by Cliff Rold
Break out you wallet.
If there is a night not to in a year with several pay-per-view shows likely, this is probably the one. Returning to the ring after taking his first loss to Floyd Mayweather last year, the Canelo Cunningham show is back in full effect. He’s matched with a foe that never makes a bad fight. That’s a good thing.
Is the undercard also a good thing?
And if not, is it worth pointing out that Showtime will surely replay the Alvarez-Angulo bout one week later on Showtime?
These are the picks of the week.
Pick It: #2 Saul Alvarez vs. Alfredo Angulo (Saturday, Showtime PPV, 9 PM EST/6 PM PST)
Alvarez (42-1, 30 KO) was one half of one of the biggest pay shows in history last year and his road there is a masterpiece of navigation. He was carefully managed away from the better Jr. Middleweights until he finally insisted on the tough Austin Trout. He won a competitive fight and proved he was more than just a hollow hype. Against Mayweather, he also proved far from the elite. He can’t help but to have learned in that defeat and Angulo (22-3, 18 KO) is a good testing ground. Angulo is an imperfect fighter, but a wildly entertaining one capable of pushing a man to his limits. He gave James Kirkland and Erislandy Lara to their limits, and there is little reason to think Alvarez wouldn’t have his hand full with either. The show got some potentially bad news Thursday with the Jr. Middleweight title tilt between Carlos Molina and Jermell Charlo jeopardized by legal issues for Molina, but there is still a solid Leo Santa Cruz-Cristian Mijares title fight at 122 lbs. and the Lightweight clash between Jorge Linares and Nihito Arakawa could be a war. Is it worth the PPV dollars? That’s a consumer choice but the action should be money’s worth by night’s end.
Pick Deuce: Rustam Nugaev vs. Marvin Quintero (Friday, ESPN2, 9 PM EST/6 PM PST)
This fight looks as good as anything on the Alvarez-Angulo undercard, and it’s right there for free the night before. Quintero (25-4, 21 KO) enters off a long layoff, his last work a split decision loss in challenging Miguel Vazquez for a Lightweight belt in 2012. Nugaev (26-6-1, 16 KO) has won five in a row, the last four by stoppage. This fight might not give us a looming title threat at 135 lbs., but it should provide some drama and enough leather to please the masses. Friday Night Fights has had two interesting weeks in a row due to the Boxcino tournaments. This keeps the trend in place.
Pick Uni: Jorge Arce vs. Aldimir Santos (Saturday, UniMas, 12 AM EST/11 PM PST)
He’s back…and he wasn’t gone that long. Seriously, did anyone think Arce (62-7-2, 47 KO) was going to stay away when Nonito Donaire drilled him into the floor in 2012? He’s already got one comeback bout under his belt and continues his return at 34 against a Santos (19-7, 10 KO) who has lost four of his last five. Arce has a funny habit of winning vacant belts from fighters who have no business fighting for them. Is a hollow belt being teed up somewhere in Arce’s future? A few more wins should give an answer.
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Cliff Rold is the Managing Editor of BoxingScene, a founding member of the Transnational Boxing Rankings Board, and a member of the Boxing Writers Association of America. He can be reached at [email protected]