Before the main event kicks off here are some questions to contemplate and aspects to ponder and look out for during tonight’s main event.
First here are the vitals:
WBO Jr. Flyweight Championship
Champion: Ivan Calderon: (33-0-1, 6 KOs)
Challenger Jesus Iribe: (17-6-4, 10 KOs)
First things first: Up until the last minute Calderon was set to defend the crown against hard-hitting, undefeated 20 year old Filipino Johnreil Casimero (14-0, 8 KO’s)
The facts are the facts, Calderon: Calderon hasn't knocked anyone out since 2006 when he stopped Miguel Tellez in the ninth round of a 2006 strawweight defense. But at pre-fight press conference Wednesday Calderon vehemently predicted a knockout. A brash prediction considering his well documented lack of power. So, we’ll see if the facts predict the fight, or perhaps Calderon does.
The facts are the facts, Iribe: To make matters worse for Calderon’s prediction are the stats that accompany the Mexican. What will make all of this pre-fight festivities all the more interesting is that Iribe has only been stopped once during his career: In an eighth-round knockout loss to Raul Garcia in March of 2007.
Latest chapter in Puerto Rico vs. Mexico: Iribe laughed off Calderon's proclamation of a knockout. He himself is supremely excited for this fight looking to bring pride back home to Mexico in the Puerto Rico vs. Mexico rivalry. With that being said, it will be interesting to see just how aggressive he will come out with his mindset/gameplan and the surprising proclamation from Calderon.
The effects of a lefty: The fact that Calderon is a southpaw yields to his tendency to clash heads. It has hurt him in the past,. Especially in his last few fights as he has gotten older. His face has been cut up much like Miguel Cotto's has been known to get cut up. What will happen to that boyish face tonight? And are the recent headbutts because the 35 year-old is nearing the end of his career and slowing?
Shadows of Calderon-Cazares past: How will this fight differ and be similar -- seeing that Calderon predicted a rare knockout win -- from the Cazares fight where Cazares was the puncher missing blows as he chased the jitterbug Calderon. But in that fight Cazares caught Calderon for one big hook that florred him and made it a fight in the ring and ultimatley on the scorecards. Will Iribe’s performance mirror Cazares’?
The pressure of Puerto Rican Day?: It may not be much, but as an aging veteran, what will the pressure of being the main attraction on the eve of Puerto Rican Day (with Cotto fighting last weekend) mean and effect Calderon?
That’s all the fodder for now. Onto the live blog. Check back for all you need here from the Garden.