There are a lot of potentially great fights going on this weekend, but unfortunately, most of them are scheduled to happen at about the same time.
Thursday, August 12
Fox Sports 3 (Australia), 5:30 a.m. Eastern, Alex Leapai vs. Owen Beck. Fresh off his questionable win over Travis Walker, Leapai is taking on former title challenger but recent patsy Owen "What the Heck" Beck. His last couple fights, Beck was fairly out of shape, gassing out against Manuel Charr and then getting schooled by Tony Thompson. Leapai is keeping a busy schedule, hoping to take on Danny Williams in a month as he continues to position himself for a shot at the Commonwealth heavyweight title.
Friday, August 13
ESPN2, 9:00 p.m. Eastern, Cris Arreola vs. Manuel Quezada, Josesito Lopez vs. Marvin Cordova Jr. After losing two of his last three fights, Arreola is at somewhat of a crossroads. It's plain for all to see that he has talent, but he just doesn't take training seriously enough, although that fact seems to be lost on Arreola himself. This bout pits against each other the two best heavyweights of Mexican descent. Quezada was ranked for a while after upsetting Travis Walker (before his recent string of losses), but he was upset by journeyman Jason Gavern his last time out. Both fighters like to come forward and bang, so it could be a fun one. It's the kind of fight Arreola should win even if he doesn't take things too seriously, but his shape for the fight could tell us a lot about whether he's getting serious about his career, or if he's still more focused on drinking beer and eating burritos than trying to actually become a world class fighter. Lopez and Cordova are both fringe contender types, and the winner of their fight might take a step forward into full contender status. 2008 Olympian Shawn Estrada is also slated to fight on the undercard, so don't be too shocked if you get to see him fight as well, or instead of the Lopez fight.
Telemundo, 11:30 p.m. Eastern, Jesus Pabon vs. Ernesto Zepeda. Pabon, once a popular Puerto Rican prospect, steps back into action after a year and a half off. He's fighting for a minor trinket against rugged Mexican journeyman Zepeda in his first bout scheduled to go more than 6 rounds.
Telefutura, 11:30 p.m. Eastern, Eloy Perez vs. Derrick Campos. 17-0 Perez struggled a bit against a gatekeeper his last time out. He's taking a step back against Campos, who is best known for giving Dmitry Salita a marginally tough time on the Calzaghe-Jones undercard, but who's lost to just about every decent fighter he's ever faced.
Saturday, August 14
TVMax (Panama), 9:00 p.m. Eastern, Anselmo Moreno vs. Nehomar Cermeno II, Gennady Golovkin vs. Milton Nunez, Luis Concepcion vs. Wilfrido Vazquez, Alberto Mosquera vs. Nilson Lara. Moreno-Cermeno is a clash of two top five fighters in one of the stronger weight classes in boxing at the moment. In their first bout, Moreno won a tight but disputed decision in Cermeno's home country of Venezuela. Now, the rematch is happening in Panama, where both fighters live and have somewhat of a fan base. The local promoters have pulled out all the stops for this one. Golovkin, who was supposed to make his American TV debut last week, will be facing Nunez for an interim middleweight title. The winner (almost certainly Golovkin, who is one of the bright rising stars in the division) will need to face Hassan N'Dam N'Jikam (also a bright rising star) next for the full vacant title. Concepcion is keeping busy with an easier defense of his interim flyweight title before facing full titlist Denkaosan Kaovichit in a couple months. Mosquera is one of Panama's top prospects. This card is available via live, legal stream at http://www.tvmax-9.com/live_deportes.asp.
Fox Sports Net, Fox Sports Espanol, 10:00 p.m. Eastern, Ji Hoon Kim vs. Miguel Vazquez, Mikey Garcia vs. Cornelius Lock. If you had the choice to watch any of the three major cards going on in this time slot and your sole criteria for making your decision was whether the fights will be exciting, then you'd probably choose this card over Dawson-Pascal or Moreno-Cermeno. Kim is an awkward South Korean banger with weak fundamentals but a huge right hand. Since starting his career with five losses in his first 13 fights, he's won his last 13 in a row, all but one by knockout, including some decent scalps like Koba Gogoladze and Zolani Marali. Vazquez is more of a boxer than the typical Mexican fighter, but the former Antonio Margarito sparring partner has really taken off since moving down from welterweight to lightweight. He upset Breidis Prescott his last time out, and his three losses all came to Saul Alvarez and Timothy Bradley (and he's the only fighter to so much as win a card Alvarez). The two will battle for a vacant lightweight title. Garcia is one of Top Rank's blue chip prospects, taking a pretty major step up against Lock, who can box a little and bang a little, and who rarely makes a bad fight. Garcia-Lock is an eliminator for the IBF #1 ranking at featherweight.
Televisa (Mexico), 10:00 p.m. Eastern, Donnie Nietes vs. Mario Rodriguez. Nietes is defending his minimumweight title against Rodriguez, who's 10-5-3 overall and has drawn twice in his last three bouts against less than overwhelming competition. The sad part is that it isn't the world's worst defense, when you consider who else is available. How's this - why not just eliminate the 105 pound weight class? There just aren't enough decent fighters at the smaller weights for both 105 and 108 to be competitive at the same time. Sure, that might mean you'd have some naturally tiny guys like Ivan Calderon fighting a few pounds over their optimal weight, but so what? Eliminating the weight class would mean there would usually be decent competition at 108, and fighters at 105 generally seem to alternate between fighting there and at 108 at will anyway. Of course, because it would mean less revenues for the ABCs, it will never actually happen.
Cadena Tres (Mexico), 10:00 p.m. Eastern, Felipe Rivas vs. Armando Vazquez. A minimumweight fight between a guy who's 7-7 and a guy who's lost his last two fights, and it's for a minor trinket. Seriously, just eliminate this weight class.
HBO, 10:30 p.m. Eastern, Chad Dawson vs. Jean Pascal. The big fight of the weekend will be for the Ring Magazine light heavyweight title. While Dawson generally isn't that fan-friendly, Pascal is one of the more exciting big men out there, and this fight has some sleeper potential to be a good one. You can't actually say that the bout is for the true world championship - Zsolt Erdei unfortunately still holds that moniker. Still, with Glen Johnson losing this past weekend, it's a fight between the consensus #1 and #2 light heavyweights in the world, and championship be damned, the winner deserves to be called the best light heavyweight in the world. Bad Left Hook will have live round by round coverage of this bout.
Elsewhere in the world of boxing...
- There are a couple of interesting fights happening on the Kim-Vazquez undercard, and depending on the timing of the main bouts, viewers may get to see a bit of them. Mike Lee, the former Notre Dame boxing club champ, will be taking his second pro fight. Maybe they're just selling an image, but Bob Arum seems to really like the kid, so maybe he's someone to watch out for. In another supporting bout, Hekkie Budler will make his US boxing debut, facing journeyman Evaristo Primero after winning two questionable decisions in a row over Juanito Rubillar.
- In case you needed another reason to completely discount the stupid WBC Silver title, they've sanctioned a bout between 14-4 Ganigan Lopez and Juan Palacios, who lost his last fight in a close one to full titlist Oleydong Sithsamerchai, for the minimumweight silver title. Also fighting on the card, Gamaliel Diaz will face Pedro Navarette in what looks like an entertaining fight on paper.
- Also in smaller bouts this weekend: Hasim Rahman, Hernan Hugo Garay, Tim Bell, Raul Garcia, Carlos Molina, Eric Fields, Dierry Jean and "You can't spell 'why bother' without" Whyber Garcia.