Before we get started, a few friendly words of advice to the men reading this.
Do something very, very, very nice for your girlfriend or wife today. Why? Because after that, it’s all about the boxing and that might not sit so well in your home.
So, even though Robin Van Persie will no longer be a Gunner, let’s get going with the silver lining to all of my dark clouds…the ‘Weekend in Boxing.’
As always, this is just some of the action that’s being televised and what I intend to watch.
THURSDAY 5th JULY:
BoxNation’s ‘BoxAcademy’ – 19.00 GMT (main event @ 22.15 GMT) / 2.00 p.m. EST (main event @ 5.15 p.m.)
Paul ‘the Baby Faced Assassin’ Butler (7-0-0) vs. Ashley ‘Flash Ash’ Sexton (12-0-2). Super flyweights, 10 rounds.
- ‘BoxAcademy’, is “designed to bring you the very best up and coming British talent…” Headlining the programme are the two undefeated and promising prospects listed above and there’s a lot more on the bill.
FRIDAY 6th JULY:
ESPN2/ESPN3– ‘Friday Night Fights’ – 10.00 p.m. EST/ 03.00 GMT
Javier ‘el Abejon’ Fortuna (19-0-0) vs. Cristobal ‘Lacandon’Cruz (39-13-3). Featherweights, 10 rounds.
- Javier Fortuna is the young, undefeated favourite, hailing from the Domincan Republic (Domincanos!) with a great K.O. percentage. Hopefully he isn’t taking his veteran opponent lightly. Cristobal Cruz went the distance, in a losing effort, with the tough as nails upsetter, Orlando Solido.
Magomed ‘Mago’ Abdusalamov (14-0-0) vs. Maurice ‘Freight Train’ Byarm (13-1-1). Heavyweights, 10 rounds
- The heavyweight division continues to wake from its slumber. Abdusalamov has an eye-watering 100% K.O percentage! Byarm hasn’t decapitated as many people, but he’s definitely no slouch either. His only loss was a decision loss to the highly rated Bryant Jennings. Maurice Byarm’s also featured on the front page of FightHype.
SATURDAY 7th JULY:
SKY Sports 1 – 20.00 GMT / 3 p.m. EST
Kell ‘the Special One’ Brook (27-0-0) vs. Carson Jones (34-8-2). Welterweights, 12 rounds.
- The welterweight division is about as deep with talent as it can get. Kell Brook is generally considered one of the more talented welters out there, but can Carson Jones give him his first loss? Carson’s been talking a lot. This will be in Kell’s home town of Sheffield and he’s promised a K.O for his loyal supporters. Let’s see.
This bill obviously has other matches and one of them is the middleweight rematch between Grzegorz Proksa (27-1-0) and Kerry Hope (17-3-0).
Channel 5 – 22.00 GMT/ WealthTV – 5 p.m. EST
Tyson Fury (18-0-0) vs. Vinny Maddalone (35-7-0). Heavyweights, 12 rounds.
- Tyson Fury is obviously the draw here. An extremely popular boxer, with a wicked name, but the jury’s still out on his ability to become a world beater. He’s a big heavyweight, who has been previously criticised for not taking his fitness seriously. Those days seem to be in the past, as he looked fit when he scored a devastating T.K.O over Martin Rogan, in his last match. Fury got a 12 round decision in an impressive display against Dereck ‘Del Boy’ Chisora in 2011.
Fury’s father, who named his son after Iron Mike, was also a boxer, so Tyson Fury grew up around the sport. He can definitely box, but the quality of most of his competition has been questioned. To be fair, he’s still young and should not be expected to be thrown to the wolves right away.
That being said, his opponent this week won’t do much to stop the questions. Maddalone’s record does include names like Evander Holyfield, Tomasz Adamek and Jean Marc Mormeck, but that’s about it. He lost to all three of them and got K.O.’d by Holyfield in 2007 and Adamek in 2010. Who knows, maybe Maddalone will land the one or two, big punches that most heavyweights are capable of and surprise everyone.
Chris Eubank jr. (4-0-0) vs. Terry Carruthers (11-11-6). Middleweights, 8 rounds.
- So far, Chris Eubank Jr. has looked very promising. He’s still young and obviously the level of competition has kept pace with the stage of his career. Nonetheless no one likes to lose and Terry Carruthers is no exception.
