It was supposed to be a column about the main event of the Las Vegas card but that fighter didn’t call back so let’s move on to the fight card in the old town of Temecula, California.
Tyrone Harris (24-5, 16 KOs) hopes that lightning will strike twice in the same place when he meets South Korea’s Ji Hoon Kim (19-5, 16 KOs) at the Pechanga Resort and Casino on Friday in a junior lightweight bout. The fight will be televised on ESPN2.
The last time Harris, 28, stepped in the ring he faced hard-charging Mexican fighter Marvin Quintero who was put on the fast track to the top. Instead the southpaw boxer-puncher from Michigan put a hurt on and the fight was stopped in the eighth round. It was a quick stoppage but Harris was doing damage.
That win put Harris back on the map and his reward is a knockout puncher from South Korea.
Kim, 23, has stopped 16 of the 19 people he beat and that’s rare for a Korean prizefighter. Usually they’re taught to put their head down and fire away. Most have good chins at this level, but a knockout is usually not in their arsenal. Not for this guy. He bangs.
The tall South Korean fighter is on a nine fight knockout streak including a stoppage over Koba Gogoladze who has a win over Harris. At nearly 5-10 in height, he will have a definite height advantage over Harris. It could prove an interesting battle of 130-pounders.
On paper it looks like a pick em fight featuring Harris the slick boxer puncher versus Kim the long armed power puncher.
Mexico’s Javier Jauregui, a former lightweight world champion, who trains at Riverside’s Capital Punishment Boxing Gym, will test undefeated Russian junior welterweight Ruslan Provodnikov in a 10 round battle in the semi-main event. Jauregui is a wily veteran and I say that in all honesty. The Russian fighter will have to bring a lot of power and speed to beat Jauregui.
The fight card at Pechanga begins at 6 p.m. For more information (888) 732-4264.
Nonito Donaire and his blend of speed and power puts his weapons on display on Saturday when he faces Mexico’s Gerson Guerrero for the WBA interim title at the Las Vegas Hilton Hotel and Casino on Saturday Feb. 13. The pay-per-view fight card is loaded.
Mexico’s Fernando Montiel, the WBO bantamweight titleholder, faces a very stiff test against undefeated Filipino Ciso Morales (14-0, 8 KOs).
Montiel (39-2-2, 29 KOs) doesn’t sell tickets so expect Morales who trained in Northern California with Nonito Donaire Sr. to prove troublesome for the Mexican fighter.
In the last few fights Montiel has changed his game to accommodate either the fans or Top Rank who did not like his previous hide-and-go-seek style that turned off fans around the world. Now he stands his ground and goes for the knockout 50/50 style or Mexican style if you wish. That’s the problem, his new style makes it easy for others to hit him. The boxer from Los Mochis has been lucky in that most of his opponents have been too slow to take advantage of his new more pleasing style. Morales is not slow.
Of all the fights on the card perhaps the best looking match could be Bernabe Concepcion (27-3-1, 15 KOs) meeting Puerto Rico’s Mario Santiago (21-1-1, 14 KOs). Both fought and lost to former champion Steve Luevano. Concepcion lost due to disqualification when he hit the champion illegally. Luevano never really recovered from that blow and new champion Juan Manuel Lopez took advantage of the weaker chin. Santiago also faced Luevano and enticed him into a firefight that ended unfavorably in a close fight.
Expect this fight to be wild.
Two fights that may not be televised will involve Russian middleweight Matt Korobov and junior welterweight Jose Benavidez in separate fights of course.
Korobov has all of the tools to become a world champion. If he fought Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. today it would be a wipe out for the former Russian Olympian.
Benavidez is a 17-year-old with speed, technique and power. The future prospect is trained by Freddie Roach who raves about the kid. All that needs to be proved is whether he can take a shot. That goes for Korobov too.
Who will win #HOPKINSKOVALEV