Another week of Top Rank Boxing awaits us, and we kick off on Tuesday inside The Bubble at the MGM Grand, Las Vegas, with a cracking looking ten rounder at Super-Lightweight topping the bill.
Oklahoma City based Mexican Alex Saucedo (29-1, KO19) attempts to continue his climb back towards World title level against Toledo, Ohio’s Sonny Fredrickson (21-2, KO14).
Saucedo’s sole career blemish came at the elite class in November 2018. An unsuccessful challenge for the WBO Super Lightweight title.
Starting well enough knocking the champion, Maurice Hooker, down in the second. But, Alex couldn’t sustain his success and in the end was dropped himself in the seventh, and then hammered from pillar to post until a stoppage was ruled.
He didn’t disgrace himself in this defeat, but took a year out before returning in November 2019 alongside new trainer Pedro Neme.
The first outing was a rousing success, as Saucedo knocked out gatekeeper Rod Salka in a round in Carson. Prior to this, the 26-year-old’s best win would have arguably been his June 2018 seventh round stoppage of former World title challenger Lenny Zappavigna.
His opponent in Vegas has flattered to deceive, after an amateur career as a USA standout. He is freakishly tall at the weight at 6 foot 1, and is coming off a loss in his last appearance, making his meeting with Saucedo a real crossroads affair.
The 25-year-old turned over in February 2014, and made good progress in 18 unbeaten contests until running into Uzbekistan’s Shohjahon Ergashev in January 2018, who halted Fredrickson in three rounds.
Fredrickson returned with three straight wins, including a one round stoppage of faded former World title challenger, Joseph Laryea in May last year.
Six months later though came his second career setback, as he dropped a majority verdict to Samuel Teah over ten rounds in a challenge for the USBA belt.
Saucedo said in the build up: “I have gotten a lot of quality sparring during the last few months and I believe that will show on the night.
“We have done 130 rounds in this camp, sparring three times a week, and we were able to get in some taller guys to prepare for what Sonny brings to the table. I’ve worked on things that I need to win this fight. I’m still the same aggressive fighter, but we put a lot more movement in there”.
Prediction: Saucedo didn’t let himself down in a spirited bid for the WBO belt, and will want to get back to that level as soon as possible. Fredrickson has disappointed so far in his pro career, and it’s pretty much a last chance effort for him. I think once Saucedo negates Sonny’s height, he should take over and take a comfortable points win.
Bronx based Puerto Rican Josue Vargas (16-1, KO9) heads the undercard, and he is in action over ten at Super-Lightweight against Mexico’s Salvador Briceno (17-5, KO11).
Vargas is on a ten-fight winning streak following his only loss, a controversial one, against Samuel Santana in October 2016. Vargas hit Santana while his back was turned, and was disqualified after Santana couldn’t continue.
Josue has shrugged that off, and campaigned four times in 2019, picking up the IBF North American belt last time out in a points win against Noel Murphy at Madison Square Garden.
Briceno has lost twice in his last six fights, but is competitive, having taken Gabe Flores Junior and Yomar Alamo the full eight and ten rounds respectively. He is coming off a win in November 2019, a second round stoppage of Eddie Guzman in his native Mexico.
In the third and final Super-Lightweight offering, an eight-rounder sees John Bauza (13-0, KO5), a Puerto Rican based in New Jersey, take on New York based Irishman Lawrence James Fryers (11-2, KO4).
At Super-Featherweight, Edward Vazquez (7-0, KO1) and Anthony Chavez (8-1, KO3) clash over six rounds. Whilst at Middleweight, Rance Ward (4-1-1, KO2) and Fred Wilson Junior (6-0-2, KO2) go head to head. The card is rounded off at Super-Middle, where Milwaukee’s Javier Martinez makes his professional debut, against an opponent to be confirmed.