The U.K’s got some televised boxing action on Friday. Germany, South Africa, Ghana and Finland also have noteworthy offerings, but the highest profile stuff’s in America. Friday begins in England with John Donnelly vs. Paul Butler and Ovil McKenzie vs. Enzo Maccarinelli on BoxNation. Paul Smith vs. Tommy Tolan and Liam Smith vs. Gary McMillan are also on the bill. Showtime’s ‘ShoBox – the New Generation’ series brings us the ‘Night of the Olympians,’ which includes Gary Russell Jr. vs. Roberto Castaneda and Errol Spence Jr. vs. Jonathan Garcia. Other matches on the bill are Marcus Browne vs. Codale Ford, Dominic Breazeale vs. Curtis Tate and Rau’shee Warren vs. Luis Rivera.
Saturday starts off in Germany with the last heavyweight protégé of the recently departed Emmanuel Steward, Wladimir Klitschko, as he faces Mariusz Wach on Epix and SuperSport. Epix will also show the heavyweight tussle from Finland with Robert Helenius vs. Sherman Williams. SuperSport viewers will have their plates full as the channel broadcasts not only the German boxing but also South Africa’s ‘Golden Gloves Tournament’ (obviously not the same as the ‘Golden Gloves of America’). The highlights on that bill are the final with Thabiso Mchunu vs. Danie Venter. The non-tournament match of Tommy Oosthuizen vs. Fulgencio Zuniga will also be shown. Later on, BoxNation and Showtime are back at it with Nathan Cleverly vs. Shawn Hawk, Abner Mares vs. Anselmo Moreno and Leo Santa Cruz vs. Victor Zaleta. I’m not sure if they’ll show Alfredo Angulo vs. Raul Casarez, which is also on the same bill. Refusing to be outdone, HBO’s ‘Boxing After Dark’ impresses with Erislandy Lara vs. Vanes Martirosyan. The undercard is Miguel Angel Garcia vs. Jonathan Victor Barros. The small nation that produces big boxing talent, Ghana, wraps things up on Sunday with Accra born boxing specialists Emmanuel Tagoe vs. George Tashie. Also on the ‘Clash of Kings’ bill, which is promoted by footballing star Asamoah Gyan’s ‘Babyjet Promotions,’ are Raymond Commey vs. Emmanuel Quartey and other bouts. Hopefully Ghana Broadcasting Corporation’s GTV unit will be streaming this.
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 9TH NOVEMBER:
BoxNation 20:00 GMT / 3:00 p.m. ET
John ‘Dangerous’ Donnelly (13-2-0) vs. Paul ‘the Baby Faced Assassin’ Butler (8-0-0). Super flyweights, 12 rounds.
- Paul Butler and John Donnelly are both local boxers in this showdown from Liverpool. BoxNation describes Paul Butler and John Donnelly as England’s top two ranked super flyweights.
Ovil ‘the Upsetter’ McKenzie (20-11-0) vs. Enzo Maccarinelli (35-5-0). Light heavyweights, 12 rounds.
-Ovil McKenzie originally hails from an island that has produced many great boxers, Jamaica. While McKenzie might not be a world beater, I’m not sure if Enzo Maccarinelli has enough left to win. To me, Maccarinelli’s a fringe guy now and I didn’t even know that he was banned for a doping offence.
Liam ‘Beefy’ Smith (11-0-1) vs. Gary McMillan (16-3-1). Light middleweights, 12 rounds.
- Liam Smith is the undefeated boxer, but Gary McMillan has arguably faced the better opposition. As we’ve found it, the tests that a boxer has faced in the past certainly matter. Smith vs. McMillan might be interesting.
Paul ‘Smigga’ Smith (31-3-0) vs. Tommy ‘the Tiger’ Tolan (4-12-1). Super middleweights, 6 rounds.
-Paul Smith is looking to shake off the ring rust against what seems to be a safe opponent in Tommy Tolan.
Showtime’s ‘ShoBox: The New Generation’ – ‘Night of the Olympians– 10:00 p.m. ET/ 03:00 GMT
Mr. Gary Russell Jr. (20-0-0) vs. Roberto ‘Azabache’ Castaneda (20-2-1). Featherweights, 10 rounds.
- The front page has an in depth piece on this, including comments from Gary Russell Jr. himself, so no need for me to elaborate extensively. Russell continues to increase the level of opposition as he faces Roberto Casteneda. Some will complain that Russell isn’t fighting the elite names, but whatever. I’m perfectly fine with this match up for a boxer of his age and stage in career. I expect that if Russell wins tonight, as most expect him to, we’ll see a more high profile match up sooner rather than later.
Errol Spence Jr. (0-0-0) vs. Jonathan Garcia (3-3-0). Light middleweights, 4 rounds.
- Errol Spence makes his debut against Jonathan Garcia. Spence is the favourite but it’s interesting to note that Garcia turned pro at the age of 18. Does that give him an advantage in experience?
Marcus Browne (0-0-0) vs. Codale Ford (2-0-0). Light heavyweights, 4 rounds.
- Marcus Browne’s debut is against the 11 years his elder, Codale Ford. Even though Browne’s younger, the expectation is that the Olympian is much more skilled.
