Canelo-Jacobs undercard announced

1033964148.jpg.0 - Canelo-Jacobs undercard announced

Not everything is quite finalized, but we finally have something, at least.

About three weeks out from the May 4 fight between Canelo Alvarez and Daniel Jacobs, we finally have official undercard fights. There are no surprises, but plenty of name fighters will be in action on the card in Las Vegas, which will stream live on DAZN.

The previously reported super middleweight fight between David Lemieux and John Ryder is official. Lemieux (40-4, 34 KO) was widely expected to be Canelo’s May 4 opponent, but that fell apart when he was hospitalized in December during his attempt to cut weight for a fight on the Canelo-Rocky Fielding undercard.

So the former middleweight titleholder is moving up to 168, which has probably been overdue for a while now, as the December incident wasn’t his first time having difficulty making 160.

“I’ve seen Ryder fight,” said Lemieux. “He’s a credible rival, but I’m going to make a statement out of what I’m going to do with him. At 168, I’m going to be the strongest that I’ve ever been.”

Ryder (27-4, 15 KO) is also a former middleweight, and suffered defeats against Billy Joe Saunders, Nick Blackwell, and Jack Arnfield before moving up in weight. He lost to Rocky Fielding in April 2017, but has won three straight since, all solid wins over Patrick Nielsen, Jamie Cox, and previously-unbeaten Andrey Sirotkin.

“I’m fully focused on the fight with David Lemieux, but obviously there’s a massive pot of gold for the winner,” said Ryder. “There’s the potential for a fight with Canelo or a fight with Callum Smith, which are both huge. Lemieux is a big puncher if you stand in front of him. I’m a boxer-fighter. I’ll box him at times and fight him at other times when it suits me. Our fighting styles are sure to gel for a great fight. I’m expecting to win and to win well. I’m there to keep my mandatory position.”

Also as previously reported, top junior welterweight prospect Vergil Ortiz Jr (12-0, 12 KO) will be in action, and now we know that his opponent will be the crafty veteran Mauricio Herrera (24-8, 7 KO).

Ortiz, 21, has been able to bowl over the competition so far, and he’s already had some perfectly fine steps up against Juan Carlos Salgado and Roberto Ortiz. The 38-year-old Herrera, though, has never been stopped, and his tricky style has proved frustrating for many good fighters over the years.

Coming off of the biggest win of his career, junior welterweight Pablo Cesar Cano (32-7-1, 22 KO) will return against Michael Perez (25-3-2, 11 KO). Cano stopped Jorge Linares in the first round of their fight in January. Perez is a former prospect who just never quite panned out, but Cano is a very beatable fighter, too. This could be more interesting than you might expect at first glance.

Super featherweight Joseph Diaz Jr (28-1, 14 KO) will also return, which had been expected. He doesn’t have an opponent yet. He was hoping to fight Scott Quigg, but that didn’t happen.

Former junior middleweight titleholder Sadam Ali (27-2, 14 KO) will continue his second run at welterweight against Anthony Young (20-2, 7 KO), with the vacant USNBC silver welterweight title on the line, meaning this fight is for, like, a sixth-tier championship.

Super featherweight Lamont Roach Jr (18-0-1, 7 KO) will be back, facing Puerto Rican veteran Jonathan Oquendo (30-5, 19 KO).

19-year-old super middleweight Alexis Espino (1-0, 1 KO) will also fight on the card in a four-rounder against an opponent to be named. Espino made his pro debut on the Rios-Soto card in February.

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