After a dud of a weekend last week, everyone schedules all their fights to happen this week. Note the early start time for FNF this week.
Thursday, July 30
Versus,10:00 p.m. Eastern, Charles Huerta vs. Derrick Wilson, Luis Ramos vs. Sandro Marcos, Enrique Ornelas vs. Robert Baro. In the second installment of the GBP Club Nokia Fight Night, the fights look more like a WNF card than like the mediocre prospect versus mediocre prospect matchups we saw on the first show. Huerta's an 11-0 prospect who won on the first show, but he's facing someone who's only 4-0-1. Ramos is also 11-0, but at least they're matching him up with an experienced gatekeeper. Ornelas isn't a prospect at all - his title eliminator against Marco Antonio Rubio was one of the better fights of 2008.
Friday, July 31
ESPN2, 8:00 p.m. Eastern, Julio Diaz vs. Victor Cayo, Carl Davis Drumond vs. Derric Rossy. How often is there boxing on both ESPN2 and Showtime on the same night, and you can say that the card on ESPN2 is legitimately better? Diaz vs. Cayo could easily be the fight of the weekend. Diaz, a recent titleholder, was upset against Rolando Reyes, but he's a forward-moving fighter with a high workrate who was among the weight class's elite only a year ago. Cayo is an undefeated prospect with some talent, but some massive flaws. His style in the ring seems to be based on watching Roy Jones Jr. fights when he was a kid, and since he's not actually as quick as Jones, he has a lot of vulnerabilities. Drumond is a decent heavyweight who held his own against Ruslan Chagaev, but he has a low workrate, so I wouldn't expect his fight to be too exciting.
Showtime, 11:00 p.m. Eastern, Marvin Quintero vs. Tyrone Harris, Chris Avalos vs. Andre Wilson. Gary Shaw has been pushing Quintero hard as his next big Mexican prospect, especially since Perro Angulo was upset. Harris is a perfectly respectable gatekeeper who's only lost to good fighters, but who has never beaten a particularly good fighter. I'm guessing as to the second televised fight, which well could be undefeated HW prospect Bowie Tupou against plodding power puncher Demetrice King.
Saturday, August 1
GoFightLive.tv., 8:00 p.m. Eastern ($9.95), Delvin Rodriguez vs. Isaac Hlathswayo. This one's for the title Joshua Clottey vacated to take on Miguel Cotto. The first match was a draw that, by most accounts, Rodriguez should have won. Also on the undercard - Demetrius Andrade, Yathomas Riley, Tarvis "don't call me Travis" Simms and Raymond Serrano.
Showtime, 9:00 p.m. Eastern, Timothy Bradley vs. Nate Campbell, Devon Alexander vs. Junior Witter
Elsewhere in the world of boxing...
- A number of stay busy fights around the globe. Sakio Bika finally gets off his duff and has a fight in Australia tonight. He faces off against Ramon Pedro Moyano, one of Carlos Monzon's sons. Despite the intimidating bloodlines, Moyano is far from being a threat, with a record of 27-8-3. Billy Lyell, coming off his upset win over John Duddy, faces Chris Overbey. Prince Badi Ajamu faces former "title challenger" DeAndrey Abron, who's 0-3 against mediocre competition since getting smashed by Zsolt Erdei. (Update: Bika beat late replacement Nestor Casanova, and called out Anthony Mundine after the fight.)
- Mzonke Fana faces Jasper Seroka in an IBF SFW eliminator. The belt has been held by a South African since 2006 - Malcolm Klassen, to Fana, to Cassius Baloyi, back to Klassen. Robert Guererro has the chance to break up that streak. You can stream this fight over the internet if you can get a South African proxy.
- George "Monk" Foreman III follows up on his pro debut against a guy with an 0-5 (3 KO) record. At least he's staying somewhat busy. On the same card, 18-0 prospect Austin Trout will face gatekeeper Marcos Primera, whose specialty is upsetting prospects.
- Elsewhere in SoCal tonight, Mike Anchondo, Freddie Norwood, Jose Celaya and Aaron Martinez all fight on a card that looks much more solid than the one being televised by Golden Boy. I realize the intent byhind the Club Nokia fights, but is it really that hard to at least put together a card with competitive fights like this one?
- 41-year old Christy Martin appears to be taking a 'thank you' fight in her hometown in West Virginia. Hopefully this means retirement for Martin, who was one of women's boxing's bigger stars for a long time.