Dominic Breazeale (0-0-0) vs. Curtis Tate (4-3-0). Heavyweights, 4 rounds.
-Dominic Breazeale’s debut is against Curtis Tate. Tate broke a three fight losing streak by winning his last bout. Confidence builder for his clash with Breazeale?
Rau’shee Warren (0-0-0) vs. Luis Rivera (1-2-0). Bantamweights, 4 rounds.
-Rau’shee Warren is making his pro debut, but having been to three Olympic games means that he isn’t completely wet behind the ears. Luis Rivera isn’t expected to win but he’s definitely going to try to triumph.
SATURDAY 10TH NOVEMBER
Thabiso Mchunu (11-1-0) vs. Danie Venter (15-5-0). Cruiserweights, 12 rounds.
Tommy Oosthuizen (20-0-1) vs. Fulgencio Zuniga (25-5-1). Super middleweights, 12 rounds.
I WAS UNABLE TO UPDATE IN TIME & THE BILL HAS CONCLUDED. RESULTS WILL BE IN THE ‘WEEKEND ROUND UP’
EPIX, ESPN UK & SuperSport (also available on a variety of European channels) – 4:30 ET / 21:30 GMT & 23:30 SA time
Wladimir ‘Dr. Steelhammer’ Klitschko (58-3-0) vs. Mariusz Wach (27-0-0). Heavyweights, 12 rounds.
- Wladimir Klitschko is dedicating his match with Mariusz Walch to the late great Emmanuel Steward. A great gesture and for that I certainly wish Klitschko the best, even though he probably doesn’t need it.
Robert ‘the Nordic Nightmare’ Helenius (17-0-0) vs. Sherman ‘Tank’ Williams (35-11-2). Heavyweights, 12 rounds.
- Robert Helenius is considered a legitimate contender by some. I’m not one of them. Nonetheless, Sherman Williams doesn’t exactly conjure images of danger for Helenius. It’s the heavyweights, so one punch could be all it takes for Williams to upset the applecart. Doubtful, but…
BoxNation & Showtime – 01:00 GMT/8:00 p.m. ET (for BoxNation) & 10:00 p.m ET (for Showtime)
Nathan Cleverly (24-0-0) vs. Shawn ‘the Sioux Warrior’ Hawk (23-2-1). Light heavyweights, 12 rounds.
- Nathan Cleverly’s expected to comfortably beat Shawn Hawk. A loss by Cleverly isn’t a career killer, but it would definitely be a setback. A win by Hawk is obviously a massive positive.
Abner Mares (24- 0-1) vs. Anselmo Moreno (33-1-1). Super bantamweights, 12 rounds.
-Abner Mares vs. Anselmo Moreno has already been covered extensively in this blog and on the front page. Obviously a highlight of the weekend.
Leo ‘Termoto’ Santa Cruz (21-0-1) vs. Victor ‘Nene’ Zaleta (20-2-1). Bantamweights, 12 rounds.
- Leo Santa Cruz triumphed in his last bout over Eric Morel, but I certainly think he looked beatable. Is Victor Zaleta the boxer to capitalise on Santa Cruz’ weaknesses? Debatable, but we’ll find out shortly.
Alfredo ‘Perro’ Angulo (20-2-0) vs. Raul ‘el Tigre’ Casarez (19-2-1). Light middleweights, 12 rounds.
-Alfredo Angulo’s known as mostly a brawler, which is no way to rise to the top (without the benefit of dodgy matchmaking). To rectify that, he’s joined forces with seminal trainer Virgil Hunter. Raul Casarez is a good opponent to test his new approach on.
HBO’s ‘Boxing After Dark’ – 9:45 p.m. ET / 02:45 GMT
Erislandy Lara (17-1-1) vs. Vanes ‘Nightmare’ Martirosyan (32-0-0). Light middleweights, 12 rounds.
- Erislandy Lara’s record of 19 professional fights is by no means indicative of his ring experience. Lara’s a seasoned Cuban amateur with fantastic boxing intelligence and ability. Vanes Matirosyan’s no slouch either and is undefeated, but the level of opposition is quite questionable. Apart from this being an interesting match, I was surprised to see that Top Rank won the purse bid over Lara’s promoter, Golden Boy Promotions.
Miguel Angel Garcia (29-0-0) vs. Jonathan Victor Barros (34-3-1). Super featherweights, 12 rounds.
- Miguel Garcia has shown nice ring operator abilities, but he’s still a bit unproven. Jonathan Victor Barros’ is a reputable opponent and certainly feels he has a chance to win.
SUNDAY 11TH NOVEMBER
Emmanuel ‘Game Boy’ Tagoe (19-1-0) vs. George ‘Red Tiger’ Ashie (23-3-1). Lightweights, 12 rounds.
- This match is a big deal in the boxing talent rich nation of Ghana. The talented and promising, Emmanuel Tagoe, who is trained by boxing legend Azumah ‘Zoom-Zoom’ Nelson, faces the equally noteworthy George Ashie. There’s been a nice amount of talk between both guys, which never hurts to build anticipation. It’s also the first promotional effort by Asamoah Gyan’s ‘Baby Jet Promotions.’
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