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Four World Title Fights Tonight, Haskins Crowned World Champ

It's one of the bigger Saturday nights we've had this autumn with four world title clashes on offer but one of the big fights slated for tonight was scraped when the champion failed to make weight on a massive scale.

IBF bantam boss Randy Caballero of America was set to meet the challenge posed by Britain's Lee Haskins in Las Vegas, Nevada but was reportedly five and a half pounds over at the weigh-in yesterday and as such not given the opportunity to lose the weight and had the title stripped and awarded to Haskins.

After a long career, former British and European king Haskins ascends to the world stage but will likely have another opportunity to face Caballero as this bout will probably be rescheduled.

Now, onto the matches that are going forward this evening, we'll head on over to the Tui Arena in Hannover, Germany where domestic superstar Arthur Abraham, 43-4 (29), puts his WBO super middle strap at risk for the sixth occasion of his second reign as champion.

Making the trek in the historically difficult role of a challenger in a German ring we have England's Martin Murray, 32-2-1 (15), who has three victories in his three appearances at super middle since making the jump up from middleweight in June.

That move was prompted by Murray's KO loss to the 160 pound division's juggernaut, WBA champ Gennady Golovkin, which was the third failed bid at world honors for the St. Helen's resident.

Will the fourth time prove lucky for "Archie"?

Murray's best performances came in a loss to Sergio Martinez and a draw against Felix Sturm, both for world titles, but those fighters were definitely in stages of decline from their peak years and it will be interesting to see how the 33 year old fares against Abraham, who by all evidence, still appears to have full possession of his skills and reflexes.

All of Abraham's losses have come against either boxers, such as Andre Ward and Andre Dirrell, or punchers, Carl Froch and Robert Stieglitz, who chose to engage "King Arthur" with movement and distance.

Abraham has also had problems against foes that he possibly underestimated, such as Paul Smith and Edison Miranda, which represents Murray's biggest opportunity for victory.

Murray isn't a slick boxer such as Ward, Dirrell and doesn't seem to have the massive one punch power that it would probably take to stop the iron-chinned champion, although Stieglitz did just that in the first of four meetings with Arthur.

So the visitor is left with taking the Froch approach, which in this case would carry the added difficulty of winning a points verdict in notoriously-biased Germany.

And the odds of overcoming both Abraham and the judges make victory a very long shot for Martin Murray.

Speaking of England, there's a very good fight scheduled there tonight at the famed Manchester Arena, which hosts a rematch between local man Anthony Crolla, 29-4 (3), and reigning WBA lightweight ruler Darleys Perez, 32-1-1 (20).

The pair went at it tooth and nail in July, with Perez coming out with a controversial draw in a close fight that saw the champion lose two points for low blows yet still keep his crown.

Did Crolla, who has losses and draws at domestic level, find a way to fight above his station last time out and if so, can he do it again? Or did Perez just not take the Englishman seriously last time and correct that mistake in the rematch?

As far as world champions go, Perez's resume is certainly respectable but he lost to the only world class opponent he ever faced, Yuriorkis Gamboa, but if the Colombian is really a top notch lightweight, he'll find a way to defeat Crolla tonight.

Getting back to Las Vegas, it's big time boxing at Mandalay Bay Casino with two of the biggest names in the sport, Miguel Cotto, 40-4 (33), and Saul "Canelo" Alvarez, 45-1-1 (32), go at it for the WBC middleweight strap, although only Alvarez can actually win the belt.

That's because Cotto, who made one successful defense of the WBC crown since winning it in June 2014, reportedly failed to pay sanctioning fees to the Mexico City based organization.

Could that indicate a lack of confidence from the 35 year old, who is at best a natural welterweight has had a least five very physically-taxing bouts on the way to winning world titles in four different divisions?

After all, Alvarez is only 25 and is the bigger man here, with the Mexican being much closer to his natural wight here for this "middleweight" title fight that is being waged at an agreed upon limit of no more than 155 pounds.

Or does Cotto simply plan to return to life as a light middle following this contest and sees no need to pay the WBC for something he won't keep even if he defeats Alvarez?

Regardless, this should be a peach of a fight with Team Cotto claiming their man is more of a complete fighter than ever, which presumably means the Puerto Rican icon won't rely almost solely on his left hand, while Team Alvarez are confident that their edge in youth and size will overcome Cotto's experience advantage.

Cotto is the better boxer but the real deciding factor here should be which fighter can maintain their confidence and game plan after feeling the power shots of their opponent.

On the undercard, southpaw WBC super feather owner Takashi Miura, 29-2 (22), takes on Mexican hotshot Francisco Vargas, 22-0-1 (16), in another 50-50 scrap.

The Tokyo based champion has only ventured forth from Japan on one occasion and could be affected by the limelight of "Sin City" while Mexico City based Vargas has competed in America's Boxing capital on numerous occasions.

Miura can punch with the best of them however and Vargas will have to display a sturdy jaw if he is to unseat Miura.

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