There are a lot of great fights this weekend spread all around the world. For us however the most interesting, by a long way, is in Mexico.
We know a lot people reading that will be shocked that we've not gone with the big rematch in the UK between Carl Froch and George Groves, despite some of our team being British, but it's true, the fight of the night will be in Mexico as WBC Super Flyweight champion Srisaket Sor Rungvisai (27-3-1, 25) defends his belt against mandatory challenger Carlos Cuadras (29-0, 24).
On paper the bout is everything to make a boxing fan excited. We have a champion travelling to defend his belt on foreign soil, we have an unbeaten challenger looking to announce himself on the world stage, we have two giant punchers, two men with aggressive styles and two men who fight with little intention of hearing the final bell. In fact from their combined 60 bouts only 8 have gone to the final bell!
For regular readers of this site you will be perfectly aware of what we think of Srisaket. For those that aren't regular visitors we feel that he's he best Super Flyweight on the planet, a destructive ball of energy with dynamite in both hands, a steely determination to win and a vicious mentality based around not only winning but nigh on destroying any opponent who dare steps in to the ring with him.
Srisaket didn't start his career with a series of easy victories, in fact things were the polar opposite for the Thai who debuted against Akira Yaegashi, the current WBC Flyweight champion. Yaegashi over came Srisaket who was a paltry 1-3-1 after just 5 bouts.
Amazingly after the poor start to his career Srisaket knuckled down and improved, drastically. He went from inexperience novice fighting to feed himself to a violent wrecking ball in the ring who stopped 24 of his subsequent 26 opponents including Yota Sato, who Srisaket beat for the title, and Hirofumi Mukai, who has been the only challenger to Srisaket's throne so far.
In Cuadras we have a man who is the opposite to Srisaket in many ways. Cuadras is unbeaten, he was pretty much a touted prospect from the day he turned professional and treat like a fighter who was being groomed for a world title fight. He was a former amateur standout who had won tournaments such as the 2007 Pan Am Games and the 2005 International Junior Olympics and was viewed, from a young age, as a man to keep an eye on especially considering his amateur record was a reported 140-20!
Sadly for Cuadras, who is co-promoted by Japan's Teiken promotions, his amateur pedigree didn't really work as a launch platform and instead he had to slowly building his professional reputation and ranking and over the past 6 years he has been running up long an excellent 29 fight unbeaten record. Unlike Srisaket however he's yet to face a real world class opponent and the best names on Cuadras's record are Ronald Barrera, Fernando Lumacad and Victor Zaleta, all fringe world ranked fighters but a long way from the championship calibre fighters like Sato and Yaegashi.
In the career of both men they have typically found themselves as the aggressive fighter against someone who they can back up. Sure that wasn't the case in Srisaket's first 5 bouts but later on that has become the case. For this bout however they are both strong, power and aggressive fighters who will come forward in an attempt to boss the bout. With that in mind we can only see one thing happening, the two men meeting in centre ring in the opening round and refusing to back down until they either wear themselves out, wear their opponent out or, some how, reach the final bell.
What we're expecting to happen here is what we all love as boxing fans. We don't see much actual "boxing" but instead we are subjected to a 2 man war, a battle of pride, a battle of machismo and a battle of unadulterated violence. It'll be the sort of fight that reminds us what we love about this sport, the reason we follow it and the reason why we, as fans of the smaller weights, can get so excited by fights that so many fans over-look.
With Srisaket knowing he'll need a stoppage to get a win here we expect him to go all out in an attempt to batter Cuadras into submission. Cuadras, with power and skills himself, will fight back and we're hoping for a bout reminiscent of the Takashi Miura/Sergio Thompson contest from last year. If it lives up to that we'll be very happy fans and hopefully, as with Miura back then, the champion will retain in a bout that breaks the fighter from a nationally known fighter to a globally known fighter ad a globally known, must watch warrior.
It's the toughest bout of Srisaket's career since he fought Yaegashi but we still favour him to win here in what would be a genuine break out victory and a true FOTY contender.
When a fight screams "war" every fight fan on the planet should sit up and make a really big effort to watch it. Sometimes they don't live up to expectation, such as the recent fight in the US between Danny Garcia and Lucas Matthysse, though sometimes time exceed all expectation such as the Kompayak Porpramook and Koki Eto bout from earlier this year.
We have another probable "war" this coming weekend in America as American toughman Mike Alvarado (34-1, 23) attempts to defend his interim WBO Light Welterweight title against Russian power house Ruslan Provodnikov (22-2, 15).
To describe this bout as stylistic eye candy is just stating the obvious. If one man loves a war, it's fair to say so does the other. If one fighter wants to prove he's a man, the other wants to prove he's more of a man. If one of the two wants to go toe-to-toe then the other will answer back. This, is why we love boxing.
Aged 33 Alvarado, known as "Mile High", is a fighter who has only come to the public's attention in his last 3 or 4 fights, all of which were memorable wars as he over came Breidis Prescott, Mauricio Herrera and Brandon Rios, avenging a loss to Rios in the process.
