If you couldn’t tell from the title…this is a jam packed ‘Weekend in Boxing.’ Thursday throws the first punch on ESPN with Raymundo Beltran vs. Ji-Hoon Kim and Jessie Magdaleno vs. Jonathan Arellano. If you get Azteca America you’ll be able to watch Jessie Vargas vs. Vito Gasparyan on Friday. Saturday’s boxing combo begins in Denmark and the U.K with four seperate bills. Channel 5 in Britain and Wealth TV in America are showing James Degale vs. Fulgencio Zuniga with an undercard including Kid Galahad vs. Ivan Ruiz Morote and the very busy Chris Eubank Jr. vs. Olegs Fedotov. Sky Sports has Brian Magee vs. Mikel Kessler from Denmark and Darren Barker vs. Kerry Hope in the U.K. The British undercard includes Erick Ochieng vs. Max Maxwell, Khalid Yafai vs. Jorge Perez, Carson Jones vs. Dean Byrne (replacing the sick Lee Purdy) and Callum Smith vs. James Tucker. Primetime in the U.K starts their day of boxing with the free view offering, ‘Earthquake in Essex,’ headlined by Kris Agyei-Dua vs. Nathan Graham with an undercard that includes Ian Lewison vs. Dorian Darch.
Later on Saturday, Primetime shifts to PPV, as they, HBO PPV in America and SuperSport in southern/ western Africa are just some of the outlets showing Manny Pacquaio vs. Juan Manuel Marquez. The undercard includes Yuriorkis Gamboa vs. Michael Farenas, JAvier Fortuna vs. Patrick Hyland & Miguel Vazquez vs. Mercito Gesta. NBC Sports has heavyweight Bryant Jennings against Bowie Tupou. Fox Deportes closes things with Luis Ramos Jr. vs. Ricardo Williams Jr. and Jermell Charlo vs. Edgar Perez.
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.
THURSDAY 6TH DECEMBER:
ESPN – 10:30 ET/ 03:30 GMT (Friday morning)
‘Sugar’ Raymundo Beltran (26-6-0) vs. Ji-Hoon ‘Volcano’ Kim (24-7-0). Lightweights, 12 rounds.
- Raymundo Beltran scored a surprise victory over Henry Lundy in July. Ji-Hoon Kim is arguably less of a challenge than Lundy was. Nonetheless, Beltran’s victory over Lundy was close if not debatable, so Kim might have a better chance than expected.
Jesse Magdaleno (12-0-0) vs. Jonathan Arrellano (13-1-1). Superbantamweights, 8 rounds.
-Jesse Magdaleno’s well regarded and is the favourite over Jonathan Arrellano.
FRIDAY 7TH DECEMBER:
Jessie Vargas (20-0-0) vs. Vito ‘Casper’ Gasparyan (14-2-5). Light middleweights, 10 rounds.
- Jessie Vargas is making a foray into the 154lb division. I was surprised to hear that this match wouldn’t be at welterweight, although I hadn’t really been paying attention to the latest surrounding the still talked about youngster. Vito Gasparyan seems to be a decent test, who has never been stopped and has campaigned above 147 for longer than his opponent. Nonetheless, the expectation is that Vargas has more quality than Gasparyan.
SATURDAY 8TH DECEMBER:
Primetime – 17:30 GMT / 12:30 p.m. ET
Kris Agyei-Dua (4-1-2) vs. Nathan ‘De Lick’ Graham (13-5-1). Light middleweights, 10 rounds.
- Kris Agyei Dua vs. Nathan Graham is a rematch from their draw in September.
Ian Lewison (5-1-1) vs. Dorian Darch (6-0-0). Heavyweights, 6 rounds.
-Brixton’s own Ian Lewison continues his career as a professional by facing undefeated Welshman, Dorian Darch.
Sky Sports – 20:00 GMT / 3:00 p.m. ET (I haven’t listed all of the undercard bouts, but some of them look very interesting).
Brian Magee (36-4-1) vs. Mikel ‘the Viking Warrior’ Kessler (45-2-0). Super middleweights, 12 rounds.
-Brian Magee’s the underdog here as well as being a few years older than Mikel Kessler. Magee hasn’t faced the calibre of opponents that Kessler has. If Kessler were to win then discussions about his next bout might include Carl Froch’s name.
‘Dazzling’ Darren Barker (23-1-0) vs. Kerry Hope (18-4-0). Super middleweights, 12 rounds.
- Darren Barker’s only loss was a brave one to Sergio Martinez. With his injury troubles hopefully permanently behind him, Barker is now campaigning in the super middleweight division. Kerry Hope has competed in both divisions, but I’m not sure if that will be a deciding factor on Saturday.
Erick ‘the Eagle’ Ochieng (11-1-0) vs. Max ‘Mad Max’ Maxwell (16-12-3). Light middleweights, 10 rounds.
-Erick Ochieng faces his first real veteran test in Max Maxwell. It’s an exam that Ochieng should pass, but Maxwell obviously disagrees.
Carson Jones (34-9-2) vs. Dean ‘Irish Lightning’ Byrne (16-2-0). Light middleweights, 10 rounds.
