This weekend is absolutely jam packed with fights. While the biggest of the fights is between Amir Khan and Paulie Malignaggi, there are a number of other compelling bouts, including a number of European cards that all look solid on paper. British fight fans get the best of all worlds, as they'll get to see two different PPV quality cards on free TV.
Friday, May 14
Sky Sports 2 (UK), 5:00 p.m. Eastern, Ashley Sexton vs. Shinny Bayaar. Mongolian-born Bayaar is the current British flyweight titlist, although 9-0 up and coming prospect Sexton is a fairly heavy favorite to win away the title. Once you get below super bantamweight, the British titles don't mean too much just because there are so few fighters who compete at those weights over there. However, Sexton has the potential to be the best U.K. flyweight the world has seen in a long time.
NESportstv.com, 9:00 p.m. Eastern ($9.99), Hector Camacho vs. Saul Duran. Duran got two title shots about 15 years ago in the super featherweight and lightweight divisions. This fight is at middleweight. Camacho turns 48 later in the month.
ESPN2, 10:00 p.m. Eastern, Julio Diaz vs. Herman Ngoudjo, Dominic Salcido vs. Guillermo Sanchez. This one is somewhat of a redemption fight. Diaz lost his last two fights to Victor Cayo and Rolando Reyes, and is looking like he's near the end of the line. Ngoudjo is 3-3 in his last six, mostly against good competition, although in his last televised bout, Juan Urango broke his jaw and battered him pretty good for 12 rounds.
Showtime, 11:00 p.m. Eastern, Sergiy Dzinziruk vs. Daniel Dawson, Archie Ray Marquez vs. Juan Santiago. Dzinziruk long had an argument that he was the best 154 pound fighter in the world, but he's been incredibly inactive recently due to promotional strife. At 36-0 with wins over Daniel Santos, Joel Julio and Lukas Konecny, among others, he's making his U.S. debut at a point where he's already past prime. Dawson is a late replacement, but probably better than the guy he was replacing. He has a relatively empty 34-1 record on the Australian circuit, earning a wide loss to Daniel Geale in his only major step up.
Telefutura, 11:30 p.m. Eastern, Adrian Broner vs. Angel Chacon, Yathomas Riley vs. Angel David Gonzalez. Broner is a solid prospect out of Cincinatti. The first time he stepped up against Fernando Quintero, he barely escaped with a win. Chacon is only 1-4 since 2002, but he's fought a lot of top guys and brings a lot of experience to the ring. Some sources say he's fighting journeyman Walter Estrada instead, which would be a serious step down.
Telemundo, 11:30 p.m. Eastern, Jesus Ruiz vs. Cuauhtemoc Vargas. This is the super bantamweight prospect Ruiz, not the light heavyweight. Power punching Ruiz will be taking a possible step up against Vargas, who hasn't fought since quitting on his stool against Juan Manuel Lopez a few years back.
Saturday, May 15
Sky Sports (UK), 3:00 p.m. Eastern, Michael Katsidis vs. Kevin Mitchell, Derek Chisora vs. Danny Williams, James DeGale vs. Sam Horton, Frankie Gavin vs. Gavin Tait, Billy Joe Saunders vs. Andy Butlin. Katsidis vs. Mitchell is for an interim title for the right to face the Marquez-Diaz II winner. On paper, the fight looks like it could be a cracker, although Katsidis has been inconsistent with his aggression in the past. Chisora sort of steps up against a relatively shot Williams, although this bout may help make him more of a name. I doubt the popularity follows, however, as Chisora is a very unlikeable character. Speaking of unlikeable characters....not to be outdone by fellow prospect George Groves, who won a commonwealth title on the Haye-Ruiz undercard, DeGale is fighting for a worthless trinket against Horton, who's 15-1, but that loss is to Cello Renda, and his best win is over someone who was 4-0. Star prospects Gavin and Saunders round out the TV card. If the fights run short, you may see highlights of Matthew Hall, who is fighting for the EU light middleweight title against Cedric Vitu. Please note the early start time on this one. Bad Left Hook will be providing live round by round coverage of this card.
Polsat Sport (Poland), 3:30 p.m. Eastern, Krzyzstof "Diablo" Wlodarczyk vs. Giacobbe Fragomeni II. The two will be fighting for a vacant cruiserweight title. The first bout (which ended in a draw) was a pretty good fight, although it seems like Fragomeni may have lost a step or two since then, and this time the fight is in Poland instead of Italy.
