The rematch for the much anticipated rematch between Filipino hero Manny Pacquiao (55-5-2, 38) and WBO Welterweight champion Timothy Bradley (31-0-0-1, 12) appears to be coming with an exceptional under-card, something we hadn't expected.
We reported a few weeks back that Khabib Allakhverdiev (19-0, 9) would be defending his WBA Light Welterweight against unbeaten American Jessie Vargas (23-0, 9). It's turned out that this is just the tip of the iceberg with several other notable bouts being announced on the card.
A third world title bout on this card sees WBA "interim" Super Featherweight champion Bryan Vasquez (32-1, 17) defending his belt against unbeaten Mexican Jose Felix Jr (26-0-1, 21). Vasquez, best known for his loss back in 2012 to Takashi Uchiyama, is likely targeting a rematch with the Japanese puncher though looks to be in a serious test here.
As well as the trio of world title bouts there is also another, lesser, title bout as should be world champion Raymundo Beltran (28-6-1, 17) takes on former world champion Roman Martinez (27-2-2, 16). Beltran, who was robbed against Ricky Burns in Scotland last year, is much better than his record looks and in all honesty this bout should act as a world title eliminator. Martinez, who recently lost his WBO Super Featherweight title, will be moving up to Lightweight for this contest which should kick off the PPV card.
In the untelevised portion of the card there is a lot of talk about Marlon Tapales (24-2, 9) appearing though this has yet to be confirmed. We hope to get more details on this card in the coming days though it already appears that we have the bulk of it here.
This past Saturday saw Top Rank Inc. Finally announce the next fight of Filipino boxing icon Manny Pacquiao (55-5-2, 38) would be against unbeaten American, and current WBO Welterweight champion, Timothy Bradley (31-0-0-1, 12).
Although it was an official announcement it was an announcement that shocked next to nobody with the bout having been heavily rumoured for several days.
The official details of the bout were things that we had heard rumoured for a while. Firstly the date, as long speculated, would be April 12th with the bout taking place at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. This was the same venue that the men fought in back in 2012 when Bradley claimed a highly controversial victory over Pacquiao.
For Manny this will be his 11th bout at the MGM, though it'll be his first in the US since a chilling December 2012 knockout loss to Mexican rival Juan Manuel Marquez.
On the opposite side of that, this will just be Bradley's 3rd bout at the MGM and his first since his victory over Pacquiao.
Although ticket prices are yet to be announced we have read a lot of reports about the under card which is expected to be somewhat stacked.
The co-feature appears to be a brilliant match up between the unbeaten WBA Light Welterweight champion Khabib Allakhverdiev (19-0, 9) and American challenger Jessie Vargas (23-0, 9) whilst various reports. The expectation is that Mike Alvarado will soon be added to the show in a bout with Antonio DeMarco and that at least 1 other major bout will be added whilst prospects will prop up a strong undercard.
The main show, which will be PPV on HBO in the US, is expected to be accompanied by a TOPRANK.TV stream of the undercard which of course is free to watch around the world and may well feature some promising and interesting youngsters with several young Filipino's said to be linked to the show already.
We'll admit the start to 2014 has been somewhat slow in terms of major boxing. Thankfully it appears that the sport is set to really come alive in April.
Not only do we look set for 3 world title fights involving Japanese fighters, including Hozumi Hasegawa, Akira Yaegashi and Naoya Inoue but we also have something for Russian fans as we get the return to the ring of WBA Light Welterweight champion Khabib Allakhverdiev (19-0, 9).
Allakhverdiev, who last fought in July 2013 stopping Souleymane M'baye, looks set to face unbeaten American Jessie Vargas (23-0, 9), a former member of Floyd Mayweather's "TMT", in what will be the Russian's second world title defense.
Vargas, who has recently been sparring with Ryota Murata's former amateur rival Esquiva Falcao, will know that this is his big opportunity to impress, unfortunately for him however it's coming against a very under-rated fighter who at his best is an absolute nightmare to fight. Although relatively unknown to US audiences Allakhverdiev is one of the top Light Welterweights on the planet as shown by top 10 rankings with Fightnews (#5), Ring (#7), TBRB (#8) and Boxrec (also #8).
This bout is expected to be on the same card as Manny Pacquiao's bout with an as yet unnamed opponent and a contest between former WBC Lightweight champion Antonio DeMarco and former WBO Light Welterweight champion Mike Alvarado, who of course lost his title to Ruslan Provodnikov last year. If this all comes together as expected then we may well get a very entertaining series of fights on what could end up being a must watch show on HBO in America.
News! We try and give you the most interesting news stories from the Asian boxing world!