Mayweather vs. Canelo Undercard: Projecting the Winners of Each Bout
Though the boxing world will be waiting impatiently for Floyd Mayweather and Saul Alvarez to descend upon the ring tonight, no one should sleep on the three fights that will precede the evening's main event.
With Danny Garcia set to take on Lucas Matthysse, the MGM Grand will play host to a second star-studded clash before Money takes center stage, and even beyond those two showdowns, there are another pair of intriguing clashes to keep an eye on.
Heading into what should be a very entertaining night of boxing, here's a late look at who will emerge victorious in each of the undercard's three fights.
Pablo Cesar Cano vs. Ashley Theophane
The night's first bout will feature two contenders at different stages of their respective careers, as 23-year-old Pablo Cesar Cano gets set to take on veteran fighter Ashley Theophane in Las Vegas.
At first glance, one would think that Theophane's experience and recent history would make him the favorite, as the 33-year-old Brit has won eight of his last nine bouts, while the Mexican youngster's dropped three of his last six, including each of his last two.
In addition, Cano has yet to defeat a quality opponent, so despite his 26-3-1 record (including 19 knockouts), Theophane should be considered the favorite.
Prediction: Theophane will move to 34-5-1 with a his second consecutive knockout, with this one coming in the sixth.
Ishe Smith vs. Carlos Molina
Next up on tap is a showdown between a pair of American-born fighters, as Carlos Molina and Ishe Smith will battle in what is projected to be a closely-contested bout.
At 27, Molina has been impressively composed over the course of his relatively young career, managing to rack up a 17-1-1 record, despite only landing seven knockouts during that span.
But Smith, who fans may remember as a former contestant on The Contender will certainly present the California native with a formidable challenge, as the 35-year-old's ability to wear his opponents down with body shots has helped him climb to a 25-5 record.
Both fighters' most recent clashes have gone into the later rounds, so expect that trend to continue tonight.
Prediction: Smith will take fourth straight victory in his hometown of Las Vegas by wearing down his much younger challenger, but it won't be via knockout.
Lucas Matthysse vs. Danny Garcia
In what should be the most entertaining fight of the evening's undercard, Argentine Lucas Matthysse will face reigning light-welterweight champion Danny Garcia.
In Garcia, Matthysse will be getting a younger fighter who packs a reasonable amount of power, but also possesses the ability to outlast his opponents, even if he has to take a brutal beating in the process.
At the other end of the ring, Matthysse is undoubtedly the far more powerful of the two, and has earned victories in five of his last six matches prior to the end of the sixth round.
In the end, the outcome of this bout may depend on whether the 30-year-old Matthysse can land a knockout punch early, because otherwise, he may find it difficult to hang with the Philadelphia native for 12 rounds.
Prediction: Matthysse will get the nod, but he won't get the KO as early as he did against Lamont Peterson in May.
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