Bayan Jargal makes his Friday Night Fights debut tonight against Breidis Prescott. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
Tonight's Friday Night Fights goes live on ESPN3.com at 8pm, with a tape-delay airing scheduled to start at 10:30pm EDT on ESPN2 due to the NBA playoffs. Bad Left Hook will be here with live coverage starting at 8pm.
Note for those waiting until 10:30: We will have live results on the front page immediately following the show, but I'll hide them behind a jump until the ESPN2 telecast is over so that you can safely come here in the meantime.
The co-feature tonight features 23-year-old junior middleweight prospect Demetrius "Boo Boo" Andrade, a former amateur standout who won gold at the World Amateur Championships in 2007 but was bounced quickly in the 2008 Olympics, losing in the quarterfinals. His pro career thus far has drawn highly mixed reviews, and many feel that even considering his youth and the fact that he's had just 12 pro fights (12-0, 8 KO), he's been matched very soft. Tonight he faces Jamaican-born Omar Bell (8-1, 5 KO), who is now based in Georgia, where a young man can build up a record. He's fought sporadically since turning pro in 2006, missing all of 2009 after getting knocked out in 2:01 by Keith Thurman in August 2008. It's been 13 months since his last fight, too.
The main event has Breidis Prescott, which I guess still excites some people, but I'm not among them because I've seen more than one of his fights. Truth be told, Prescott (23-2, 19 KO) reminds me of the lead adult character in Nick Hornby's novel About a Boy. In that book, the character Will lives the easy life off of royalties that he gets from a novelty Christmas song his late father wrote. While Prescott, like Will, may someday become a surrogate father to a boy whose home life has become a massive trainwreck, and thus become more likable, right now Prescott is just living off the royalty check that is once knocking out Amir Khan. Other than that Prescott has not been impressive in a single fight in his career, but people keep paying attention to him. It's as though no matter how lousy Prescott fights -- and he has been lousy against Richard Abril, Humberto Toledo, Miguel Vazquez, and Kevin Mitchell -- he just trots the globe reminding people that one time he knocked out Amir Khan, and people who don't really bother to watch his fights act like a Khan-Prescott rematch has any real value beyond some silly idea of revenge. If Amir Khan somehow became the greatest fighter of all-time (he won't), and there were documentaries made about his career in 40 years, Prescott would be on there like Orny Adams in Comedian, grating on the nerves of the viewer, acting like he's the big cheese.
Tonight he's matched supposedly fairly soft again against Mongolian Bayan Jargal (15-1-3, 10 KO). Jargal now lives in Arlington, Virginia, and has fought his entire pro career in the States, mostly against softies. On the undercard of Martinez-Williams II in November, Jargal lost a decision to Steve Upsher Chambers on split decision scores of 77-75, 74-78 and 75-77. Since I think Chambers is a better fighter than Prescott, I wouldn't really be too surprised to see Jargal "upset" Prescott tonight. If that does happen, could the world forget about Khan-Prescott II when there are so many better fights out there for Amir Khan, and such a matchup for most fighters would be savaged?
Ohhh, but let's try to be optimistic. Maybe Jargal can make a good fight of it, and maybe "Boo Boo" will be in for more of a fight than expected, too. It does happen.