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Pacquiao vs. Bradley 2: Undercard and their odds

Joseph Herron Updated
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During Wednesday afternoon's final press conference, promoting this weekend's big HBO PPV event between Manny Pacquiao and Tim Bradley, Top Rank CEO Bob Arum had a few choice words for boxing pundits and fight fans who have been overtly critical of Saturday night's televised undercard. "You know how promoters are...they always talk about competitive matches," admits the Hall of Fame promoter. "When most of the time, they're really not telling the truth. They're just doing their job as a promoter. The only way you know that a match is competitive, if you see what they're doing in the race and sports book."

While many fight scribes have decided to adopt a negative outlook, mistaking it for an intelligent one due to the lack of marquee names on the bout sheet, FightSaga.com has taken the 82 year old boxing proponent's advice and chose to fairly analyze the preliminary match-ups that fight fans will see in support of this Saturday night's highly anticipated rematch between Manny Pacquiao and Timothy Bradley.

(-190) Raymundo Beltran (28-6-1, 17 KOs) vs. (+162) Arash Usmanee (20-1-1, 10 KOs)
12 round WBO Lightweight title eliminator, and NABO Lightweight title

After competing predominately as a B-side fighter throughout the last half decade of his 15 year professional career, and getting robbed in his only world title opportunity last year in Glasgow, Scotland, fight fans and boxing writers should feel good that the 32 year old warrior from Sinaloa, Mexico, is finally receiving the opportunity to prove his mettle as the A-side fighter in this very competitive co-main event.

Although the match-up initially took a ding when two time Super Featherweight Champion Roman Martinez fell off the bout sheet, Hall of Fame matchmaker Bruce Trampler did a brilliant job of replacing him with a credible spoiler like Arash Usmanee.

The Afghani-Canadian fighter made an lasting impression in the Super Featherweight division last year by roughing up current IBF title challenger Rances Barthelemy in a controversial losing effort, and scoring a majority draw with current IBF 130 pound champ Argenis Mendez on August 23rd.

Despite taking the fight on short notice, Usmanee is a virtual fight chameleon who can take the lead while cutting off the ring proficiently, and can also box effectively from mid to long range while using the entire ring.

Because Ray Beltran is an effective aggressor who throws in combination while working from mid to short range, look for the game Canadian based fighter to work behind the jab while using his feet as the foundation of his defense.

If Arash can keep the hard charging fight veteran at a safe distance for the majority of the contest while turning Beltran after firing off quick combinations, Usmanee could pull off the upset on Saturday night.

But after taking the fight on less than two weeks notice against an experienced fight veteran, expect Arash Usmanee to fade in the mid to late rounds and come up short against Raymundo Beltran in what should be a very entertaining and action filled scrap.

Winner will be in line to face Terrence Crawford for his WBO Lightweight title later this year.

(-300) Khabib Allakhverdiev (19-0, 9 KOs) vs. (+250) Jessie Vargas (23-0, 9 KOs)
12 round contest for the WBA Junior Welterweight Championship

With Danny Garcia and Lamont Peterson moving into the Welterweight division and vacating their titles later this year, this championship contest between two undefeated fighters should prove to be one of great impact on the soon to be wide open 140 pound weight class.

Although neither fighter is known for their respective knock-out power, both men have enough pop to get the respect of their opponent this Saturday night.

Khabib Allakhverdiev


The Russian born, 31 year old defending champion is a crafty southpaw who punches well with both hands and fights most proficiently from mid range. Khabib has good hand speed, a very good chin and uses his crafty footwork to turn his opposition after he fires off combinations to the body and head.

The seven year pro has enjoyed three knock-outs in his last four outings, and holds very impressive victories over former title holders Kaizer Mabuza, Joan Guzman, and most recently Souleymane M'baye. With a well balanced attack and an iron resolve, Khabib Allakhverdiev is one of the more underrated title holders in all of boxing.

The challenger is a four year professional who is moving back down to 140 pounds after a successful but brief stint in the Welterweight division. Vargas fights out of the orthodox stance and possesses good hand speed and nimble footwork. The Las Vegas resident likes to work behind a strong jab while keeping his opponent at a safe distance, but can bang accurately from midrange with hard combinations to the body and head.

His primary weapons are his stiff jab and hard left hook, and he successfully uses his footwork as the foundation of his defense. Jessie has big victories over Josesito Lopez, Vivian Harris, Steve Forbes, and most recently Wale Omotoso.

While the reigning title holder has a deep amateur pedigree with more experience as a professional, Jessie will be competing for the WBA Championship in front of his hometown fans, which makes the style match-up a "pick em" fight in the eyes of most ringside observers. Both fighters customarily let their hands go with regularity, so expect a very entertaining championship bout with action throughout.
Look for the winner to become a strong candidate to face either Brandon Rios or Ruslan Provodnikov later this year.

(- 336) Jose Felix Jr. (26-0-1, 21 KOs) vs. (+ 279) Bryan Vazquez (33-1, 17 KOs)
12 round contest for the WBA interim Super Featherweight Championship

This is a very compelling match-up between the slick veteran boxer versus the aggressive young knock-out artist. Although Vazquez has fought the better opposition of the two, losing only to undefeated Super WBA Champion Takashi Uchiyama, Felix is coming into the bout as a slight favorite because he has absolutely destroyed his last three opponents.

The 21 year old prospect from Sinaloa, Mexico has scintillating power in both fists with very good hand speed and uses his surprisingly quick feet to move in and out of punching range extremely well. There's a reason why Top Rank has such high hopes for Jose Felix Jr. in the very underrated Super Featherweight division. If he looks impressive and is successful in his first title opportunity, expect the five year professional to maneuver his career into the top ten of the talented weight division.

Although Jose possesses the ultimate neutralizer, he will be stepping way up in class when he faces the slippery and crafty Bryan Vazquez. The 9 year professional is a very good defensive fighter who has the footwork and ring intelligence to set traps for his opponents as they're aggressively trying to pursue him. Bryan also utilizes his slick upper body and head movement to feint and keep his adversaries off balance while successfully rolling away from hard shots.

While the Costa Rican born fighter doesn't have many KOs on his resume, Bryan's power is deceptive. He likes to paw with his jab to occupy his opponents which sets up the quick, overhand right. Because his opposition has difficulty timing his sporadic offensive output, they eventually get hit with shots they don't see coming.

If Felix is overlooking his speedy veteran opponent, he could get outboxed by the former title challenger.

Look for a very entertaining contest between the matador and the bull.

Although the only marquee names on this Saturday night's bout sheet reside in the main event of the evening, all three preliminary fights on the televised portion of the card should be very competitive and entertaining.

Top Rank is obviously using the PPV platform to give these fighters the recognition and opportunity they deserve, while creating potential match-ups for the already recognizable stars under the promotional banner.

Judge slowly and enjoy all of the fights this Saturday night from Las Vegas, Nevada!!

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