There are other matches on the bill, but these are the two which I’m the most interested in.
EPIX – 5 p.m. EST / 22.00 GMT
Wladimir ‘Dr. Steelhammer’ Klitschko (57-3-0) vs. Tony ‘the Tiger’ Thompson (36-2-0). Heavyweights, 12 rounds.
- This is a rematch from 2008, when Wladimir Klitschko K.O’d Tony Thompson in the 11th. Thompson did have a knee injury in that bout, which probably made him a sitting duck.
Nonetheless, Klitschko has to be the clear favourite going into this one. Combined with his ability in the ring, ‘Dr. Steelhammer’ has the legendary Emmanuel Steward in his corner. Even though he’s fought many more times than Thompson, he’s still five years younger than his 40 year old opponent.
Of course Thompson disagrees with my assessment of his chances and I’m interested to see if he can prove me wrong.
HBO – 10 p.m. EST / 03.00 GMT
Nonito ‘the Filipino Flash’ Donaire (28-1-0) vs. Jeffrey ‘the Mongoose’ Mathebula (26-3-2). Super bantamweights, 12 rounds.
- Nonito Donaire is undoubtedly one of the stars of the super bantamweight division. He’s also considered by some to be one of the best pound for pound boxers. His only loss was 11 years ago. Some fans were less than enthralled with his last two performances and point to that as proof of his mortality. Mortality, yes. Mediocrity, no. Respect to Nonito for his aggressive support of random drug testing.
Jeffrey Mathebula isn’t impressed. He feels that he’s the true super bantamweight, unlike Donaire who has recently moved up in weight. Mathebula’s only recent losses are to the highly regarded and Jeff Mayweather trained, Celestino Caballero, as well as his country man, Taklani Ndlovu. The other loss was almost 9 years ago.
Mathebula’s height advantage can’t be overlooked, but if not utilised properly, could present opportunities for the ‘Filipino Flash.’
South Africa, like the Philippines, has a rich boxing heritage. Who knows, the formerly avid boxer, Nelson Mandela, might even be watching this one.
Kelly ‘the Ghost’ Pavlik (39-2-0) vs. Will ‘Power’ Rosinsky (16-1-0). Super middleweights, 10 rounds.
- Kelly Pavlik continues his comeback. This will be his second outing (third?) with Robert Garcia in his corner. On one hand, his opponent seems to be along the lines of his last opponent. On the other hand, Will Rosinsky could be a young and hungry fighter from Queens, NYC, looking to maximise his moment under the bright lights of HBO.
I think that the safe money’s on Pavlik, who also needs to maximise this opportunity, probably even more so than Rosinsky.
Telefutura – Soleo Boxeo – 11 p.m. EST
Jose ‘Chelo’ Gonzalez (19-0-0) vs. Joseph ‘Mandingo’ Laryea (14-7-0). Lightweights, 10 rounds.
- The undefeated Jose Gonzalez, with his high K.O percentage is expected to increase his record to 20-0 against Joseph Laryea. While Joseph Laryea’s record is clearly not as impressive, he does boast a win over Paul Appleby (who fought last week) and took Ricky Burns 7 rounds until he was forced to retire with an injured hand. Ricky Burns was ahead on the cards at the time of the injury.
Two warriors hailing from countries with proud boxing histories – Puerto Rico and Ghana.
Glen ‘Jersey Boy’ Tapia (13-0-0) vs. Carlos (6-10-1) Garcia. Light middleweights, 6 rounds.
- In case you were wondering, Glen Tapia is not related to the recently departed Johnny Tapia.
FOX Deportes / Fox Sports Net
Jesus ‘Renuente’ Soto Karass (25-7-3) vs. Euri Gonzalez (20-2-1). Light middleweights, 10 rounds
-Gonzalez is the slightly older guy, but he started boxing after Karas did.
Francisco Vargas (11-0-1) vs. Irving Torres (9-2-0). Super featherweight, 8 rounds.
-Two young guys with promising records. One’s undefeated, could be good.
I have to say, very shoddy coverage by Fox sports of their own boxing events. I was initially impressed when I heard that they’d signed a deal with GBP over here, but other networks like NBCSports seem much more supportive of their boxing contracts.
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