I wish I was making this up. (Photo via www.hayemaker.com)
Wednesday, March 31
Main Event PPV (Australia), Maori TV (New Zealand), 3:00 a.m. Eastern, David Tua vs. Friday Ahunanya. Friday is 24-5 and his best win came over the guy Tua just demolished. Still, it's one of the best opponents Tua has fought in nearly a decade. The fact that anyone cares about this fight at all is just a testament to how desperate some people are to see a moderately exciting heavyweight rise to the top again. A decade past his prime, it's unlikely that Tua will get there, but Friday just doesn't have the style, workrate or chin to be the guy to upset Tua.
Friday, April 2
Gofightlive.tv, 8:00 p.m. ($6.99), Derek Ennis vs. Jose Gonzalez, Farah Ennis vs. Frankie Santos. This one will come live from Philadelphia's legendary Blue Horizon.
ESPN2, 9:00 p.m., Mike Arnaoutis vs. Delvin Rodriguez. Both of these fighters have been New York area draws for a while, briefly got to the world level, and now are fighting each other in an effort to get back. Rodriguez is 1-2-1 in his last four, including a close win over Shamone Alvarez, a disputed draw with then-titlist Isaac Hlatswayo, a clear loss to Hlathswayo in the rematch and a close loss to Rafal Jackiewicz in a title eliminator. Arnaoutis is moving up from 140, where he's 1-2 in his last three, including a decimation at the hands of Victor Ortiz and a loss (that most called a robbery) against Tim Coleman. The undercard features a number of New England prospects, including Demetrius Andrade, Joe Greene and Yathomas Riley, so we'll see which of those fights ESPN will air.
Showtime, Super Channel 2 (Canada), 11:00 p.m. Eastern, Erislandy Lara vs. Danny Perez, Carlos Velasquez vs. Alejandro Perez. This is the first Golden Boy card on Showtime in a long time (and possibly ever). Perez is probably a small step back from Grady Brewer, if anything, but he's a former title challenger who's never been knocked down. Velasquez is one of two twins who fought for Puerto Rico in the Olympics.
Saturday, April 3
Sky Box Office, 4:00 p.m. Eastern, David Haye vs. John Ruiz, George Groves vs. Charles Adamu, Ajose Olusegan vs. Colin Lynes, Jamie Moore vs. Sergey Khomitski. It's a damn shame they couldn't figure out how to get this one to American audiences, because quite frankly this card blows HBO's out of the water. Haye makes his first defense against Ruiz, who somehow is still in the title picture despite going 3-3 in his last six fights. Ruiz has fought with a much less boring style for the last few years, so it's probably not as bad of a fight as the image of John Ruiz may conjure. Groves is one of the U.K.'s best prospects and is getting a very aggressive title shot against Adamu, the reigning super middleweight Commonwealth titlist. Olusegan will defend his light welterweight Commonwealth belt against Lynes, who's had some tough luck lately, and is right on the fringe between domestic level and world level. Bad Left Hook will be providing live round by round coverage.
Golden Boy/Square Ring PPV, 9:00 p.m. ($49.95), Bernard Hopkins vs. Roy Jones Jr., Rocky Juarez vs. Jason Litzau, Sergio Mora vs. Calvin Green, Ismayl Sillakh vs. Daniel Judah. HBO seems to be turning back the clock to 2008, when it had seven pay per views, not all of which were actually significant. However, since this is only being distributed by HBO, there will not be a free replay on HBO the next week, in case that affects your decision about whether to buy the card. Check Yahoo to see if they're airing the untelevised undercard, as that includes some better prospects than the ones actually fighting on the air. Bad Left Hook will be providing live round by round coverage.
Fox Sports Espanol, 10:00 p.m., Mikey Garcia vs. Tomas Villa, Mike Alvarado vs. Lenin Arroyo. Garcia is the featherweight Top Rank prospect. Villa is a scrapper who's been involved in some really good fights, so it could be entertaining if Garcia isn't able to simply outclass Villa. Alvarado makes his return to the ring after an extended involuntary absence.
Elsewhere in the world of boxing...
- On Wednesday night, Lou DiBella will be hosting a Broadway Boxing card at the BB King Blues Club in Times Square. The card will be headlined by Tor Hamer and Gabriel Bracero, and will end up being syndicated.
- Starting on Tuesday, GoFightLive.tv will be airing a card for free featuring undefeated Ronson Frank fighting for the New York Light Heavyweight title. Once upon a time, the New York state title was one of the most important titles in the world, but that day is long gone, unfortunately.
- In Quebec, David Lemieux will face Walid Smichet. Lemieux went to a decision for the first time in his career in his last fight, and slowly but surely his managers are stepping up his level of competition. If he can get to a world level eventually, don't be surprised if he becomes Montreal's next huge draw.
- Also fighting in smaller bouts - Sharif Bogere, Ray Narh, Craig McEwan, Yaundale Evans, Frankie Gomez (Golden Boy's latest touted prospect, who is making his pro debut on the Hopkins-Jones undercard), Ran Nakash, Andy Kolle, Carl Dilks and William Gare.