With Independence Day this weekend in the United States, it's a relatively slow weekend. I'm still not quite sure why the big networks don't want to buy fights on holiday weekends - watching sports as a family is a typical holiday activity stateside - but I guess the numbers just don't do all that well.
Wednesday, June 30
Main Event (Australia), 5:00 a.m. Eastern (AUS$49.95), Anthony Mundine vs. Carlos Adan Jerez, Alex Leeapai vs. Travis Walker. If people in Australia keep paying good money for Mundine's bad fights, he'll keep making them. He's fighting for a minor light middleweight title, but since he's never actually made 154 pounds and he's gone overweight twice before when trying to make 154, I'll believe it when I see it. Jerez got his butt kicked by Lucas Matthysse and Saul Alvarez, and that's probably all you need to know to figure out how good he is. Leeapai will try to raise himself from Aussie level to world level with a fight against Walker, who has shown that he just has an outright horrible chin. Former rugby players Garth Wood and Sonny Bill Williams will round out the bill in fights against scrubs.
Sky Sports (UK), 4 p.m. Eastern, Prizefighter Super Middleweights. When this one was first signed up, it was pretty interesting, but a couple of the better fighters have pulled out. The lineup includes Tony Salam, Sam Horton, Jeff Evans, Daniel Cadman, Eddie McIntosh, Patrick Mendy, Paul David and Peter Fedorenko. No real prospects or stars here, although 9-1 Salam is the favorite.
Friday, July 2
Sky Sports 2 (UK), 5:00 p.m. Eastern, Jamie McDonnell vs. Rodrigo Bracco. 14-2-1 McDonnell will defend his European bantamweight title against the Italian Bracco, who has lost to a couple of outright horrible fighters. Easy defense, and Ricky Hatton's matchmakers once again get to make his fighters look better than they are. On the undercard, you might see highlights of Curtis Woodhouse vs. Stefy Bull, or of Uzzy Ahmed, who's always good for a laugh if nothing else.
ESPN2, 11:00 p.m. Eastern, Mike Arnaoutis vs. Demetrius Hopkins, Francisco Contraras vs. Noe Bolanos. I thought Arnaoutis's last fight was a crossroads fight, but either this is another one, or he's firmly been pushed into the world of gatekeepers. Hopkins has only fought once since losing to Kendall Holt, beating up on human punching bag Jesse Feliciano. Arnaoutis has lost two of his last three, although most say his loss to Tim Coleman was a robbery, and his bout against the much longer Delvin Rodriguez was his first fight at welterweight. Still, former action fighter Arnaoutis seems to just have trouble pulling the trigger these days. Contreras is a 14-0 Dominican taking a purported step up against Bolanos, although Bolanos is 1-1-6 in his last six, including a loss to the guy Marco Antonio Barrera just knocked the everloving tar out of, and the draw was of the technical variety on a head clash. Dodie Boy Penalosa Jr. might also be scheduled to fight.
Saturday, July 3
ZDF (Germany), Polsat Sport (Poland), 5:00 p.m. Eastern, Firat Arslan vs. Steve Herelius, Ina Menzer vs. Jeannine Garside. Arslan is coming off a very long layoff to fight for a vacant interim title against Herelius, who was recently knocked out by Albert Sosnowski. Menzer is actually fun for a female fighter, but the bout means all of nothing. Women's boxing has had it's run, and at this point, there are probably a dozen women's boxers who are actually world class, a third of whom are with Universum. There are only three cards left on Universum's TV deal with ZDF - this, the card featuring Gevor-Sartison and Sebastian Zbik against a no-name Argentinian, and Juergen Braehmer against a Euro-level Spaniard. With fighters like Gevor and Golovkin recently having been in purse bid situations with good fighters, it's not too surprising that Universum has taken the easy way out. This type of matchmaking is why they lost their TV contract to begin with.
Televisa (Mexico), 10:00 p.m. Eastern, Hugo Cazares vs. Everardo Morales, Jose Cabrera vs. Carlos Rodriguez. Cazares will be making the first defense of his super flyweight title against Morales, a proven gatekeeper who has already lost four title fights. I guess you can get away with that kind of thing in the lower weight classes. Cabrera-Rodriguez is a title eliminator for the right to fight Cazares, but neither guy is particularly good.
Fox Sports Espanol, 10:00 p.m. Eastern, Ulises Solis vs. Eric Ortiz, Mark Melligan vs. Agnes Adjaho. This one is by far the best card of the weekend. Ortiz may be a gatekeeper, but Solis is exciting and Ortiz is exciting, so it should be a slugfest, even if Solis will probably dominate. Melligan tries to build back up is prospect against Adjaho, a former lightweight who beat Fernando Angulo and was beating Antonio DeMarco before getting "knocked out" on a bad acting job where he tried to get a DQ on a foul. Joey Gilbert will also fight on the undercard, and you might see highlights.
Also in fights this weekend: Pongsaklek Wonjongkam (in a non-title fight), Denver Cuello, Dominic Vea, Grzegorz Kielsa vs. Neven Pajcic for the Canadian heavyweight title, and Koji Sato.