Live boxing action was absent from our televisions for months as the coronavirus pandemic swept the globe, but Top Rank helped facilitate the sport's return last week two fight cards in Las Vegas. The boxing comeback continues this week as the promotion has three cards scheduled, with fights held in Las Vegas on Tuesday and Thursday before a mismatch in Mexico City to close out the festivities on Saturday. Tuesday night's card (8 p.m. ET, ESPN) may lack star power but does have sneaky potential for a pair of compelling headline fights.
In the main event, Joshua Greer Jr. (22-1-1) will take on Mike Plania (23-1, 12 KO) in a 120-pound catchweight fight. Greer is probably best known for bringing a pillow along with him to the ring -- a gift for opponents he plans to put to sleep. But beyond the gimmick, he is a solid television fighter with decent power, fast hands and leaky defense. That sets him up for compelling fights against a wide variety of opposition.
Greer is coming off a pair of fights that evidenced how his flaws can offset his best qualities, struggling to decision wins over Nikolai Potapov and Antonio Nieves. But 18 straight victories after early-career stumbles, a vibrant personality and some legitimate skills have Top Rank invested in seeing where the 26-year-old can take his career.
Plania has a similar record on paper, but his level of competition is nowhere near that of Greer. Plania lost his one big step-up fight, a decision loss to Juan Carlos Payano in 2018. Plania is only 23 years old, however, so performances from two years ago may not reflect anything resembling his current skills. Plania also dropped Payano early in that fight, so he has a bit of pop.
In the co-feature, Giovanni Santillan (25-0, 15 KO) takes on Antonio DeMarco (33-8-1, 24 KO) in a 10-round welterweight clash. Santillan has the sparkling, undefeated record, but it's one that's thin on tough fights or legitimate step-up fights. The age of 28 is a little late to be making a jump up against a former titleholder, but that's what he's doing. DeMarco is a former WBC lightweight champion and has been in with some notable names. He's clearly on the back side of his career, with a 2-4 record in his last six outings.
Greer vs. Plania card
Joshua Greer Jr.
It's hard to say exactly who Plania is coming into this fight. He's shown some skills against lower-tier opposition, and his biggest fight was a loss while still a very young fighter. Greer is very hittable -- that's shown in recent fights -- and that makes for a compelling fight. Greer also hasn't put together a complete fight in his two most recent outings, which opens the door to an upset. Greer's speed, however, should kill in this fight. There's always danger of an upset in a fighter who thinks he's slick but gets hit far too much, but this probably isn't going to be that night. Joshua Greer Jr. via TKO6