Friday, February 4
ESPN2, ESPN Deportes, 9:00 p.m. Eastern, Sergio Mora vs. Bryan Vera, Luis Yanez vs. Joseph Rios. This is Mora's draw against Shane Mosley that stunk so bad it made asiago smell like a bouquet of roses. Vera always brings it, but he's just not very good technically. I'm sure everyone and their mother will be rooting for Vera to make Mora disappear, but Mora is very likely to stink it out with his tricky style and pitty pat punching. Yanez was a U.S. Olympian at light flyweight in 2008 and I believe is making his televised debut as a pro (against someone he's already beaten once before). That said, there have been rumors swirling around Yanez for a while now that he has some serious personality issues, and he was nearly kicked off the U.S. Olympic team more than once for various reasons.
Showtime, 11:00 p.m. Eastern, Lateef Kayode vs. Nick Iannuzzi, Luis Franco vs. Leonilo Miranda, Archie Ray Marquez vs. Marvin Quintero. Here's a really solid trio of fights for a Shobox. Kayode recently entered The Ring's top 10 at cruiserweight, and while that might still be a bit premature, the Freddie Roach ward has shown major improvements and is looking like he'll be a force at cruiserweight, if his chin and stamina hold up. Iannuzzi's nickname may be "showstopper", but his last time out he won a decision over Jose Luis Herrera, making him only the second fighter ever to see a decision against the Colombian. Franco is a Cuban Olympian who has been stepping up very quickly. In only his ninth pro fight, he's taking on aggressive veteran Miranda, who is 32-2. It could be an ugly style clash, however. Marquez-Quintero pits the past of Gary Shaw's stable against the future. Quintero was once hyped as a serious prospect, and he makes exciting fights, but he's lost a couple of fights by knockout at this point. Marquez has been troubled out of the ring, but has looked good in it. While I doubt it's super competitive, this one has the makings of a war for as long as it lasts.
Telefutura, 11:35 p.m. Eastern, Michael "Angelo" Perez vs. Marcos Herrera. Cut Perez a little slack for the awful nickname, Angelo is actually his middle name as well. Perez is an 11-0 prospect.
Saturday, February 5
Sky Sports 1 (UK), 3:00 p.m. Eastern, Jason Booth vs. Jamie Arthur, David Price vs. Osborne Machimana. On paper, the main event looks like a solid matchup between two good domestic level U.K. fighters who usually give it their all. Booth lost a closer than expected fight to Steve Molitor in a title shot his last time out, while Arthur revived his seemingly flagging career with a win over Kris Hughes, garnering him the Commonwealth title at super bantamweight. As it is, both the Commonwealth and British titles are on the line for this one. Price was a 2008 Olympian at super heavyweight, but his competition thus far has been poor and he really hasn't shown much in terms of anything other than sheer size. Machimana is a step up in class for Price - he's the reigning South African heavyweight titlist, and owns a recent win over part-time boxer, part-time golfer Corrie Sanders, but he's also a known quantity who has lost badly to guys like Livin Castillo, Shane Cameron and Albert Sosnowski.
Fox Sports Espanol, 10:00 p.m. Eastern, Francisco Sierra vs. Dyah Davis, Oscar Meza vs. Leon Martinez. Sierra is probably Mexico's top super middleweight at the moment (if you're not counting Librado Andrade), though this isn't exactly a weight known for Mexican dominance. Sierra actually isn't bad - he dominated prospect Don George not long ago - but he might be best known for getting knocked out in one round by Edison Miranda. To be fair, it's just hard to know how good Miranda actually is, and Sierra might be his second or third best win, but Miranda's only lost to some seriously good fighters. Davis is best known at this point for supposedly clowning David Lemieux in sparring, although his last time out he lost pretty badly to Aaron Pryor Jr., who's no great shakes himself.
TV Azteca (Mexico), 11:30 p.m. Eastern, Ramon Garcia Hirales vs. Jesus Geles. Garcia has had a solid run his last few fights, defeating Omar Soto, Chango Vargas, Johnriel Casimero and Michael Arango (probably all top 20 guys at light flyweight) in his past four fights and picking up an interim title in the process. Geles upset Solo in his last fight as well, which was a closely contested and very gritty performance. Make no mistake - Garcia is the boxer here and Geles is the pressure fighter, but Garcia's fight against Vargas had a similar style matchup and turned out to be a great fight.
Televisa (Mexico), 11:30 p.m. Eastern, Rigoberto Alvarez vs. Austin Trout, Jesus Silvestre vs. Yader Escobar. Alvarez-Trout is for the WBA's light middleweight title. Forget that Alvarez already beat Nobuhiro Ishida for the title, but evidently between people not wanting to make defenses and the WBA bypassing Trout previously in favor of Canelo's older brother for a title shot, the title is currently considered vacant. Rigoberto isn't even close to being as talented as his kid brother, but he's a solid fighter. Trout is a semi-unknown. I've heard a lot of good things about him, but without having a major promoter or manager, he's managed to avoid ending up on TV much, so he could become an American titlist without anyone really knowing who he is. What I do know is that he's a slick southpaw whose conditioning has been compared to Timothy Bradley's. On the other hand, he doesn't have a ton of power, so he could face an uphill battle fighting in Alvarez's backyard. Silvestre-Escobar is a minimumweight title eliminator, despite the two fighters having exactly zero significant wins between them.
Also fighting this weekend...
- On Saturday morning in Tokyo, Tomas Rojas will attempt to defend his title against Nobuo Nashiro. Rojas has fought just about everyone at super bantamweight at one point or another, and last time out he finally won his elusive title by defeating Kohei Kono. Nashiro is fresh off a pair of great title fights against Hugo Cazares and probably should still be considered one of the best in the world at the weight. Nashiro is shooting for his third title in the weight class with this one. I'm sure this one's on TV somewhere in Japan, and if I get that information, I'll add it to the schedule up top.
- In the next installment of the Japanese Carnival, former featherweight title challenger Satoshi Hosono will be facing Kazumasa Kihara for the Japanese featherweight title.
- Also fighting this weekend - Malcolm Tunacao, Elvin Ayala, Tye Fields, Neven Pajkic, Andy Ruiz Jr. (AKA the second coming of Cris Arreola, right down to the manboobs), Ashley Sexton, Tom Dallas, Jose A. Gonzalez, McWilliams Arroyo, Sonny Boy Jaro, and Vladine Biosse.