We’re entering the most anticipated week of fighting of the year.
Boxing’s pound for pound king Floyd “Money” Mayweather meets Saul “Canelo” Alvarez in a junior middleweight clash on Saturday, Sept. 14, at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. Danny “Swift” Garcia fights Lucas Matthysse in a junior welterweight showdown. Showtime pay-per-view will televise.
They’re both mega fights with tremendous implications for boxing. But somewhat lost in the glitz will be a junior middleweight with eye-popping ability on the Saturday under card. His name is Chris Pearson and he should not be overlooked.
Pearson, a southpaw with speed, power, poise and experience in international amateur wars, will be fighting Josh Williams (9-5, 5 Kos) in a scheduled eight round middleweight match.
“He’s southpaw. My coach says he leads with his head a lot. I know I’m the much sharper fighter, more skillful,” said Pearson (8-0, 7 Kos), a decorated former amateur star from Ohio. “I hope to get him out of there early.”
Williams recently fought Jermall Charlo and showed a pretty tough chin. Though the fight was stopped in the fifth round by Williams’ corner, he could have continued.
Pearson, 22, will be able to compare his skills to Charlo and any other junior middleweight and middleweight prospects. So far, of all the prospects from welterweight to super middleweight, Pearson seems to have the most potential and the most entertaining style of super manager Al Haymon’s crop of prizefighters.
Pearson is learning at light speed the difference between amateur and professional pugilism.
“I had very good schooling. My trainer Al Mitchell is a technician. They schooled me real good and showed me you got to box and be smart,” said Pearson, who also participated in the World Boxing Series. “The margin of error is way smaller as a pro. As an amateur it’s more about the experience. As a pro it’s all about winning and being impressive.”
So far Pearson has impressed many.
Despite the array of weapons in his disposal Pearson doesn’t enter a fight with pure arrogance and a sense of invulnerability.
“With smaller gloves it only takes one punch to change things. I also have to watch out for the head butts and the dirty aspects of the sport. I’ve been prepped. I’ve been boxing since I was 7,” said Pearson who trained in Dayton and Cincinnati for this fight. “All it takes is one loss and they’ll write you off.”
Shawn and Julio On Thursday at the MGM in Las Vegas, a rematch between Shawn Porter and former lightweight world champion Julio Diaz takes place.
Diaz blames himself for not doing enough to convince the judges during his first encounter with Porter. He plans to remedy that.
“I have to do my job and finish him,” said Diaz, 33, who will be fighting at the welterweight level. “My job is to finish him or do enough to show that I beat him.”
Diaz was the underdog against Porter when they met at the L.A. Sports Arena last December. After 10 rounds many felt Diaz convincingly defeated Porter who seemed confused by the veteran’s skillset. Then this past April, a match with Amir Khan saw Diaz floor the former world champion twice but still be tagged with the loss.
Diaz didn’t complain.
“I have to do my job better and prepare myself to win these kinds of fights by knockout,” said Diaz.