Friday, January 14
ESPN2, ESPN Deportes, 9:00 p.m. Eastern, Peter Manfredo Jr. vs. Daniel Edouard, Edwin Rodriguez vs. Aaron Pryor Jr.. In what looks like a second solid week to start this season of Friday Night Fights, former Contender finalist (and title challenger - it's almost scary to say that) Manfredo will take on Edouard, who has mostly been fighting out of Panama lately. Since losing to Ermosele Albert, he's gone 6-1, with the lone loss coming by way of disputed decision against Alfonso Mosquera. Since getting spanked by Sakio Bika, Manfredo has finally moved back down to 160 where he belongs and has been beating up on a steady stream of decent but not great fighters. At the end of the day, he's still a name compared to most of the division, so it's likely he'll see another title shot soon. Rodriguez-Pryor may be the bigger attraction here. It will probably be an ugly fight - Pryor lacks his father's grip on fundamentals and huge one punch power - but it should be a decent gauge for where Rodriguez really stands as a prospect. His last time out, he struggled at times against James McGirt Jr., and it will be interesting to see how he handles an opponent who is much longer than he is.
Telefutura, 11:30 p.m. Eastern, Erislandy Lara vs. Delray Raines, Frankie Gomez vs. TBA. After jumping up in class very quickly to start his career as a pro, Lara has slowed down significantly of late, with this being his fourth so-so fight in a row since beating Danny Perez. Raines talks a good game, but make no mistake - he's cannon fodder at this point. After getting blitzed in two by David Lemieux, he was crushed by Ronald Hearns within a round. Gomez is probably Golden Boy's premier prospect, but he's still very young, so expect a packed fight schedule against less than spectacular opposition for most of the year, with a possible step up to a gatekeeper level opponent late in 2011.
Saturday, January 15
TyC Sports (Argentina), 9:00 p.m. Eastern, Jesus Marcelo Andres Cuellar vs. Jose Saez. Cuellar is a 14-0 prospect who is already ranked by the WBO at featherweight.
Televisa Deportes (Mexico), 10:00 p.m. Eastern, Oscar "Cebiche" Ibarra vs. Junichiro Sugita, Dante Jardon vs. Rene Gonzalez. The Ibarra fight is for a "silver" title at super featherweight, proving that in order to get a shot at one of them, you pretty much just need to be Mexican. This is actually Ibarra's third defense of that "title", although at this point his best win still came against a shot Sonny Boy Jaro. Sugita is a Japanese fighter who has done little to nothing to deserve even this big of a fight - Boxrec has him rated as the 13th best super flyweight in Japan alone. Don't be surprised if this one also ends up being streamed on wbcboxing.tv.
In other action this weekend...
- In Oklahoma City on Thursday, a trio of decent fights will be taking place. In the main event, Jason Estrada will be taking his first bout in nearly a year after losing to Tomasz Adamek, taking on sturdy gatekeeper Robert Hawkins. On the undercard, Alejandro Berrio, finally getting active for the first time since losing his title to Lucian Bute, will take on journeyman Ivan Ledon. In addition, "Comanche Boy" George Tadooahnippah bides his time as he waits for a higher profile fight (which hopefully will come sooner rather than later), taking on gatekeeper Eloy Suarez.
- Also in smaller bouts this weekend: Roinet Caballero, Rafael Concepcion, Roberto Vazquez, Randy Caballero, Antwone Smith, Adrien Broner, Breidis Prescott and Derrick Wilson.