SAN DIEGO, June 5, 2015 – Even people indifferent most of the time to horse racing seem excited about a possible Triple Crown after four decades by American Pharaoh on Saturday at Belmont Park.
NBC will use the attention on its Triple Crown coverage to showcase its new “Premier Boxing” series with an early Saturday event from the StubHub Center in Carson, California. Robert “The Ghost” Guerrero will face Aron Martinez in the main event, a non-title welterweight bout.
Guerrero (32-3-1, 8 KOs) gets the nod not because his record is so great; he’s lost two of his last three bouts including the main event in PBC’s very first card for NBC. It’s because Guerrero puts on such a good show win or lose that he earned the opportunity.
Despite a lopsided loss on the judges’ scorecards to Keith “One Time” Thurman in March, Guerrero made the fight worth watching. What doesn’t show up in the numbers is the heart and the toughness of Guerrero, a Mexican Style warrior who said he would prefer to go out on his back asleep than not continue.
There’s also his compelling backstory. Guerrero quit boxing to care for his wife when she was stricken with leukemia. A bone marrow transplant saved her life, and now Guerrero is a tireless advocate for the Be The Match bone marrow registry. He is the kind of man needed in boxing, or in any sport.
But it’s a rather weak card. Guerrero is facing a relative unknown in Martinez (19-3-1, 4 KOs), a Los Angeles based Mexican-born boxer who is also an aggressive performer in the ring. Martinez is coming off an inactive year after a fifth round TKO loss to Josesito Lopez. Martinez says it was a business issue, that he’s stayed active in the gym and is plenty ready for this opportunity on a big stage.
Guerrero says his loss to Thurman was primarily due to inactivity, hence the reason he’s fighting again three months later. While he says all the customary nice things about “not overlooking my opponent,” calling him “crafty” and “tough,” it’s expected to be a pushover. Let’s at least hope it’s an entertaining pushover.
The televised undercard features relatively unknown heavyweights, both undefeated which adds a bit of excitement to any fight. U.S. 2012 Olympian Dominic Breazeale (14-0, 13 KOs). meets Yasmany Consuegra (17-0, 14 KOs), an experienced Cuban amateur with a perfect pro record. The last Cuban heavyweight star was the late Teófilo Stevenson, perhaps the greatest amateurs in boxing history. He won three Olympic gold medals between 1972 and 1980 for Cuba, becoming a national hero. He won his last world title in 1984 when he was 34 years old. He turned down the opportunity to strike it rich in the U.S. by defecting and turning professional to possibly fight Muhammad Ali. He died nearly three years ago to the day of this bout on June 15, 2012, at age 60.
The undercard not being broadcast includes a 12-round featherweight title bout between Jesus Cuellar of Argentina (26-1, 20 KOs) and 39-year-old veteran Vic Darchiyan (40-7-1, 29 KOs). Cuellar made easy work of Juan Manuel Lopez In his last bout with a vicious KO; this guy likes it rough. Darchinyan became one of rising star Nicholas Walters’ recent victims last year in a fifth round knockout loss; and fell in a TKO loss to Nonito Donaire the previous year. Darchinyan is a Los Angeles area local and the tune-up for Cuellar, who would like to get his chance at the bigger names in this division, one of the many lower weight divisions commanding attention these days.
Argentina’s Fabian Maidana, 22 year old younger brother of Marcos Maidana, returns to StubHub for his second appearance in three months in a five round (yes, five) bout against David Nelson, a 30 year old from Oklahoma. Maidana is 6-0 with five knockouts and a vicious attack; in his last fight, referee Pat Russell stopped the fight at the beginning of the second round when Maidana’s opponent literally refused to engage and ran around the ring. Things may not go any better for Nelson. This is another Maidana who’s fun to watch and deserves to face some worthy opposition in the welterweight division like big bro Marcos.
Also on board is light middleweight Alfredo Angulo, fighting Delray Raines off “the Chitlin Circuit” as my colleague Michael Wilson Jr. of the Pound 4 Pound Boxing Report called him, with five losses against 19 wins and just one notable bout, a first round TKO loss to Erislandy Lara. “El Perro” is another extremely likeable guy who overcame a rough history, but with three losses in his last three fights it will be hard to watch. Be grateful this one isn’t televised.
PBC on NBC: Guerrero vs. Martinez and Breazeale vs. Consuerga, Saturday at 3 p.m. ET/12 noon PT.
Gayle Lynn Falkenthal, APR, is President/Owner of the Falcon Valley Group in San Diego, California. She is also a serious boxing fan covering the Sweet Science for Communities. Read more Ringside Seat in Communities Digital News. Follow Gayle on Facebook and on Twitter @PRProSanDiego.
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