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Luis Nery vs. Emmanuel Rodriguez next Saturday LIVE on FOX

Image: Luis Nery vs. Emmanuel Rodriguez next Saturday LIVE on FOX

By Kenneth Friedman: Former WBC bantamweight champion Luis Nery (30-0, 24 KOs) is fighting next Saturday, November 23 against Emmanuel Rodriguez (19-1, 12 KOs) in a 12 round fight at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada. This is part of the Deontay Wilder vs. Luis Ortiz card on Fox Sports PPV.

This is an interesting fight for many reasons. First off, Rodriguez, 27, is coming off of a second round knockout loss to Naoya Inoue on May 18 in the World Boxing Super Series in Glasgow, Scotland.

Inoue made easy work of the previously undefeated Rodriguez. If Nery can do the same thing against Rodriguez, then he’ll be seen as on the same level as Inoue.

Nery’s performance against Rodriguez will be compared to Inoue

A lot of fans believe Nery would give Inoue a lot of problems with his power, youth, southpaw stance and explosive combinations. Since it’s questionable whether Inoue will ever fight Nery, it at least gives the fans a common opponent to compare the two. If Nery can obliterate Rodriguez faster than Nery did, then a lot of fans would assume that he might beat him.

Nery will go after Rodrigue early

It’s not Nery’s style to try and bum rush his opponents the way that Inoue does to score quick knockouts in the first couple of rounds. Although Nery has the punching power and the talent to score fast knockouts like Inoue, he doesn’t go all out the way Inoue does. Nery has scored a lot of early knockouts though.

Rodriguez is going to be trying to keep Nery from landing his big shots on his chin the best he can, and the only way to do that is to box. That’s not Rodriguez’s style though. He’s a straight up slugger, and he won’t change his fighting style for Nery. That means these two guys are going to stand toe-to-toe and slug it out from round one, and it’ll be fun to watch.

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Making weight is important for Nery

The talented Mexicn star Nery was highly criticized in 2018 when he came in three pounds over the 118-lb bantamweight limit for his rematch against former WBC champion Shinsuke Yamanaka.

Nery weighed in at 121 lbs. The fight went ahead, and he stopped Yamanaka in round 2. However, Nery lost his WBC bantamweight title. Since that fight, Nery hasn’t had any problems making the 118-lb limit.

Nery did have one fight against Renson Robles at 122, but that was a planned thing. Nevertheless, it’s important that Nery make weight for this fight against Rodriguez because it’s a high visibility card. Nery won’t be in the co-feature, but there will still be a lot of boxing fans that will be paying attention to it.

Nery has the potential to become a big name in the future. A lot will depend on whether he can continue to make the weight for the bantamweight division, and whether PBC can match against the best opposition. At 5’6″, it’ll be hard for Nery to dominate in the 122-lb weight class like he’s done at 118. The guys at super bantamweight are bigger, and many of them pack a lot of power.

Leo Santa Cruz vs. Miguel Flores

Leo Santa Cruz (36-1-1, 19 KOs) is going after his 4th division title against Miguel Flores (24-2, 12 KOs) in the co-feature but on the Wilder vs. Ortiz card. Santa Cruz, 31, is moving up to super featherweight to go after the WBA Super World title. That belt will be on the line for the Flores fight next Saturday.

Santa Cruz will likely have an easy time with Flores, who has lost 2 out of his last 4 fights. Boxing fans wanted to see Santa Cruz take on higher level opponent than Flores for the WBA strap, but he’s ranked #2 with the organization. Santa Cruz is facing one of the highest ranked contenders in the World Boxing Association’s rankings at 130.

Leo has a lot of firepower and a great engine that he’ll bring to bear on Flores, and this one could end before the 12th.

Santa Cruz started his career at 118, and he’s had little difficulties moving from one division to another and winning world titles. It’ll be interesting to see if Santa Cruz can continue his success at 130. If so, there he’s got a lot of great fight opportunities for him in this division

Brandon Figueroa vs. Julio Ceja

Also on the Wilder-Ortiz card is unbeaten Brandon Figueroa (20-0, 15 KOs) facing knockout artist Julio Ceja (32-4, 28 KOs) for the WBA World super bantamweight title. Ceja comes into this contest having been stopped in his last two fights by Franklin Manzanilla and Guillermo Rigondeaux. Those are highly talented fighters, so it’s not all that odd that Ceja would lose to them.

Figueroa could have a tough time with the hard hitting Ceja in this fight. It’s not a given that the young 22-year-old Figueroa wins this contest. This is going to be a war, and it could get interesting if Figueroa can’t knockout Ceja. It’s not easy to go 12 rounds with a power puncher like Ceja.

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