WEEKEND IN BOXING-14 & 15 SEP.: MARTINEZ/CHAVEZ JR.; ALVAREZ/LOPEZ; SAUNDERS/FLETCHER; RIGONDEAUX/MARROQUIN; MACKLIN/ALCINE; HERNANDEZ/ROSS; MARCOS MAIDANA/ SOTO KARASS; AGYEI-DUA/GRAHAM; GONZALEZ/PONCE DE LEON; MARTINEZ/ BELTRAN JR.; COMMEY/HUGHES;


We’re picking up where we left off with lots and lots of boxing.  The U.K gets the ball rolling on Friday from London’s York Hall as BoxNation features more rising talent including young undefeated British middleweight, Billy Joe Saunders against Australian, Jarrod Fletcher.  EuroSport and Telemundo also have boxing as they close out Friday’s action.  Saturday has been highlighted on many calendars for a while now and the wait is finally over.  Sergio Martinez vs. Julio Caesar Chavez Jr. and Saul Alvarez vs. Josesito Lopez are the premier bouts on a packed 15th of September.  The undercard for Martinez vs. Chavez Jr. not only includes ring maestro Guillermo Rigondeaux facing once defeated Roberto Marroquin and middleweight Matthew Macklin facing Joachim Alcine, but the U.K.’s Primetime channel will also have earlier live U.K. matches from Bethnal Green.  The other mega-fight, Alvarez vs. Lopez features, an undercard that includes Marcos Maidana vs. Jesus Soto Karass, as well as undefeated Leo Santa Cruz vs. veteran Eric Morel and prior to that, viewers of BoxNation will also get to see the cruiserweight Yoan Pablo Hernandez clash with Troy Ross.

That’s just a glimpse of things.  Read on for the full ‘Weekend in Boxing.’As always, this is some of what’s being televised and what I’ll try my best to watch.

FRIDAY 14th SEPTEMBER:

BoxNation – 19:30 GMT / 2:30 p.m. ET.

‘Superb’ Billy Joe Saunders (14-0-0) vs. Jarrod ‘Left Jab’ Fletcher (12-0-0). Middleweights, 12 rounds.

- It’s still early, but Billy Joe Saunders is a fast rising, undefeated British middleweight with a respectable 64% K.O. percentage.  He faces another undefeated middleweight, Jarrod Fletcher who will be fighting outside of his native Australia for the first time.  Someone’s ‘0’ has got to go (unless it’s a draw…).

Bradley Skeete (8-3-0) vs. Peter ‘Connemara Kid’ McDonagh (18-24-0).  Welterweights, 10 rounds.

- Bradley Skeete’s the clear favourite against his replacement opponent Peter McDonagh, but maybe experience will come into play.

SATURDAY 15thSEPTEMBER:

PRIMETIME on Sky channel 498 (free) – 19:00GMT / 02:00 p.m.

Kris Agyei-Dua (4-1-1) vs. Nathan Graham (13-4-0).  Light Middleweights, 10 rounds.

- Kris Agyei-Dua will be doing his best to impress against Nathan Graham who has lost three of his last 5.

Richard Commey (12-0-0) vs. Kris ‘Badger’ Hughes (15-2-0).   Lightweights, 8 rounds.

- Richard Commey risks his undefeated record and 100% stoppage percentage against Kris Hughes.  Hughes has probably faced better competition, but hasn’t fought since January in a TKO loss to Carl Frampton.    

BoxNation – 20:30 GMT / 3:30 p.m.

Yoan Pablo Hernandez (26-1-1) vs. Troy Ross (25-2-0).  Cruiserweights, 12 rounds.

 - Yoan Pablo Hernandez is originally from Cuba but now lives and boxes in Germany.  For me the extent of his credentials are still up in the air as his two victories against Steve Cunningham were a bit too eventful, in the wrong way.  Nonetheless, he is probably still one of the top cruiserweights and it’s going to be tough for Troy Ross to defeat him.   Even though they have similar records, Ross is 10 years older than Hernandez and has been out of the ring for extended periods.

Showtime Extreme – 8.00 p.m / 01:00 GMT

Showtime / BoxNation – 9:00 p.m / 02:00 GMT.

Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez (40-0-1) vs. Josesito Lopez (30-4-0).  Light middleweights, 12 rounds.

