Tonight's edition of Friday Night Fights is presented by Main Events at their home base, the Prudential Center in Newark. The show starts at 9 p.m. EDT on ESPN2 and ESPN3.com.
The main event of the evening showcases Joel Julio (36-4, 31 KO), a former highly-regarded Colombian prospect whose career has never gotten over the hump. Now 26, Julio feels older than he is because he's failed in just about every step up, losing to Carlos Quintana, Sergiy Dzinziruk, James Kirkland, and Alfredo Angulo. He's a solid fighter, and has good power, but he's never been able to put it all together against a top opponent, with his best win probably coming over Ishe Smith (and like just about all Smith losses, it was close and debatable).
Now having stepped back down to the welterweight division, Julio was supposed to face fellow fringe contender Antwone Smith in a fairly intriguing fight tonight. Smith pulled out of the fight, though, which opened up the slot for Anges Adjaho (25-5, 14 KO). Adjaho is no pushover, but is really probably best off at 135 pounds, not 147. He's lost four in a row, but all against credible fighters -- Antonio DeMarco, Mark Jason Melligen, Brad Solomon and Shawn Porter. Many felt Adjaho was beating DeMarco on the cards, when DeMarco knocked him out in the ninth round.
Also featured on tonight's show is one of my favorite-to-watch prospects, welterweight Sadam Ali (12-0, 7 KO). To me, Ali is just about the definition of a boom-or-bust prospect. I could see him being a longtime contender or even eventually a star, but there's also that nagging feeling that someone is going to blow him up awful as soon as he starts fighting decent opponents. But that likely won't come tonight, as Ali faces another soft touch, Louisiana club fighter John Revish (10-3-2, 8 KO). Like Adjaho, Revish is really more lightweight than welterweight, and at some point the easy nights for Ali have to stop.