Jason Sosa vs Haskell Lydell Rhodes
Camden, New Jersey Super-featherweight Jason Sosa tops the bill on Top Rank's Philadelphia show due to the freak Injury suffered by former world super-bantamweight and featherweight champion Carl Frampton of Northern Ireland. Frampton's proposed opponent Emmanuel Dominguez really had no right being in the ring with the 32-year-old Irishman, so Sosa's elevation to headline act is a good one. Sosa is a former WBA world champion at the weight having won the title in Beijing, China against Dominican Javier Fortuna. Sosa was down in the 5th round but got up to stop Fortuna in the 11th. After a defence against Stephen Smith in Monte Carlo, Sosa faced Vasiliy Lomachenko for his WBO title. Sosa lasted until the break after round 9 when his corner pulled him out. Seven months later, Sosa took on former 3-weight world champion Yuriorkis Gamboa in a crossroads fight. Gamboa took a count in the 7th round and had a point deducted in the 10th for holding but still won a majority decision. This was a great fight to watch but I couldn't make Gamboa the winner.
Lydell Rhodes (27-3-1) so far has lost to top-level opposition, Omar Douglas, Edner Cherry, and Sergey Lipnets accounting for his 3 losses, all 3 did, however, go the distance so he may be tough enough to last until the last bell.
Prediction: The fight is scheduled over 10 rounds and Sosa should win by a clear decision.
Julio Cesar Chavez Jr vs Evert Bravo
Over 2 years since his defeat at the hands of Saul "Canelo" Alvarez, Mexican Idol Julio Cesar Chavez Jr makes one of his all too rare ring appearances when he faces Columbia's Evert Bravo (25-10-1) in San Juan de Los Lagos, Mexico on Saturday.
It was way back in June 2011 that Chavez Jr won the WBC middleweight title from Germany's unbeaten Sebastian Zbik at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, Judge Steve Morrow scoring 114-114 but being overruled by scores of 115-113 and 116-112 from Raul Caiz Jr and Johne Keane. Chavez went on to make three successful defences of the title against Peter Manfredo Jr, Marco Antonio Rubio, and Andy Lee before losing it on a wide unanimous decision to future Hall of Famer Sergio Martinez.
Chavez Jr has never reached those heights again and if he were to achieve another crack at a world title at this stage of his career then it would be purely due to his popularity and nationality.
Bravo has lost to every decent opponent he has faced and 9 of the 10 losses on his record were by stoppage so it would be a shock if the 33-year-old Chavez Jr wasn't to stop him in the first 4 rounds.
Prediction: Chavez Jr to Ko Bravo inside 4 rounds.
Vergil Ortiz vs Antonio Orozco
Trainer Joel Diaz has called Ortiz "The next superstar in the sport." That's a big statement to make after only 13 pro outings but Ortiz's handlers are not scared to match him tough so they do have true belief in their man.
Only 2 months ago, Ortiz knocked out former WBA super-lightweight champion Mauricio Herrera in 3 rounds. But Orozco is an even bigger step up having challenged Jose Ramirez for his WBC super-lightweight title just under a year ago. Orozco lost a clear 12 round decision but in the light of Ramirez's recent destruction of WBO champion Maurice Hooker to become a unified champion, meeting the California based Mexican could be seen as a risky task at this stage.
The fight is being held at Grand Prairie, Texas and is for the vacant WBA welterweight gold title (Whatever that is??). As a title fight, it is scheduled for the 12 round championship distance.
Ortiz is a phenomenal puncher, all 13 of his wins coming by knockout. He is fast and has excellent balance, it is easy to see why Diaz speaks so highly of him.
Prediction: I think he will knockout Orozco within 6 rounds.