Rafael Marquez v. Mike Oliver (June 4)
The date was tentative, and now it's official with an opponent. Rafael Marquez will fight on June 4 at Staples Center in Los Angeles, facing Mike Oliver in a 10-round featherweight bout. It will be part of the Sebastian Zbik-Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. undercard, but no word on whether or not HBO will air the bout. If there is a plan to have Gamboa fight Marquez, it would seem to make some sense to air it, but they could also just show clips. All things being equal and fair and my Marquez bias not shining through, it's nothing more than a tune-up for Marquez (39-6, 35 KO) who pulled out of a November loss to Juan Manuel Lopez with an injury after eight exciting rounds. At 36, Marquez is getting up there in years, and featherweight is two divisions over his best weight as it is.
Oliver (24-2, 8 KO) is a Connecticut fighter who turned pro in 2001 and got to build up soft, as is the norm for the area, but did score some decent wins late in his prospect stages in 2007. He was then stopped in back-to-back fights against Reynaldo Lopez and Antonio Escalante (TKO-3, both, with Escalante flat destroying him, knocking him down three times in the first round and again in the third. Last year he got wins over Kermin Guardia and Mauricio Pastrana, a couple of oldsters who came in on losing streaks. He's not realistically anything dangerous for Marquez.
Kell Brook v. TBA (June 25)
British welterweight prospect Kell Brook will have his first fight under new promoter Matchroom Sports on June 25. No opponent has been named. Brook is angling for a later date with Victor Ortiz or Amir Khan, who most expect will join the welterweight ranks in 2012 if not late this year.
Anselmo Moreno v. Lorenzo Parra (June 18)
A delayed fight between Anslemo Moreno and mandatory challenger Lorenzo Parra is being worked on for June 18. Moreno's been all up in the news lately, negotiating with Golden Boy, failing to sign with Golden Boy, getting Sampson Lewkowicz banned in Panama, etc. Moreno-Parra is a decent fight but I dare -- I dare! -- say a far cry from Donaire-Moreno, and Anselmo won't be getting the payday that fight would have brought either, whether it was promoted by Top Rank or Golden Boy.
Lukas Konecny v. Hussein Bayram (May 27)
European junior middleweight champ Lukas Konecny will return on May 27 in the Czech Republic, defending his title against France's Hussein Bayram. Konecny (46-3, 22 KO) has not lost a fight since 2008, when he gave Sergiy Dzinziruk a hell of a test. He's won 10 in a row, though mostly over marginal opposition. Bayram (34-3, 19 KO) shouldn't be any more of a challenge than Hamlet Petrosyan was in December.