Mayweather vs Canelo Undercard: Highlighting Intriguing Preludes to Big Fight

Andrew GouldFeatured ColumnistSeptember 13, 2013

NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 20:  Danny Garcia celebrates after knocking out Erik Morales in the fourth round of their WBA Super, WBC & Ring Magazine Super Lightweight title fight at the Barclays Center on October 20, 2012 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City.  (Photo by Alex Trautwig/Getty Images)
Alex Trautwig/Getty Images

Believe it or not, Floyd Mayweather and Saul Alvarez are not the only boxers competing this Saturday night.

The pay-per-view features other promising bouts that should whet fans' appetites for the main event between Mayweather and Alvarez. On their own, many of these matches are worth watching.

Two other titles hang in the balance and one overlooked contest could steal the show. These undercard matches will help ensure that purchasers get their money's worth.

None of the other showdowns are afforded much attention, so let's take a look at some of the most promising fights tabbed on the undercard in Las Vegas.


Alvarez vs. Mayweather Undercard
Light WelterweightDanny Garcíavs.Lucas Matthysse
Light MiddleweightIshe Smithvs.Carlos Amado Molina
WelterweightAshley Theophanevs.Pablo César Cano
Super MiddleweightRonald Gavrilvs.Shujaa El Amin
MiddleweightChristopher Pearsonvs.Josh Williams
Super MiddleweightLanell Bellowsvs.Jordan Moore


Ashley Theophane vs. Pablo Cesar Cano

Starting the night off right requires a delicate balance of an exciting fight that doesn't raise the bar too high for everyone else.

Ashley Theophane and Pablo Cesar Cano will open the evening in what could resemble the main event on a small scale.

Mayweather saw something in Theophane and added him to his promotional stable. Like Mayweather, the 33-year-old from London boasts quick hand speed that often gives him the upper hand. He is also a tactician who has only garnished nine knockouts, yet still holds a 33-5-1 record.

Cano, on the other hand, packs a powerful punch and has obtained 19 of his 26 victories via knockout. He, like Alvarez, will need to muscle his elusive opponent to the ground with some ferocious power punches. 

Since starting 23-0 Cano has disappointed, losing marquee fights to Erik Morales, Paulie Malignaggi and Shane Mosley. He has the chance to right the ship, while Theophane has the opportunity to make a name for himself on the spotlight.

Each competitor could springboard into the title picture with a win to kick off Saturday's festivities.


Ishe Smith vs. Carlos Molina (IBF Middleweight Title)

Also a member of Mayweather's Money Team Promotions, IBF middleweight champion Ishe Smith will defend his title and unblemished record against little-known Carlos Molina.

Smith enters the bout brandishing a 25-0 record, snatching the title away from Cornelius Bundrage in February. He'll have to hold the title tightly to keep it from the 30-year-old Chicago native.

Molina is 21-5-2 for his career, suffering his last lost to James Kirkland in March. He's only 5'7", but Molina is a smart fighter who will make an opponent pay for his mistake. 

Don't expect this match to end with a knockout. Molina has claimed just six knockouts while Smith has earned 11. These two technical fighters will grind it out to the finish, but Smith looks poised to defend his title successfully.


Danny Garcia vs. Lucas Matthysse (WBA/WBC Light Welterweight Titles)

A huge match in its own right, Danny Garcia and Lucas Matthysse highlight the undercard.

While Garcia has yet to lose in 26 bouts, Matthysse is 34-2 with 32 knockouts. This fierce fight should spark some fireworks and whip the crowd into a frenzy before the main event.

The 25-year-old Garcia will have to tap into a more tactical side in order to top Matthysse. A battle of blows will not work well against an opponent who has ended 88.9 percent of his matches with the other man lying on the canvas.

Matthysse, on the other hand, must bait Garcia into embracing his style of play. With a full house at MGM Grand, both fighters are probably hungry to land a big blow. That mentality bodes well for the 30-year-old.