Even though the fight between Jhonny Gonzalez and Daniel Ponce De Leon is an undercard bout, it has the potential to be one of the better fights of the year.
The main event at the MGM Grand on Saturday is a showdown between Canelo Alvarez and Josesito Lopez. Considering Canelo is undefeated and recently beat legendary boxer Shane Mosley, the hype is understandable.
However, Gonzalez-De Leon should also bring plenty of excitement on this stacked night of boxing.
Where: MGM Grand, Las Vegas, NV
When: September 15, 9 p.m. ET
Live Stream: Showtime Anytime (with Showtime subscription)
Jhonny Gonzalez's Keys to Victory
Gonzalez has been on a dominant streak of late, mostly due to his ability to get after his opponent hard and early.
The WBC featherweight champion has won 12 straight fights dating back to 2009, and 11 of them were decided by knockout. More impressively, seven of those knockouts came in the second round or earlier.
He must keep the same strategy to keep the momentum going against his Mexican compatriot. This fight is scheduled to go 12 rounds, but Gonzalez has no reason to let it get that far. If he stays aggressive and lands some good punches early, he should be able to retain his title.
Daniel Ponce De Leon's Keys to Victory
Leading up to the fight, Ponce De Leon told Showtime (via ESPN): "Gonzalez is a very good fighter, but I have the experience and ability to beat him and take his title from him."
While the veteran has the advantage of added experience in most fights, Gonzalez has been a professional for five years longer and has competed in 14 more bouts. Therefore, he will need to use more than his craftiness to get through this match.
What makes things worse is that he is coming off two consecutive losses to Adrien Broner and Yuriorkis Gamboa.
In order for Ponce De Leon to win this contest, he will need to stay within himself and use his strength and power punch that has worked so well in the past. The boxer has 34 career knockouts in his 41 wins. He will likely need to land a couple of big shots to knock down and eventually knock out the champ.
What They're Saying
Jhonny Gonzalez has high hopes for this fight, and thinks the fans will not be disappointed.
He told Ryan Burton of Boxing Scene:
I think it will be a 'Fight of the Year' candidate. We are both very experienced fighters and have faced great fighters. I think it will be a great battle and I think it will for sure be the fight of the night.
While every boxer thinks highly of himself, fans should take notice of the respect he shows for his opponent. This certainly raises expectations, but the fight could definitely reach that lofty goal.
Daniel Ponce De Leon is not as bad as he has been over the past couple of fights, but his luck is unlikely to turn around against Jhonny Gonzalez. Boxers usually do not lose two straight and then end up with a title of any kind.
Gonzalez has simply been on too good of a streak, and he can match Ponce De Leon's experience. He should be able to emerge victorious and retain his title.
Gonzalez wins via TKO in sixth round