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De Leon-Velez fight undercard to still take place on March 2nd

Daniel Ponce De LeonBy Dan Ambrose: While the scheduled March 2nd main event fight between WBC featherweight champion Daniel Ponce De Leon and Jayson Velez has been canceled due to an ankle injury Velez suffered, the undercard fights will still take place on that date, and will be televised by Showtime at the Aollo Theater, in New York, New York, USA.

Instead of being able to see De Leon vs. Velez in the main event, boxing fans will have to settle for watching #1 WBA Richard Abril (17-3-1, 8 KO’s) battle unbeaten Sharif Bogere (23-0, 15 KO’s) for the vacant WBA World lightweight title.

It’s a good fight, but hardly main event type material. The other fight on the card will be unbeaten featherweight Gary Russell Jr. (21-0, 13 KO’s) facing Vyacheslav Gusev (20-2, 5 KO’s) in a 10 round bout. Again, not really an interesting fight because it’s another mismatch for Russell Jr.

This fight card seems more like an ESPN2 type of a card then a Showtime card, and it’s surprising the promoters are going to let the fight card go without an interesting main event fight.

It’s probably too late now to put one together, but I think the ratings for these two fights are going to be poor to the extreme. It would have been good with Ponce De Leon attracting a lot of Mexican fans for the fight card, but with him not fighting, the card will likely suffer.

Abril is coming off of a 12 round split decision loss to Brandon Rios last year. It was one of those fights where the judges seemed to be watching something completely different from what was going on in the ring because Abril dominated a badly weight drained Rios from start to finish, but he had to settle for losing by a 12 round split decision.

Abril tried to get Rios to give him a rematch, but there was no interest from Rios or his promoters at Top Rank to make that fight. They got lucky and they didn’t want to take any chances in a second fight.

Bogere, 24, has looked good in dominating some really good fighters in Ramundo Beltran and Christopher Fernandez. It’s going to be interesting to see if his speed will be a factor against Abril with his Mayweather-esque fighting style.

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