A lot of this is from Dan Rafael's Notebook. Others are just fights coming up we have yet to discuss here.
The Roy Jones Jr.-Jeff Lacy fiasco has moved. The Floridians will now take to the ring on August 15 rather than August 22, which makes sense given the free alternative that HBO is carrying on 8/22 (Diaz-Malignaggi). Now, though, they're still in direct competition with a Top Rank PPV headlined by Nonito Donaire, at least until that changes and Arum moves that show's date up to 8/8 or back to 8/29, because there's nothing those nights and there are plenty of cable companies that still really only have room for one show or the other, and will choose Jones over Donaire.
Jones-Lacy also has an undercard bout, with Aussie light heavyweight Danny Green taking a cruiserweight fight against Julio Cesar Dominguez. For those ordering the PPV (with the date switch, I can't, as I'm getting married that day), hope that BJ Flores doesn't sneak onto this card somehow. If Jones and Green are both successful, they'll fight later this year in Australia.
Also, Lacy and Jones will square off in Biloxi, which...I don't know, I really hope they got a LOT more to run that fight in Mississippi than they could have in Florida. Two Floridians in a mid-level fight with no TV interest bound to lose money on the PPV need all the help they can get. Earliest reports had it in New Orleans, so I'm not sure they ever really went after a Florida venue.
Amir Khan slaying Breidis Prescott (21-0, 18 KO) returns on July 17 (ESPN2's Friday Night Fights) against fellow slugger Ray Narh (22-1, 19 KO). Narh's only loss was a first-round stoppage against Almazbek "Kid Diamond" Raiymkulov back in 2004. Narh has really never beaten anything beyond journeymen and cans, but Prescott probably got himself overrated in a hurry with the thrashing of Khan, a result made possible more by Khan's underestimating of the fact that Prescott could knock him out right quick if he didn't keep his guard up. Narh taking Prescott's "0" wouldn't surprise me. Both are big 135-pounders (Prescott is 5'11", Narh is 5'10"). Narh is originally from Ghana, now living in Pittsburgh, if you're wondering about his last name. Cubans Guillermo Rigondeaux and Yudel Johnson will also be on that show.
On July 31, FNF has a nice double-header, with former lightweight titlist Julio Diaz (36-5, 26 KO) looking to come back from a bad loss to Rolando Reyes at Lightweight Lightning when he faces undefeated Victor Manuel Cayo (22-0, 15 KO). It's an interesting fight, not quite a crossroads, and not quite contender-versus-opponent, as I don't think Diaz has sunk that low just yet. A bad loss to Cayo would put him there, though. Heavyweights Chazz Witherspoon and Carl Davis Drumond will also do battle on that card.
Not a fight, but now Rafael is in on the act, too: "Although Joshua Clottey came up short in a split decision loss to Cotto last Saturday, Arum said the fight established Clottey as a major player in the deep and star-studded welterweight division." IT'S NOT DEEP! I guess it's star-studded if you count anyone besides Mosley and Cotto as "stars." I'd say the No. 3 star in the division is still Judah. (We're not counting Mayweather just yet, obviously.)
Yuriorkis Gamboa's first title defense will be against Whyber Garcia (22-6, 15 KO), a non-threat who has already been destroyed in recent times by Jorge Linares, who is a better fighter than Gamboa and won't ever get to prove it because he never fights. And I'm done trying to take snotty potshots at Gamboa's "Superman Prospect" status. (For today.) ((And Lopez'll moidalize 'im!))
Also of note: Garcia was part of Edwin Valero's first round knockout streak.
Panamanian bantamweight titlist Anselmo Moreno (25-1-1, 8 KO) makes a fast return to the ring on July 4 in France, when he takes on Mahyar Monshipour (31-3-2, 21 KO). Monshipour is best known for his Fight of the Decade contender against Somsak Sithchatchawal in 2006, a fight so brutal (Monshipour was stopped in the 10th) that the Frenchman retired. He returned in December 2008 and has fought three tune-up fights overall, so he appears as serious as can be about his comeback. Moreno is on quite a tear, having twice done the unlikely, outpointing Wladimir Sidorenko on hostile grounds in Germany. Their rematch was in May.
The July 10 Friday Night Fights looks solid, too. In one main event, cruiserweights Matt Godfrey (18-1, 10 KO) and Shawn Hawk (18-0-1, 16 KO) square off, while in the other, light heavyweight contender Shaun George (18-2-2, 9 KO) faces Chris Henry (23-2, 18 KO). While the fights are good to go, latest news has it not taking place in Houston as planned, which could really mess up the card if they can't find a new venue.
The July 11 undercard for Showtime's Agbeko-Darchinyan show is excellent, but none of it will be televised, which is a real shame. Steve Cunningham and Wayne Brathwaite meet in an IBF cruiserweight title eliminator bout; Yuri Romanov faces Fernando Angulo; and then there's Shobox veteran Antonio DeMarco against Anges Adjaho. Cunningham-Brathwaite deserves TV for sure, but I get it, as we have to these days. Budgets are very tight everywhere.
The Tomasz Adamek-Bobby Gunn cruiserweight championship fight will stream on July 11 on MainEvents.com for a small fee, just in case you love Adamek (or Gunn, I guess) that much. Doing low-priced streams is a great idea, and will be better as soon as promoters realize we're more likely to pay for competitive, interesting fights that can't find TV, of which there isn't a great shortage.
One of the best upcoming fights, in my view, is also on July 11. IBF featherweight titlist Cristobal Cruz (38-11-1, 23 KO) rematches Jorge Solis (37-1-2, 27 KO) in Tuxtla Gutiérrez, Mexico. The two met in 2003, with Solis winning a wide unanimous decision, but six years is so long in boxing that that bout will likely mean little. I'd wager both are better fighters now than they were then, and Solis just might be my pick for most overlooked fighter in the sport. His only loss was a step up to 130 against Manny Pacquiao.
July 11 is a loaded night globally. A list of notable fights that night: Agbeko-Darchinyan, Cunningham-Brathwaite, Romanov-Angulo, DeMarco-Adjaho, Cruz-Solis, Sturm-Gevor, Adamek-Gunn, N'dou-N'dou (yes!). Apparently Demetrius Andrade will be making the trip to South Africa to fight on the N'dou-N'dou (yes!) undercard, too.
Who do you have in N'dou-N'dou? I've got N'dou. HA! I kill me!
On August 22 in Budapest, 168-pound titlist Karoly Balzsay faces Robert Stieglitz, one of my favorite just past fringe contenders. He's a real contender, but one of those guys in need of a perfect night or the right situation to win a title.