On March 14 in Buenos Aires, Argentina, WBA flyweight champion Juan Carlos Reveco returns to action against 23-year-old prospect Manuel Vides of Panama. The 112-pound division has the potential to be one of boxing's hottest weight classes in 2014, and this fight will be relevant to how things shape up there going forward.
The fighters in the smallest weight classes rarely get the media attention they deserve. But Reveco is a longtime champion who fights often in his native country, so he'll draw a good crowd to cheer him on.
|Per Boxrec||Juan Carlos Reveco||Manuel Vides|
|Record||32-1, 17 KO||15-2, 9 KO|
|Weight||112 lbs||112 lbs|
|Hometown||Las Heras, Argentina||Panama City, Panama|
Manuel Vides' height is unlisted on Boxrec, but from the videos I've watched, he looks to be relatively tall for a flyweight. He should enjoy a decent length advantage on Juan Carlos Reveco, who started his career at light flyweight.
Reveco has a huge experience advantage in this fight. He's been a world champion for most of the last 6.5 years.
The flyweight division has the potential to be one of boxing's best weight classes in 2014. Undefeated sensation Roman Gonzalez will be moving up to 112 pounds after dominant runs at straw and light flyweight. WBO and WBA "super" champion Juan Francisco Estrada (23) is one of the most promising young talents in the sport.
Knockout artist Giovani Segura got back on track in a big way last November when he knocked out Hernan Marquez in Round 12. Veterans Brian Viloria and Edgar Sosa still remain relevant, top-10 fighters.
With a 32-1 record and the WBA "regular" world title, Juan Carlos Reveco is in the mix at 112. His only career loss as a professional came in December 2007 to French Olympic gold medalist Brahim Asloum.
Manuel Vides is a relatively obscure young prospect. He has decent reach for the division and some pop. I have to think he is largely a tuneup fight for Reveco, before a unification fight with Estrada later in the year or perhaps a showdown with the Nicaraguan Gonzalez.
But flyweight tends to be a particularly upset-heavy division, so the last thing Reveco can afford to do is look past Vides. The Panamanian has been busy in getting on-the-job training as a professional and should be ready for this fight, which is the biggest opportunity of his career.
Juan Carlos Reveco is a compact, fluid fighter. He throws smooth combinations on the inside, mixing up his attack well between the body and head.
He has been fighting at the world championship level for more than six years now. He'll be in his comfort zone, fighting in front of his home crowd.
Manuel Vides has good length for a flyweight and can punch with power. He knocked out Jose Luis Calvo with a single, well-placed body shot.
This opportunity against Reveco is the sort of chance a young fighter dreams about. Vides should have enthusiasm and hunger to spare when it's time to climb into the ring.
Juan Carlos Reveco spends too much time with his hands low for my taste. Against Brahim Asloum, he was very slow to get them up as he moved into range.
Reveco did not look comfortable when Asloum was able to back him up. This could prove problematic for him against Vides, who has the reach advantage and a bit of pop in his punch.
Manuel Vides has a habit of being flat-footed. Even when he's getting the better of an exchange, he sometimes squares up and makes his torso into a bigger target than it should be.
He throws a lot of single punches and two-punch combinations. In a busy division like flyweight, it will be tough to beat the best competition without stringing together multiple-punch flurries.
I've seen some balance and footwork issues with Manuel Vides even in the fights that he won with relative ease. He spends a lot of time with both feet flat and has a tendency to lunge.
An experienced world champion like Juan Carlos Reveco should be able to exploit these habits. He should slip under Vides' jab and unload quick, multi-punch flurries at both the body and head.
Then he should pivot, circle and attack again before Vides has the opportunity to get set. He wants to keep the pressure on Vides and confuse him with a combination of volume punching and shifting angles.
Once he gets Vides frustrated and lunging after him, Reveco will be in position to score with his combinations.
Manuel Vides is going to need to exploit his length advantage to win this fight by keeping Juan Carlos Reveco at the full extension of his punches. Vides has a decent jab, but he's going to need to be active with it, firing two or three at a time.
And he'll need to stay up on the balls of his feet so he can move smoothly behind that jab and react to Reveco shifting angles on him. If Vides can pump the jab and slide to one side, he should be able to create the opening for his straight right, which has some decent bang.
Perhaps most important of all, he needs to string together his shots in three- and four-punch volleys. If he can manage to freeze Reveco for a second with a good one-two combination, it will be a start.
But to win, he will need to put together enough punches in a row to start driving Reveco backward on the defensive.
It can be tough to make predictions about a flyweight bout. There is a lot less coverage of the action in the smallest weight classes, and the upsets seem to be more frequent.
But Juan Carlos Reveco is an experienced world champion who is still in his prime. Manuel Vides has some physical talent, but he hasn't faced anybody close to Reveco in class. As recently as March 2012, Vides dropped a split decision to 11-6 Dirceu Cabarca.
This looks like a tuneup fight for Reveco. He will be sharp and prevail by late-round stoppage, hopefully setting him up for a much bigger fight in the summer.
He has three good candidates for subsequent bouts. The first would be a unification fight with Juan Francisco Estrada.
The second would be a clash with undefeated superstar Roman Gonzalez, who needs a title shot at 112. The final option would be Vides' much more experienced fellow Panamanian, Luis Concepcion.