RTE Two (Ireland), 4:00 p.m. Eastern, Andy Lee vs. Mamadou Thiam. After getting his bubble burst by Brian Vera, Lee continues to move back up slowly and build a name in Ireland. Lots of good fighters on the undercard as well, including bouts for the vacant Irish light heavyweight and cruiserweight titles, Cuban heavyweight wunderkind Mike Perez in his first fight after losing a year to injuries, fellow Cuban Luis Garcia who also hasn't fought in about a year, Irish heavyweight champ Coleman Barrett and Irish lightweight champ Andy Murray. As usual, a legal international stream for this one will be available at http://www.rte.ie/live/.
TyC Sports (Argentina), 8:00 p.m. Eastern, Omar Narvaez vs. Everth Briceno. Narvaez made 16 defenses of his flyweight title, mostly against the easiest competition available, and it appears he's finally done with the weight class. He's moving up to super flyweight to fight for an interim version of the WBO title. The current full titlist is Jorge Arce, but since Arce is moving up to face Fernando Montiel for a bantamweight title, it means that Narvaez will probably be gifted the full title and continue to make meaningless defenses against nobodies. A number of other Argentine prospects will also be fighting on the card.
Fox Sports Espanol, 10:00 p.m. Eastern, Humberto Soto vs. Ricardo Dominguez, Robert Marroquin vs. Arturo Camargo. This one's actually a really good card top to bottom, and if you're near Mexico, Azteca will be televising more of it. The card also includes a rematch of Ivan Valle vs. Carlos Urias, as well as bouts featuring Joksan Hernandez (who's kept a VERY busy schedule lately) and former interim titlist Humberto Mauro Gutierrez. The card is taking place in Los Mochis, Mexico, a town of about 200,000. Most of the fighters on the card (including Soto and Gutierrez) are from Los Mochis. In addition, guys like Fernando Montiel and Jorge Arce are from Los Mochis. I don't know if there's another place on the globe with such a high concentration of boxing talent.
HBO, ITV1 (UK), 9:45 p.m. Eastern, Amir Khan vs. Paulie Malignaggi, Nate Campbell vs. Victor Ortiz. We'll have more coverage of this one coming throughout the week, but Khan was finally granted a visa and this one's definitely on. China chinned Khan vs. feather fisted Malignaggi is the movable object vs. the stoppable force. Campbell-Ortiz may be more compelling on paper. Campbell had a good run for a while, defeating Juan Diaz by relatively wide decision for a number of lightweight titles, but he's fallen on harder luck since then and looked every bit of 38 when he fought Timothy Bradley. Ortiz, on the other hand, was Golden Boy's premier prospect when he essentially quit against Marcos Maidana, and he hasn't looked great since then either. This fight could end up going a thousand different ways, and that alone should make it compelling viewing. Bad Left Hook will be providing live round by round coverage of this card.
Televisa (Mexico), 10:00 p.m. Eastern, Jhonny Gonzalez vs. Jean Javier Sotelo, Cristobal Cruz vs. Orlando Salido. I believe this is a split-site double header, but it's always hard to tell with Televisa, who is saying that they're airing both fights at the same time. I suppose they could be airing the fights on different channels (they have several), or that they're airing one fight in one part of the country and the other in another. The Gonzalez fight is a featherweight title eliminator. Sotelo is a late replacement for Columbian Jean Evangelista. Cruz originally won his title from Salido in a close split decision. Salido also should own a win over Robert Guerrero. That win was taken from him when he tested positive for steroids, although a follow-up test on the sample came up negative. While Salido petitioned to get the win back, he lost that appeal. Anyway, this one should be a war.
Monday, May 17
TV Tokyo (Japan), 6:00 a.m. Eastern, Takashi Uchiyama vs. Angel Granados. In his first title defense, Uchiyama is taking a gimme. Granados was already one of the least deserving title contenders ever the first time he fought for a title against Likar Ramos, but this is even more ridiculous.
Taking smaller fights this weekend: Jorge Daniel Miranda, Oyewale Omotoso, Sod Kokietgym (formerly Looknongyangtoy), Lateef Kayode, Vernon Paris, Gamaliel Diaz, Daniel Jacobs, Denis Douglin and Tor Hamer.