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Boxing preview: Canelo vs. Jacobs undercard features exciting prospect

The highlight of the Canelo vs. Jacobs DAZN undercard is an exciting young prospect as Vergil Ortiz Jr. gets his first marquee match-up.

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Vergil Ortiz v Cesar Valenzuela Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images

Saturday night is what would normally be a big PPV night for boxing, but thanks to the DAZN business model, fans won’t have to open up their wallets too much to see Canelo Alvarez take on top contender Daniel Jacobs in an excellent Middleweight fight. We’ll have a preview of the main event tomorrow - for now, here’s a look at the rest of the DAZN card.

Vergil Ortiz Jr. (12-0; 12 KO) vs. Mauricio Herrera (24-8; 7 KO) - Super Lightweight, 10 rounds
The records of each man pretty much tells the story of this fight. Ortiz is a 21 year old rising prospect from Dallas. He’s got all the tools you need for success - solid technical skills, a bunch of KOs, and good promotion. This is his first real test in his most high profile fight yet. And it’s a good test. Herrera is a perfectly good journeyman boxer who has faced a lot of high level talent. His biggest claim to fame is a 2014 decision loss to Danny Garcia that he really should have won. But he hasn’t been particularly active recently, with just one fight in 2018 (a loss to Sadam Ali). As Steve Farhood often says on ShoBox, the real special prospects are the ones who, when given a test, outperform expectations. Ortiz gets that test here. If he becomes the first man to stop Herrera, it will show just how impressive this youngster is.

Lamont Roach (18-0-1; 7 KO) vs. Jonathan Oquendo (30-5; 19 KO) - Super Featherweight, 10 rounds
Much like the Ortiz vs. Herrera fight, this is undefeated prospect being tested against more accomplished veteran. The difference is, Roach is not quite as exciting as Ortiz. He’s looked perfectly solid in his fights so far, but an unlikely draw in Puerto Rico combined with a lower than average KO ratio makes him less of a must watch prospect. Oquendo has some quite good experience, highlighted by a 2015 win over Jhonny Gonzalez. This is his first fight outside of Puerto Rico since a 2015 loss to Jesus Cuellar. In the end, this is as much a test of where Oquendo stands today as it is a test of Roach’s prospects. It’s a more evenly matched fight than some, but not quite as exciting.

Joseph Diaz Jr. (28-1; 14 KO) vs. Freddy Fonseca (26-2-1; 17 KO) - 10 rounds, Super Featherweight
This is a late addition designed to spotlight JoJo Diaz. He’s a former Olympian who has had some notable hype at times, which culminated in a 2018 fight with Gary Russell, Jr. Diaz lost that fight and is 2-0 since and now ranked #7 in the division. At 26 years old, he still has time, but he’s at a point in his career where he can’t afford another loss unless it’s against a seriously high level opponent. Fonseca is a Nicaragian fighter. He’s undefeated since 2015, but frankly, his level of opposition has been quite bad. His last opponent was 31-34-4, the one before that was 9-20. This is his first fight in the US, and if he pulls off the win, it will be a shocker. Rather humorously, Diaz thought he was facing older brother Francisco Fonseca here, but no.