Thursday, December 17
Orange Sport (France), 3:30 p.m., Jean Marc Mormeck vs. Vinny Maddalone. This is Mormeck's first fight in about two years since losing his cruiserweight title to David Haye. He's been talking for a while about how he's moving to heavyweight, and now he's finally doing it. Maddalone is basically a good American club fighter who's willing to go to war and has some decent names on his record. Twice he's lost to Brian Minto in solid brawls, so how Mormeck does should give us a good idea of where his standing might be as a heavyweight and how much he has left in the tank.
Friday, December 18
Sky Sports (UK), 4:00 p.m. Eastern, Albert Sosnowski vs. Paolo Vidoz, Carl Dilks vs. Charles Adamu. On paper, this is the worst Sky Sports matchup of the year. I have no idea what inspired them to import a rigid Polish heavyweight and a boring Italian heavyweight to fight for the European title on British soil. Both guys share the dubious distinction of almost getting knocked out by Zuri Lawrence.
TyC Sports (Argentina), 8:00 p.m. Eastern, Ronald Barrera vs. Juan Carlos Reveco. This one's for an interim light flyweight title.
Showtime, 11:00 p.m., Fernando Guerrero vs. Jesse Nicklow; Shawn Porter vs. Jamar Patterson. One of our favorite prospects returns, with the headline fight involving two guys from Maryland, but the card being in Minneapolis. 16-0 Guerrero and 19-1-2 Nicklow were competitors in the amateurs, with Guerrero winning three of five in the unpaid ranks. Shawn Porter will get his first national TV exposure since being Manny Pacquiao's main sparring partner for the Cotto fight. He takes on 8-0 Patterson.
Saturday, December 19
Eurosport, 3:00 p.m., Zaurbek Baysangurov vs. Frank Shabani.
ZDF, 3:45 p.m. Eastern, Jurgen Braehmer vs. Dmitry Sukhotsky, Sebastian Zbik vs. Emanuele Della Rosa, Alexander Alexeev vs. Daniel Ammann. Braehmer defends his super middleweight title and Zbik defends his middleweight interim title. In each case, they're facing an undefeated nobody. Two guys who have good looking records on paper, but who have never fought anyone of note and have little to no prospect buzz behind them. I realize Braehmer and Zbik aren't the strongest titlists in the world, but Universum is matching them up unusually weak. ZDF should be ashamed of themselves for agreeing to air this tripe.
Top Rank PPV, 9:00 p.m. Eastern ($39.99), Kelly Pavlik vs. Miguel Espino, Humberto Soto vs. Jesus Chavez, Nehomar Cermeno vs. Alejandro Valdez, Vanes Martirosyan vs. Willie Lee. For maybe the first time ever, it looks like one of Bob Arum's Latin Fury cards will finally end up with the same lineup it was announced with. Espino is expected to be an easy touch for Pavlik, and has the added bonus of being ranked by both sanctioning bodies from which he has a belt. Chavez is completely toast, but he has a name and likes to war, so Soto-Chavez could at least be an exciting fight. Martiyosyan continues to fight the same level of guy he's been fighting for a couple of years against Lee, who's lost every time he's faced someone decent. On paper, the most interesting bout is Cermeno vs. Valdez. Cermeno hasn't been on US TV, but beat Cristian Mijares in each of his last two fights. Valdez had a technical draw (in a fight he was winning) against Fernando Montiel in his last fight.
Televisa, 9:00 p.m. Eastern, Cristobal Cruz vs. Ricardo Castillo. This fight has already been reschedued before due to Cruz contracting swine flu, so hopefully it goes off without a hitch this time. Cruz has quickly become one of my favorites with his reckless, high volume style. Castillo is a good fighter who's never quite been able to get over the hump, and now he's fading at this point in his career as well. Considering Cruz is a Top Rank fighter, I find it curious that this card was rescheduled for the exact same time as his Latin Fury pay per view.
Elsewhere in the world of boxing...
- Hozumi Hasegawa will attempt to make the 10th defense of his bantamweight title against Nigaraguan challenger Alvaro Perez. Reportedly, he'll be moving up in weight after this fight, win or lose. Also on the card, former titlist Takahiro Aoh will try to get back into the swing of things against former challenger Feider Viloria.
Edwin Valero takes on Hector Velasquez in Venezuela on Saturday. If Valero gets past this one, which seems like yet another easy defense, he'll be facing his mandatory Antonio DeMarco on February 6. Velasquez lost to each of his last two significant opponents.
- There's a fun local card going on Thursday night in Commerce, CA. Prospect Leo Santa Cruz steps up a bit to face Juan Beltran. Edner Cherry gets back in the ring for the first time since his loss to Timothy Bradley. Personal favorites Sharif Bogere (the kid who comes out to the ring wearing a lion's head and pelt while big muscle dudes carry him in a cage), Dmitry Chudinov and Fedor Chudinov all fight as well.
- A whole lotta heavyweight will be fighting on the Pavlik undercard, and hold out hope that they don't show highlights. Sam Peter continues his comeback tour against nobodies, facing Roy Jones' old buddy, the 350 pound Gabe Brown. Cotto-clone Omar Henry will also be fighting on the undercard. On the Mexican side of the split site affair, Jose Luis Castillo will be taking a 10-rounder against Christian Lopez, a kid who's 19-11 and has fought at lightweight and junior lightweight most of his career.
- Denis Lebedev is coming off his shellacking of Enzo Maccaranelli to face rugged Ali Ismailov.
- In Nicaragua, Cesar Canchila goes for an interim title against undefeated Johnriel Casimero. There are also several other fights for minor titles on this WBO-sponsored event.