Sonny Fredrickson considers Alex Saucedo a terrific offensive fighter.
Fredrickson feels Saucedo’s defensive flaws still will lead to him pulling off an upset Tuesday night in Las Vegas. Oddsmakers have installed Saucedo as a 9-1 favorite before their 10-round, 141-pound bout, but a confident Fredrickson is looking forward to disproving doubters in the main event of ESPN’s four-bout broadcast from MGM Grand Conference Center.
“It’s definitely gonna be a fight that when I win it’s gonna be shocking to people,” Fredrickson told BoxingScene.com. “And I think it’s really gonna put my name out there a lot more, and it’s gonna get me bigger opportunities. This is definitely my shot, honestly. This is a do-or-die fight for me almost.”
The 25-year-old Fredrickson (21-2, 14 KOs), of Toledo, Ohio, lost a 10-round majority decision to Samuel Teah (17-3-1, 7 KOs) in his last fight, November 14 in Washington, D.C. Four fights earlier, highly regarded southpaw Shohjahon Ergashev (18-0, 16 KOs) defeated Fredrickson by third-round technical knockout, which Showtime televised in January 2018.
Fredrickson believes he did enough to defeat Philadelphia’s Teah, though he doesn’t think he would’ve gotten this opportunity had he won that bout.
The 26-year-old Saucedo (29-1, 19 KOs) will fight for just the second time since Maurice Hooker dropped and stopped him in the seventh round of their fight for Hooker’s WBO junior welterweight title in November 2018. Saucedo knocked Hooker to the canvas early in the second round of that fight in Oklahoma City, Saucedo’s hometown, but Saucedo faded and suffered his first professional defeat.
“He came out real strong,” Fredrickson said. “He has good offense. He hurt Hooker early, but then he kind of threw himself out. Then, I don’t even think Maurice Hooker missed a right hand. He has poor defense. I just remember how bad his defense was.”
Fredrickson senses Saucedo will be dangerous early in their fight. Thereafter, though, the taller, longer Fredrickson figures Saucedo will fade, which will make him even easier to hit.
“I feel like I’m gonna shock him with my punching power, honestly,” Fredrickson said. “I feel like eventually, as the rounds go on, the same way Maurice Hooker did, he threw himself out a little bit. He gets tired, gets fatigued in his fights a lot. So, I feel like as long as I just stay focused and don’t take no punishment early on, I’ll be able to stop him.”
ESPN’s telecast will start at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT. It’ll also include a 10-round junior welterweight bout in which the Bronx’s Josue Vargas (16-1, 9 KOs) will meet Mexico’s Salvador Briceno (17-5, 11 KOs).
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.