Jose Medina to fight on undercard of Khan-Garcia in Vegas this Saturday
To be honest, I had a sneak preview on January 29, 2011 when I saw him knock out prospect Isaac Rodrigues (17-2, 13 KOs) in the fourth round with the sneakiest right hand you ever saw. I’ve said it before in this space that Medina is just about as relaxed a fighter as you’ll find. And from that centered place, he’s able to counter effectively and always be where he should be, landing from odd angles.
“Being relaxed, I’m better able to see what’s coming,” he told me yesterday after getting his pre-fight MRI – which brings me to why I’m telling you this. Tomorrow night, at the Mandalay Bay Casino in Las Vegas, Jose Medina will get put to the test. I’ve been saying he just needs one breakout fight to step up to a different level, and this one may be it.
He’ll be facing tough southpaw Fernando Guerrero (23-1, 18 KOs) on the under card of the Amir Khan – Danny Garcia match, in the kind of fight that may put him on ESPN. “This is a big step up for me, and it might be the one that propels me.” Indeed.
I asked Jose if he thinks that his record may be working in his favor. He’s a so-so 17-10, 7 KOs. If I were Guerrero’s people and only had that to go by, I’d take the fight, too. No worries. You know, who are we fighting after Medina? But there’s a catch when you look deeper. Lots of those losses happened early in his career, others just a little bit later against quality fighters.
“I never had an amateur career.” He didn’t say that to me yesterday. He said it to me at the weigh-in before the October 2011 ARES fight with Chris Fitzpatrick. Fighters will often have 50-75 amateur fights before turning pro. Mikey Faragon had over 100. Andre Berto told me he had around 300. My point is that Medina has had to learn under fire. He’s only now finding out who he is- and that is “something else.” Fernando Guerrero’s going to find out.
“I think they did their research,” he said humbly. “They looked at my record carefully and know what they’re getting.” Maybe, maybe not.
I don’t go out on a limb often, folks. But allow me to step out there, saw in hand. I think Jose Medina is going to give this solid opponent a real fight. I think Medina’s going to win.
This is Guererro’s first fight since suffering a torn bicep, but I don’t think this will be a factor. What will be a problem for him is that Medina doesn’t have a jab or a right, he has about 15 of each, all from different angles and all with different velocities. He’s like a good fastball pitcher who will get you ready for heat and throw at 80 mph. Then when you’re used to that, he’ll give you 95 on the corners, but never down the middle – unless he wants to, like he did to Rodrigues.
Stay tuned and see if I’m wrong.