Manny Pacquiao and Juan Manuel Marquez headline the fight card Saturday night at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, but fight fans will have three other fights on the undercard that should be hotly contested and entertaining.
While Pacquiao and Marquez are preparing for their 12-round fight, Yuriorkis Gamboa and Michael Farenas will meet in a super featherweight bout, Miguel Vazquez and Mercito Gesta will meet in a lightweight bout and Javier Fortuna and Patrick Hyland will meet in a featherweight bout.
Gamboa (21-0-0) is a sharp fighter with a very quick pair of hands. Farenas (34-3-4) may not be quite the boxer that Gamboa is, but he is a hard puncher who has reeled off eight straight wins.
Gamboa (minus-200) should be able to control the action with his quickness and accurate punching. Farenas (plus-175) is going to have to show he can avoid getting hit with a barrage of punches and then counter with his own hard shots.
Even though Gamboa is undefeated, Farenas should be able to survive through nine rounds. However, Gamboa's quickness and accuracy will likely result in too many punches landing with a purpose. Expect Gamboa to register a 10th-round TKO.
Vazquez (32-3-0) is the defending IBF lightweight champion, and he will attempt to hold on to his crown against the undefeated Gesta (26-0-1).
Vazquez (minus-250) is a skilled boxer who has been in the ring with a wide variety of opponents, and he is not likely to be shocked by the hard-punching Gesta (plus-200).
Gesta will spend most of the fight trying to unleash his combinations so he can stop his opponent. However, he is going to have a hard time making contact with Vazquez on a regular basis.
Gesta's best hope is that he has the conditioning to wear down Vazquez in the late rounds. We don't see that happening, and Vazquez should come away with the decision.
Hyland (27-0-0) and Fortuna (20-0-0) both have unblemished records, but Hyland is going to have to shock the boxing world if he is going to keep his record intact.
Fortuna (minus-225) is a talented fighter who can move, box, deliver hard punches and show off his defensive skills. Hyland (plus-200) is very aggressive and is a hard hitter. He is certainly not afraid to get in the ring with another undefeated fighter and is quite game.
However, Hyland does not appear to be as polished as Fortuna at this point in their respective careers. Hyland does not have excellent defensive skills, and that will likely come into play early on in the fight.
Fortuna should be able to land his punches quickly and cleanly. A five-round stoppage seems likely.
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