- Saul Alvarez is the favourite going into this one, which is probably fine with Josesito Lopez.  Alvarez has been campaigning in the relatively higher weight divisions longer than Lopez, so the main question is whether Lopez will be able to handle Alvarez power?  Lopez’ bigger frame should allow him to carry the additional weight, which appears to be the case but will the increase in size slow him down?  This is a great division, which begs the question as to whom either guy will fight next.  Saul Alvarez is undefeated, but has faced questions about the overall quality of his opponents and initially some eyebrows were raised when it was announced that he’d be facing someone who’d been a light welterweight a year ago.  That being said it should be noted that Lopez has never been stopped before and apart from his first loss in 2003 which was a unanimous decision, the other losses were all split decisions.

Jhonny Gonzalez (52-7-0) vs. Daniel Ponce De Leon (43-4-0).  Featherweights, 12 rounds.

 - Both Jhonny Gonzalez and Daniel Ponce De Leon have been in the ring with good opposition and are proven warriors.   I don’t really put much stock in the alphabet soup of commissions that dole out belts, so Gonzalez being the champion doesn’t say much – to me.  Gonzalez’ last loss was in 2009, but Ponce De Leon has probably faced the better opponents, with two of his four losses being against top boxers Yuriorkis Gamboa and Adrien Broner.

Marcos ‘el Chino’ Maidana (31-3-0) vs. Jesus ‘Renuente’ Soto Karass (26-7-3).  Welterweights, 12 rounds.

-This is Marcos Maidana’s second bout at welterweight after campaigning at light welter.  He was made to look somewhat limited by Devon Alexander and scraped by against Erik Morales.  Will he be able to maintain his 82% K.O percentage at the higher weight?  Jesus Soto Karass has campaigned at welterweight and light middleweight, so he should naturally be the bigger guy.  The expectation is that this will be hard fought and entertaining.

Leo ‘Teremoto’ Santa Cruz (20-0-1) vs. Eric ‘Little Hands of Steel’ Morel (46-3-0).  Bantamweights, 12 rounds.

- The undefeated Leo Santa Cruz is taking a true veteran exam when he faces Eric Morel.  Even though Morel is 12 years older than Santa Cruz, he has only lost once since 2008 and that was to Abner Mares.

HBO PPV / PRIMETIME PPV on Sky channel 498  & Virgin on Demand– 9:00 p.m. / 02:00 GMT.

Sergio ‘Maravilla’ Martinez (49-2-2) vs. Julio Caesar Chavez Jr. (46-0-1).  Middleweights, 12 rounds.

 - We can safely consider this one a grudge match, which should be very entertaining and also have important ramifications.  If you aren’t familiar with why this is a grudge match, then I point you to exhibit A: HBO’s ‘Face Off’ (the review’s also on this site).  In a nut shell, Martinez feels that Chavez Jr. doesn’t deserve to be in the position that he’s in and Chavez Jr. feels that he does and wants to shut up his doubters.  There’s no point in comparing level of opposition, because there is none.  Some of the terms of this match weren’t as stringent as I would’ve liked, but there’s obviously nowt that I can do about it, so I’m going to sit back and enjoy.  I’m picking Maravilla to win this one emphatically with Chavez Jr.’s only chance being to cut off the ring and use his size advantage.  Chavez Jr. has pointed to Martinez’ TKO loss in 2000 as proof of Martinez’ inability to handle pressure.  That was 12 years ago and more than likely Maravilla has learnt a thing or two since then.

Guillermo ‘el Chacal’ Rigoondeaux (10-0-0) vs. Robert Marroquin (22-1-0).  Super bantamweights, 12 rounds.

- Guillermo Rigondeaux is undoubtedly one of the current boxers whom I rate the most.  His brief professional career belies his years as a truly world class, Cuban amateur boxer with two Olympic gold medals.  It would probably have been three if he hadn’t defected.  Robert Marroquin has only lost once, but the quality of opposition has definitely not been in Rigondeaux’s league.  Is the younger man ready for the Cuban’s mastery?  Probably not…

Roman ‘Rocky’ Martinez (26-1-1) vs. Miguel Beltran Jr. (26-1-0).  Super featherweights, 12 rounds.

- Rocky Martinez’ only loss was to Ricky Burns and Miguel Beltran Jr. also only has one loss.  On paper Martinez has the edge and expectations are that this should be a solid one.

Matthew ‘Mack the Knife’ Macklin (28-4-0) vs. Joachim ‘Ti-Joa’ Alcine (33-2-1).  Middleweights, 10 rounds.

- After losing to Sergio Martinez in a valiant effort, Matthew Macklin is getting back on the horse by facing veteran Joachim Alcine.  Macklin has proven that he’s on the upper end of his division by going down to the wire against Sturm (arguably beating him) and strongly competing with Martinez.  Alcine hasn’t done much and probably has a bit of a hill to climb against Macklin.

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