Pacquiao-Rios undercard leaves a lot to be desired
By Chris Williams: This Saturday’s pay-per-view card on HBO headlined by Manny Pacquiao vs. Brandon Rios leaves a lot to be desired when it comes to the undercard. For $60, I would have liked to have seen Top Rank put together a little more interesting fights than the ones they got on there.
I know for some boxing fans they don’t care about the undercard, and they’re willing to pay $60 to see Pacquiao and Rios fight all by itself, but I’m not one of them. I like to see a quality undercard for expensive PPV fights, and I’m just not excited about this undercard.
Here are the undercard fights for Saturday’s Pacquiao-Rios fight card from the Cotai Arena, Venetian Resort, Macao, Macao S.A.R., China:
Evgeny Gradovich vs. Billy Dib – featherweight
Andy Ruiz Jr vs. Tor Hamer – heavyweight
Ik Yang vs. Hero Tito – lightweight
Zou Shiming vs. Juan Tozcano – flyweight
Felix Verdejo vs. Duanaaymukdahan Petchsamuthr – super featherweight
Rex Tso vs. Susu Sithjadaeng – super flyweight
Kuok Kun Ng vs. You-Jie Zeng – light middleweight
I don’t know about you, but I’m not interested in seeing any of those undercard fights. I like Gradovich and Ruiz, but I don’t like the mismatches that they’re involved in. I’d be interested in seeing Gradovich against Mikey Garcia, Yuriorkis Gamboa or Orlando Salido, but I don’t care to see Gradovich against Dibs. That’s boring to me. I see that as an ESPN2 level fight at best.
I’ve seen Shiming fight before, I don’t see him as a future world champion or even a contender. I saw him win two gold medals for China in the Olympics, and I thought he was beaten in both Olympics by more than one fighter. He may have two gold medals, but I don’t recognize him as a former gold medalist and he’s looked terrible in his two pro fights.
Heavyweight Andy Ruiz has some potential to be a Chris Arreola type of heavyweight, someone with big power but questionable stamina and boxing ability. I’m not interested in seeing him in a mismatch against Tor Hamer. I would watch it on ESPN, but I’m not interested in paying to see him beat Hamer. That’s boring and a waste of my money.
Super featherweight Felix Verdejo (8-06 KO’s), but I don’t see it even slightly appealing to pay to see him fight a guy making his pro debut in Duanaaymukdahan Petchsamuthra (0-0). That’s a pure mismatch right there. A slugger like Verdejo going up against someone fighting for the first time as a pro.
As far as the other three fights go, I’ve never heard of those guys and I certainly don’t want to pay to see them fight.
Given the less than appealing undercard, I’d be interested in seeing this fight card if Bob Arum would discount it to $10. Rios and Pacquiao are coming off of losses, so why should I pay to $60 if the undercard is totally lacking. I could see them asking for that kind of cash if the undercard was a good one from top to bottom, but I don’t see one interesting fight on the card with the exception of the main event.
- Manny Pacquiao vs. Conor Benn in talks for June 3 in Abu Dhabi
- Manny “Pac Man” Pacquiao A Modern P4P Boxer!
- Pacquiao coming out of retirement, could face Conor Benn
- Kell Brook wants Manny Pacquiao fight: Does he deserve it?