While all eyes will be on the main event at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas on Saturday night, there are a handful of other fights scheduled to get going before Manny Pacquiao and Juan Manuel Marquez enter the ring for the fourth––and likely final time.
None of these undercard bouts are going to steal the spotlight from the main event, but the boxers involved will have a chance to grab some attention for themselves and excite those in attendance.
Yuriorkis Gamboa (21-0, 16 KOs)
It's been more than a year since Gamboa stepped inside the ring thanks to contractual disputes and promotional problems, but the 30-year-old Cuban superstar is back and looking to continue his once-promising career.
He'll be facing 28-year-old Michael Farenas (34-3-4, 26 KOs) for the interim WBA junior lightweight championship.
Farenas is a fighter who has yet to truly be tested in any of his previous bouts with one lone exception––his last bout against Takashi Uchiyama's for the WBA super featherweight title last July.
That one ended in a draw after an inadvertent third-round headbutt left the champion unable to continue with a nasty gash on his forehead, but Farenas trailed in that one before the bout was stopped.
Gamboa's combination of elite athleticism, hand-speed and aggressive style will prove to be too much for the overmatched challenger, and Gamboa will once again begin his ascent back up the ranks as one of the top fighters in the world.
Mercito Gesta (26-0-1, 14 KOs)
Gesta takes on IBF lightweight champion Miguel Vazquez (32-3, 13 KOs) in a compelling fight that is guaranteed to go the distance.
Unlike many of his Mexican brethren inside the ring, Vazquez doesn't try and brutalize his opposition, preferring to fight a methodical fight where he is constantly moving around the ring and picking his spots to go on the attack.
Gesta is all about power and aggression, and he'll be looking to overpower the champion with his powerful uppercut and right hook. Vazquez will counter with his left hook and throw his overhand right.
Call it a gut instinct if you want, but I believe Gesta will be able to withstand what Vazquez throws his way, while the champion will struggle with Gesta's never-ending assault and pure aggression.
Gesta will make the world stand up and take notice as he claims the first World Championship of his career.
Javier Fortuna (20-0, 15 KOs)
I feel badly for Fortuna's opponent, 29-year-old Patrick Hyland, because the Irishman doesn't stand a chance in this one.
Fortuna, 23, is an up-and-coming fighter who, were he a baseball player, would be one of those heralded "five-tool prospects."
Hyland's claim to fame is that he's been promoted by Snooki from MTV's "Jersey Shore."
I'm not sure if we can actually call a victory by Fortuna in this one impressive, but look for him to make short work of Hyland.