Luis Nery vs. Juan Carlos Payano on July 20 on Pacquiao-Thurman card
By Dan Ambrose: Former WBC bantamweight champion Luis Nery (29-0, 23 KO) and former WBA 118-pound champion Juan Carlos Payano (21-2, 9 KOs) will be fighting on the undercard of the Manny Pacquiao vs. Keith ‘One Time’ Thurman card on Fox Sports pay-per-view on July 20 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada, according to Dan Rafael.
The Nery-Payano fight hasn’t been made official yet, but it’s expected to be announced soon.
The Nery vs. Payano fight will be the opening fight of the Fox pay-per-view portion of the Pacquiao-Thurman card. For fans that aren’t familiar with the 35-year-old Payano, he’s the guy was recently knocked out in the first round by Naoya Inoue last October in the quarterfinal of the World Boxing Super Series bantamweight tournament. Payano used to be a good fighter years ago, but he’s gotten old, and been beaten by Inoue and Rau’shee Warren.
The 24-year-old southpaw Nery will make easy work of Payano. This won’t be a fight unfortunately. The only real intrigue in the Nery-Payano fight is whether Nery can knockout Payano faster than Inoue did. That’s pretty much the main deal with this mismatch. You put an old lion like Payano in with Nery, and enjoy the spectacle. It’s too bad a better fighter wasn’t found for Nery to fight.
Rau’shee Warren was the other option for Nery
Rau’shee Warren (16-3, 4 KOs), and Payano were the two options for Nery to fight on the Pacquiao vs. Thurman card. It’s unclear why Payano got the fight with Nery over Warren. Both were poor options, but Payano was the worse of the two due to his advanced age and the fact that he was knocked out in the first round recently by Inoue last October. Payano came back from his loss to Inoue to defeat 22-year-old Damien Vazquez (14-1, 7 KOs) by an eight round unanimous decision last March.
Nery to give fans chance to compare him to Inoue
With Nery fighting the recently obliterated Payano, it will give boxing fans the chance to see if he can KO him as quick as Inoue did. Payano was food for Inoue. He made it look too easy. Nery is just as dangerous as Inoue, but a little more rugged with a bigger frame. Payano is going to be helpless against the southpaw Nery. This is probably all they could find for Nery to fight unfortunately. It would have been nice to see Nery fight the likes of Jason Moloney, Guillermo Rigondeaux, Srisaket Sor Rungvisai or Carlos Cuadras. Any of those guys would be superb choices for Nery. Payano is a bad choice, given that he was knocked out in the first round last October. As a fighter, Nery much be disappointed that he’s fighting Payano, because it puts him in a no-win situation.
In Nery’s last fight, he stopped McJoe Arroyo in round four last March on the undercard of Errol Spence Jr. vs. Mikey Garcia on Fox Sports PPV at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.
Other undercard fights on the Pacquiao vs. Thurman card are as follows:
– Sergey Lipinets vs. John Molina Jr.
– Yordenis Ugas vs. Omar Figueroa Jr.
The Lipinez vs. Molina Jr. will be an interesting match-up between hard punchers that lack hand speed, and aren’t quite A-level in terms of talent.
Easily the best of the undercard fights on the card is the Yordenis Ugas vs. Omar Figueroa Jr. fight, which will be a WBC welterweight title eliminator.