With no major match-up in boxing this coming week, it affords us the opportunity to look ahead at some bona fide galvanizing bouts taking place right here in Las Vegas over the next three months.
It begins with an ESPN Friday Night Fights card at The Joint in the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino on April 13th. The former WBO lightweight title holder Michael Katsidis (28-5, 23 KO’s) returns to the ring for the first time since losing his bid to capture that same strap. He lost a unanimous decision in England to the current world champion Ricky Burns.
The opponent Albert Mensah (24-3-1, 10 KO’s) from Ghana comes in on a 15 fight win streak, but it’s only the second time he’s boxing outside his home country.
Next up, it’s Cinco De Mayo which has become as much a national holiday for Floyd Mayweather Jr. (42-0, 26 KO’s) of late, as it’s been for the Mexican population in our great city. This time though, Mayweather may not be dawning a sombrero on his way to the ring as he’s done in the past since his opponent is Puerto Rican icon Miguel Cotto (37-2, 30 KO’s).
Though Cotto will enter the ring second as he looks to defend his WBA (super) Light Middleweight title, the bookmakers currently list the undefeated Mayweather as a -700 betting favorite.
The co-main event inside the MGM Grand Garden Arena that night will feature one of boxing’s brightest and rapidly rising stars in Saul "Canelo" Alvarez (39-0-1, 29 KO’s) against one of the past decade’s most electric, "Sugar" Shane Mosley (46-7-1-1, 39 KO’s).
Mosley, a +600 underdog, has has sat idle since his loss to Manny Pacquiao last May.
Then at the Mandalay Bay Events Center, the demand for a rematch between the current and defending WBA (super) and IBF Light Welterweight titleist Lamont Peterson (32-1-1, 15 KO’s) and former champion Amir Khan (26-2, 18 KO’s) culminates on May 19th when they face off again.
They last met in December when Peterson won a controversial split decision to capture those belts in his hometown of Washington D.C. This time around, Khan is the challenger but bookmakers still have him listed as a -500 the favorite to dethrone Peterson and win his belts back.
On June 9 Manny Pacquiao (54-3-2, 38 KO’s) returns to the MGM Grand where he last won a hotly debated majority decision for the third straight time against Juan Manuel Marquez. His opponent will be the WBO Light Welterweight champion Timothy Bradley (28-0-0-1, 12 KO’s) who will be attempting to capture Pacquiao’s WBO Welterweight strap. The undefeated Bradley will be going up in weight from 140 lbs. to 147 lbs for this title shot.
Finally, Mandalay Bay will play host to the highly anticipated rematch between Victor Ortiz (29-3-2, 22 KO’s) and Andre Berto (28-1, 22KO’s) on June 23.
• Saturday, South Point Hotel and Casino hosts the "TUFF-N-UFF" promotion that features "The Future Stars of MMA." The event is being billed as "Fist-Ival" and will take place from 4- 10 pm inside the South Point Arena.
• Talks are already in process for a fight between Bernard Hopkins and Nathan Cleverly in the UK. It appears that Hopkins has verbally agreed but will have to get past Chad Dawson in their rematch later this month in Atlantic City.
RECORD: 44-25 (64%)
VR, a pro sports bettor in Las Vegas, has been featured on CNBC/ESPN and holds the record for "Most Units Won" in a single year.