Chris Arreola makes a quick turnaround and is back in the ring this Friday. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Bongarts/Getty Images)
It's a holiday weekend in the US as well as a UFC weekend, so not a lot of big fights going on this weekend.
Friday, May 27
Sport1 (Germany), 4:00 p.m. Eastern, Lukas Konecny vs. Hussein Bayram. Konecny defends his European light middleweight title. Since losing a close one to Sergei Dzinziruk in one of the better European fights in recent memory, Konecny has used his forward-moving, non-stop motion style to mow over some decent European level opposition. Bayram isn't too bad himself, once staying competitive for a few rounds with Dzinziruk and losing a very close one to Zauerbek Baysangurov.
ESPN2, ESPN Deportes, 9:00 p.m. Eastern, Chris Arreola vs. Kendrick Releford, Tony Thompson vs. Maurice Harris. Arreola is back in the best shape of his career, which is still somewhat round, but a heck of an improvement from where he was in his biggest fights. Releford doesn't have a great record, but he's fought mostly good fighters and can actually box a little, although he's really a cruiserweight masquerading as a heavyweight. Think the Zack Page spoiler type. Thompson-Harris is an IBF #2 eliminator, meaning the winner will need to face Eddie Chambers for the right to fight for the title. Since losing to Wladimir Klitschko (and putting up as good of a showing as anyone since the first Sam Peter fight), he's won four somewhat lackluster knockout victories over decent but not great opposition, and he's started to look his age a bit. Harris is no spring chicken himself, but after a long career as a gatekeeper, he's knocked off four straight wins over some other gatekeepers and gets this shot. Bad Left Hook will have live coverage of this card.
Saturday, May 28
Sky Sports 2 (UK), 5:00 p.m. Eastern, Jamie McDonnell vs. Nick Otieno, Nigel Wright vs. Nicki Smedley. McDonnell fights for the vacant Commonwealth bantamweight title in a somewhat odd career move. He was Commonwealth champ, vacated to become the European champ, and now has vacated that to fight for the Commonwealth title that he already once held. Otieno has been in there with good fighters before, but has never beaten them. Wright defends his English light welterweight title against Smedley, who is undefeated but has only 3 knockouts in 14 wins and has never faced anyone who could be described as better than 'crap'.
Fox Sports Net, 10:00 p.m. Eastern, Omar Chavez vs. Genaro Traznacos. Chavez is the less talented of the young Chavezes, and if you know what I think of Julio Jr., that's saying something. Traznacos has lost 12 of his last 14, but is the kind of guy who has given Chavez trouble before. The rest of the card hasn't even been announced yet, so don't expect anything great.
Cadena Tres (Mexico), circa 12:00 a.m. Eastern, Oscar Blanquet vs. Ricardo Armenta.
Televisa (Mexico), circa 12:30 a.m. Eastern, Jorge Linares vs. Francisco Cordero, Pedro Guevara vs. Mario Rodriguez. Linares has looked a lot more like his old senf since moving to lightweight. Cordero is 24-1, but his only decent opponent was Jorge Solis, by whom he was knocked out as a featherweight. Guevara is a 14-0 light flyweight prospect who is just starting to increase the class of his opposition, yet he already has one of those ridiculous "silver" titles. I wouldn't be surprised if this one airs live on wbcboxing.tv.
- Every so often, they seem to put on decent off-TV cards in St. Paul, Minnesota. This Friday, undefeated Caleb Truax will face Andy Kolle and Said Ouali takes on Jhon Berrio. This is a better card than some FNF and ShoBox cards recently. Since getting creamed by Paul Williams, Kolle has had a solid run, winning six in a row including respectable wins over Matt Vanda, Anthony Bonsante and Anthony Shuler. Truax is relatively untested, with his best win probably coming over a shot to heck Antwun Echols. Ouali takes his first bout since getting powerbombed by Randall Bailey in Belgium. He wasn't able to build on the momentum of a PPV win on the Mayweather-Mosley undercard, but Berrio is a solid stay-busy fight.
- Speaking of odd places to have the occasional good untelevised fight, in Dover, Delaware on Friday, a couple of heavyweight fringe contenders go at it in Franklin Lawrence and Jason Gavern. In Lawrence's last three, he's beaten Jason Estrada and Lance Whitaker and lost a close one to Oliver McCall. Another couple wins like this and he's probably in the heavyweight title mix by default. Also on the card, Amir Mansour has been building up a little buzz lately. He was a legit prospect once upon a time, and recently laced up the gloves for the first time since serving an 8-year prison stint. In prison, he got his college degree, and now is working as a drug and alcohol abuse counselor. Since coming back, he's won four fights, all by one punch knockout where his opponents needed to be carried off on a stretcher. And even at 38 years old, if you're an American heavyweight who knocks folks out and looks like this, you'll build some buzz. He'll take on Raymond Ochieng for a fringe, fringe, fringe title.
- Also fighting this week: Carlos Molina (the other one), Vivian Harris, Ricardo Williams Jr., Tyrone Brunson, Roinet Caballero, Will Tomlinson, John Molina, Vyacheslav Uzelkov, Maxim Bursak, Sergei Fedchenko, Alexander Ustinov, Hekkie Budler and Rene Gonzalez.