-Carson Jones was supposed to be fighting Lee Purdy, but Purdy withdrew after being sidelined with a virus. Dean Byrne is now the opponent and after watching Jones’ tenacious battle with Kell Brook, Byrne’s chances are looking slim. If Bryne’s a consummate boxer, he has a chance, but on paper that doesn’t seem to be the case.
Khalid Yafai (5-0-0) vs. Jorge Perez (11-5-0). Bantamweights, 8 rounds.
-Kal Yafai is still in the early stage of his career, but that stage looks very promising. Displaying a high skill level with a balanced approach, he’s one of the boxers I think could continue to impress. Jorge Perez should be a good opponent for this point in Yafai’s career. Yafai should beat Perez, but experience is always an important variable.
Callum Smith (1-0-0) vs. James Tucker (7-56-4). Super middleweights, 4 rounds.
-Callum Smith’s debut last month was very entertaining. James Tucker is an understandably ‘safe’ opponent for his second pro. bout.
Channel 5 UK & WealthTV – 22:00 GMT / 5:00 p.m. ET
James ‘Chunky’ DeGale (13-1-0) vs. Fulgencio Zuniga (25-6-1). Super middleweights, 12 rounds.
-James DeGale continues to be active as he faces Fulgencio Zuniga. DeGale is the favourite here, but Zuniga isn’t being written off. Zuniga’s last stoppage loss was in 2009 to Lucian Bute and since then has put in some tough performances. DeGale has been criticised for seeming to lay off a bit during matches. Let’s see if he addresses this perceived problem. I’m not one of the people making a big deal out of it, but the criticism does have some merit.
Kid Galahad (12-0-0) vs. Ivan Ruiz Morote (15-2-0). Super featherweights, 8 rounds.
-Kid Galahad has rightfully earned respect as a promising youngster. Ivan Ruiz Morote seems capable of posing a solid challenge, which should mean a competitive bout.
Chris Eubank Jr. (8-0-0) vs. Olegs Fedotovs (15-9-2). Super middleweights, 8 rounds.
-Chris Eubank Jr. was in the ring only last week. While he won comfortably, he still had to earn that victory. Will Olegs Fedotov benefit from any possible effects felt by Eubank Jr. from a week ago?
HBO PPV; Primetime PPV & SuperSport– 9:00 p.m. ET/02:00 GMT; 02:00 GMT & 04:00 SA time /04:00 Ghana time (Sunday morning).
Manny ‘Pac Man’ Pacquaio (54-4-2) vs. Juan Manuel ‘Dinamita’ Marquez (54-6-1). Welterweights, 12 rounds.
-Manny Pacquaio and Juan Manuel Marquez meet for the fourth time. Previews can be found on the site and also on the front page. As they say, if you’ve got nothing nice to say then don’t say anything at all, so I’m shutting up.
Yuriorkis ‘el Ciclon de Guantanamo’ Gamboa (21-0-0) vs. Michael ‘Hammer Fist’ Farenas (34-3-4). Super featherweights, 12 rounds.
-Yuriorkis Gamboa hasn’t fought in over a year. What impact this will have on a boxer whose reflexes and timing are part of his exemplary ability is worth weighing. Michael Farenas has never been stopped, but the edge has to go to Gamboa.
Miguel ‘Titere’ Vazquez (32-13-3) vs. Mercito ‘No Mercy’ Gesta (26-0-1). Lightweights, 12 rounds.
- Miguel Vazquez should present a capable veteran challenge for Mercito Gesta. Vazquez has never been stopped, but if he’s a straight forward, limited type then Gesta should win. Gesta’s decent, but to me certainly not the best 135 lb’r. I’m certain that we won’t be seeing him in the ring with the lightweight ‘Problem’ anytime soon (or ever).
Javier ‘el Abejon’ Fortuna (20-0-0) vs. Patrick ‘the Punisher’ Hyland (27-0-0). Featherweights, 12 rounds.
-Javier Fortuna looked spectacular in his last bout. Fortuna isn’t the finished article, but Patrick Hyland’s going to have his hands full. I don’t think I’ve ever seen Hyland fight, but he needs to be better than good to have any chance of winning.
NBCSports Network – 10:00 p.m. ET / 03:00 GMT
Bryant ‘Bye-Bye’ Jennings (15-0-0) vs. Bowie ‘Bo’ Tupou (22-2-0). Heavyweights, 12 rounds.
-Bryant Jennings continues to hone his craft and increase his popularity. Bowie Tupou’s a strong guy and is hoping to redeem himself after being stopped in September. Jennings is a relatively small heavyweight so we’ll see if that makes a difference.
Fox Deportes’ ‘Golden Boy Promotions Presents’ – 10:00 p.m. ET / 03:00 GMT
Luis Ramos Jr. (23-0-0) vs. Ricardo Williams Jr. (20-3-0). Light welterweights, 10 rounds.
-Luis Ramos Jr. is not only sporting the undefeated record here, but he should also be the better of the two. Ricardo Williams Jr. is a worthy opponent and certainly has a chance.
Jermell Charlo (9-0-0) vs. Edgar Perez (5-1-0). Middleweights, 8 rounds.
-Jermell Charlo’s got heavy hands and isn’t a bad boxer either. Edgar Perez has all of the odds against him.
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