Although Alvarado has only only fought in a handful of notable bouts they were all the sort of battles that shorten careers and take a lot out of the men involved. They were hard, they were violent and they were glorious to watch.
Weirdly despite being known for his wars Alvarado is actually a decent boxer. Unfortunately he shares the mindset of needing to prove his toughness as opposed to proving his boxing and this is why he has been engaged in such vicious battles in recent years. If, and when, he boxes he can look very good as he showed in the second Rios fight though when he forgets his boxing he can get hurt, get rattled and get busted up.
At 29 years old Provodnikov is the notably younger man. Although he to has been involved in wars, including a very exciting bout with Timothy Bradley last time out, he's the sort of fighter with the firepower to make opponents back off.
Whilst Alvarado has burst through in recent fights it's fair to say that Provodnikov had been on the fringes for a while prior to his Bradley bout. He had fought on ESPN several times, beating Emanuel Augustus and being beaten by Mauricio Herrera on two of those occasions. It was in those fights that we saw Provodnikov's limitations as both men found success boxing him, but also his heart and desire to win as he attempted to turn both bouts in his favour.
Whilst Provodnikov had been known about by the hardcore fan base for a few years he wasn't expected to really become a world level fighter, mainly due to his loss to Herrera. Earlier this year however Provodnikov proved he belonged in world class as he pushed Timothy Bradley all the way in a thrilling contest that saw Provodnikov dropping Bradley and shaking him up several times in a thriller.
Although a tough and hard hitting fighter Provodnikov is a fighter who can be out boxed, out thought and out moved. When an opponent moves they can make the Russian look slow and one dimensional, however if they stand in front of him for too long they will be made to pay.
With Alvarado often forgetting his boxing trying to prove how much of a fighter he is, and with Provodnikov being a born fighter we are in for something special. In fact the only limit to this contest could be a case of who can take what. If Alvarado is feeling the effects his battles with Prescott and Rios he may not manage to take too much from Provodnikov in a battle.
If Alvarado chooses to box and can fight to a boxing orientated game plan we feel he'll retain, but something makes us think he'll try to put on a show and this will be his downfall against a thudding puncher like Provodnikov.
Whether Alvarado boxes or not this is the sort of fight where we feel that every moment will be tense. Every round will see something notable. Every minute will make your heart skip. Every trading sequence will remind you why you're a boxing fan.
Video below courtesy of HBOsports.
Courtesy of Boxrec.com
To kick off an excellent series of world title bouts in Asia, veteran Thai Kompayak Porpramook (49-4, 34) takes on Venezuelan Jean Piero Perez (20-5-1, 14) for the WBA "interim" Flyweight title.
The 30 year old Propramook (pictured) will be looking for his second world title after having claimed the WBC Light Flyweight title back in November 2011, winning a FOTY contender with Adrian Hernandez. Although his reign didn't last long the victory did help put the diminutive Thai on the boxing map with many describing the bout as one of the best in recent times.
Since beating Hernandez, Porpramook has claimed a controversial victory over unknown Filipino Jonathan Taconing in his only win of note whilst also losing a rematch to Hernandez, in Hernandez's native Mexico. The loss to Hernandez ended a fabulous run of 24 straight victories for Porpramook following a stoppage loss to Hussein Hussein back in 2006.
Having been a career fighter at Light Flyweight this is the first real test Porpramook will have at Flyweight, one of the most exciting divisions in world boxing right now. Whilst he may not be facing a major name, he is facing a very dangerous opponent in the form of Perez.
Perez, a former WBA "interim" Flyweight champion is a fighter who has been over-looked by many going in to this bout though gave the very highly regarded Milan Melindo a stiff test last year. Although Melindo came through with the victory over Perez he knew he had been in a fight as he was left bloodied and struggling to survive the late rounds.
Although Perez goes into this bout with more losses than Porpramook he has arguably faced better competition with the likes of Melindo, Juan Carlos Reveco and Rafael Concepcion all being high level fighters. He is also naturally a bigger man than the stocky Thai who will be giving away several inches in reach and height.
Aged 32 Perez will know that this could be his last chance at a title and he'll be a very dangerous opponent for Porpramook, however with the Thai being younger and at home it's hard not to favour him in what could turn out to be another FOTY contender. Expect to see this fought in a phone booth with body shots from Porpramook being the order of the day as both men looks to claim a very notable win. With both men there to make a point and with the intimate surroundings that are typical with big fights in Thailand, expect the crowd to roar on the action and drive both the fighters to putting it all on the line.
I'm going with Porpramook via late stoppage with the body shots and the heat wearing down Perez, though a victory for the Venezuelan cannot be ruled out especially with his size advantage. All I can say for sure is that I cannot wait to see what goes on when the two men collide inside the ring.
To help get fans into the mood for this bout I've included the excellent Porpramook v Hernandez I bout from 2011 courtesy of chompupan. Enjoy!
World Title Previews
The biggest fights get broken down as we try to predict who will come out on top in the up coming world title bouts.