While there's nothing spectacular going on this weekend, boy is it loaded with televised fights.
Thursday, June 23
Fox Sports Net, http://www.ustream.tv/goldenboy, 11:00 p.m. Eastern, Fight Night Club. No recognizable names on this week's docket, but sometimes they have entertaining low-level bouts. The closest thing to a prospect here is Irishman Jamie Kavanagh.
Friday, June 24
Fox Sports (Australia), 6:00 a.m. Eastern, Kali Meehan vs. Michael Kirby. Meehan had a pretty good run as a part-time fighter and full-time construction worker. At 41 years of age, after fighting for the title once and in multiple title eliminators, as well as winning a slew of regional trinkets, it appears he's decided that the time for him to win a major title has passed, so he's fighting for the WBF version of the heavyweight title so he can someday tell his grandkids that he was a world champion. This doesn't appear to be farewell quite yet though - he and fellow Aussie Alex Leapai have been having a war of words through the media, so expect him to keep on trucking.
ESPN2, ESPN 3D, ESPN Deportes, ESPN3.com, 9:00 p.m. Eastern, John Molina vs. Robert Frankel, Mauricio Herrera vs. Mike Dallas Jr.. Molina and Herrera each bumped themselves up to fringe contender status by scoring upset wins over heralded prospects in the recent past, Molina by knocking out Hank Lundy, and Herrera by outpointing Ruslan Provodnikov. Dallas was himself a well-regarded prospect until recently when he was dominated and stopped by Josesito Lopez. In case it gets to a swing bout, former Olympian and troubled soul Ricardo Williams Jr. is also slated to fight on the card. Bad Left Hook will have live coverage.
Gofightlive.tv ($9.99), 9:00 p.m. Eastern, David Rodriguez vs. Owen Beck. Rodriguez is now 33 years old and 34-0 as a professional fighter. Yet Beck, who has lost his last four in a row and seriously looked awful in his last one, is still a pretty major step up. He's a local attraction in El Paso, and that's all he desires to be, it so appears.
Telefutura, 11:30 p.m. Eastern, James Kirkland vs. Dennis Sharpe, Brian Vera vs. Eloy Suarez. Kirkland's trials and tribulations have been well documented, and now he starts on his second comeback in as many fights. He seemed like one of the hottest prospects out there when he went to prison, and was promptly knocked out by light hitting Nobuhiro Ishida in his first televised fight back. Sharpe is even less of a threat than Ishida, but Kirkland needs the confidence builder. Golden Boy got options on Vera after he beat Sergio Mora, and it seems they're actually trying to build him into a viable attraction. His record on it's face doesn't look so great lately, as he's 3-4 in his last seven, but the wins came over Mora, Andy Lee and Sebastien Demers, two of the losses came to Kirkland and Craig McEwan, and the other two losses were of the hometown dispute variety. Bad Left Hook will have live coverage.
Telemundo, 11:35 p.m. Eastern, Jesus Pabon vs. Javier Castro. Pabon has been building a following among the Miami area's Puerto Rican community.
Saturday, June 25
Polsat Sport (Poland), 3:30 p.m. Eastern, Dawid Kostecki vs. Lolenga Mock. Kostecki keeps hanging around, fighting competition around this level in front of large home crowds while building up a padded record. He's highly enough rated by multiple organizations that he'll likely soon get a title shot at light heavyweight, but there's nothing too special to see here. Mock is still hanging around as a gatekeeper, and is still mostly known as the super middleweight who nearly knocked out David Haye.
Sky Sports 2 (UK), 3:30 p.m. Eastern, Kell Brook vs. Lovemore N'Dou, Felix Sturm vs. Matthew Macklin. Brook recently changed promoters, and while he's still not facing the world class guys quite yet, former titlist N'Dou is a step in the right direction. He's 2-1-1 in his last four, and while he was blown out by Saul "Canelo" Alvarez, he drew with Matthew Hatton (which I personally think was the right score) and beat a couple of other decent South African fighters. The full preview of Sturm-Macklin is below, but it's nice to see that Sky made it a late pickup. Brick's Pick: Brook has some talent, and lately it seems he's been working on some of the mental issues I've had with him in the past. While I'm still skeptical that he can take a step up to the next level, he's the class of the current British welterweights and should be able to take this one easily. It's just a question of whether he can crack N'Dou's chin, which seems pretty unlikely to me. Brook UD-12. Bad Left Hook will have live coverage.
