boxing.
We also discussed the Canelo-Lopez fight, which John Perretti believes is harder to predict. We talked about how that entire televised card actually is stronger than the one headlined by Chavez Jr. and Martinez, the $100,000 bonus on that card for the best knockout, how he was the one who initiated bonuses when he was a matchmaker in MMA, and much more.
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Thanks, Eddie Goldman