Finger Post Boxing (July 12, 2017)
So continuing this weekly series, “This week’s top fight (you probably won’t see), I wanted to take a moment to discuss the “contenders” for selection. Right off the bat, I would like to sort of clarify this weekly series. I’m not discussing whatever fight will be televised on ESPN, HBO, or Showtime. I’m basically looking at the upcoming schedule and giving a shout out to a meaningful or interesting fight that I know I won’t be able to see until a few weeks later when someone posts it on YouTube after uploading it from the potato he filmed it with.
So an early front runner would be WBA #7 and WBO #14 ranked junior middleweight John Vera (16-0, 10 KOs). The 28-year old Vera is a genuinely nice guy and I won’t lie, I’d love to see a fighter from the Southwest come home with a world championship. The young Texan has shown some of the early signs that he could win a world title in 2018, and his fight this weekend on July 15 at the Wild Horse Pass Hotel & Casino in Chandler, Arizona should push him a little closer to that goal. He will be fighting for the WBA-NABA USA super welterweight title against heavy handed Puerto Rican Daniel Rosario Cruz (11-2, 10 KOs). Rosario may not have the flashiest record, but his two losses (against Norberto Gonzalez and Edgar Ortega) were both razor thin decision losses that could have gone his way. Plus he seems to have great punching power and could be the guy who answers the ever important question of “can this guy take a punch?” Vera picked up a lot of XP in his last fight, a split decision win over former world title challenger Salim Larbi back in January. But although Larbi had a big edge in experience over both Vera and Rosario, what he didn’t have was a lot of punching power. At press time Larbi has seven knockouts in 29 fights. Rosario will possibly be the hardest hitter Vera has yet to face, and if he lands some of the shots Larbi was able to sneak in, he could test the chin of the Texan.
Rosario won his first eight fights, but only one came against a fighter with a winning record: then undefeated prospect Jordan Wisenfeld. But I’m basing my assessment on Rosario’s power and his ability based on his last two fights before the loss to Gonzalez in November of 2016. He scored a pair of knockouts over prospects Alphonso Black (KO3) and Aaron Garcia (KO2) for the WBO Latino junior middleweight title.
Now this is not to say I think Vera is there to be upset. Vera has shown an ability to adapt and some above average power on his end. Rosario will be there to be hit, and I anticipate Vera will get his chance to test the chin of the Caguas Puerto Rico native before all is said and done. Vera does a lot of things right and really appears to mostly need polishing around the edges and a little more experience before he should be ready to test the fighters in the top five (I for one would love to see him square off with WBO #7 ranked Kanat Islam or former champion Liam Smith as I think both fights have the potential to be crowd pleasing brawls that would bring out the best in Vera). But although some might see the 11-2 record and conclude that Rosario is the sacrificial lamb with little chance of derailing the world title hopes of Vera, I would like to note that at the same time in his career Ricardo Mayorga’s record was 10-3, 10 KOs. I’m not saying Rosario is the next Mayorga, but I’m not ruling it out, and that’s what makes this fight so intriguing.
So I really pumped this fight up. Why isn’t it the top fight of the week? Well, in part it’s for the second part of the equation. You may not see this fight, but that’s going to be on you, not because it isn’t televised. The Vera-Rosario fight is to be broadcast live on Facebook via a new series called “FightNight Live!” I haven’t seen their previous broadcast yet, but I won’t lie, I’m stoked about Saturday’s fight. Having a live broadcast of a fight Facebook that isn’t recorded with a potato or a by guy juggling on a mechanical bull is something that is long overdue and I’m liking the setup with this. There is a Q&A during the broadcast with viewers, which is a novel concept to say the least. As long as that guy who keeps posting his Viagra ads in the comment section of my Fightnews articles doesn’t show up, I think that would be a tremendous addition to the broadcast. But with that being said, the last time I checked the “FightNight Live!” Facebook page only has 3,817 likes. Now I won’t do a free plug for ESPN or HBO’s upcoming fight, but I will give a free shout out for an upstart online fight series that is getting the word out and pushing a great fight card. Tune in on July 15th on Facebook and let me know in the comment section what you thought of the fights and of the series “FightNight Live!”.
Tomorrow: the top fight this week (you won’t see).
Click here for more boxing news and commentary from The Finger Post