Epix, EpixHD.com, SAT1 (Germany), 4:00 p.m. Eastern, Felix Sturm vs. Matthew Macklin. A couple years remived from his knockout of Amin Asikainen and after a couple of fights since then where he looked so-so, Macklin finally gets his title shot against Sturm, who seems to be on the downside of his career at this point. Also on the undercard on the German broadcast, Manuel Charr continues his tour of faded former contenders, facing Danny Williams. Brick's Pick: A year or two ago, I would have said Macklin was a live dog, but he just doesn't seem to have as much snap in his punches these days. Sturm has lost a little quickness, but even on his worst day, he's a better boxer than Macklin, plus the fight is in Germany, where he's gotten his karma back for the De La Hoya fight about tenfold. Sturm UD-12. Bad Left Hook will have live coverage.
HBO, Premier (UK), 9:45 p.m. Eastern, Devon Alexander vs. Lucas Matthysse, Tavoris Cloud vs. Yusef Mack, Bermane Stiverne vs. Ray Austin. Alexander and Matthysse are both coming off of losses, so this is a bit of a crossroads bout in a way. Alexander didn't look so great against Timothy Bradley, while many thought Matthysse did enough to beat Zab Judah, although at this point there's probably a pretty decent gap in ability between Bradley and Judah. Cloud takes a mandatory defense against a guy who has generally lost when he's stepped up, and has proven over and again that he doesn't have great stamina or beard. Ted Sares is very high on Stiverne, who gets a showcase bout, but has also had his own chin issues in the past. Scott's very good preview of this card is available here. Brick's Picks: Last time out, Matthysse proved that he can handle a quick, slick southpaw. I do think Alexander is still a small step up from Zab at this point, but the Argentine has improved drastically since Gabriel Sarimiento joined his corner. Still, as the Kotelnik fight proved, he'll need a knockout to get the win. Cloud should be able to roll over Mack, who can compete for a few rounds but always tends to fade in the middle rounds. That said, his power may be overrated, as he couldn't knock out Fulgencio Zuniga, who was kayoed by Lucian Bute and Kelly Pavlik Austin has a chance at knocking out the chinny Stiverne, but he's really looked like dreck his last couple times out, and he was never that good to begin with. Still, Stiverne might be too busy protecting that chin to go for the kill. Alexander UD-12, Cloud KO-6, Stiverne UD-12. Bad Left Hook will have live coverage.
Fox Sports Net, 10:00 p.m. Eastern, Mike Jones vs. Raul Munoz, Kenny Abril vs. Yordenis Ugas. People keep talking big things about Jones, but here he just gets a showcase bout against a guy who was knocked out by Alfonso Gomez in one. He seems to be a backup backup plan for a future Manny Pacquiao fight, but more likely, he'll be facing Kell Brook in the not too distant future for a title shot in a bout between two of the better 'prospects' in the division. Abril-Ugas could be the better fight though. Abril has fought well against some decent competition, while Ugas is another one of those semi-hotshot Cuban defectors who is hoping to turn amateur glory into professional success. Since I'm assuming we'll get to see a swing bout, a personal favorite in Glen Tapia will also be fighting on the card.
TV Azteca (Mexico), circa 12 a.m. Eastern, Fernando Montiel vs. Nehomar Cermeno. Now THIS is a crossroads fight. A lot of folks had already written off Montiel at the point when he knocked out pound-for-pounder Hozumi Hasegawa to unify bantamweight titles after legitimately winning titles in weight classes. Last time out, however, he was hopelessly outgunned by Nonito Donaire. Montiel moves up to 122, joining Erik Morales, Jorge Arce, Juan Manuel Marquez and (sadly) Marco Antonio Barrera in the quest to become the first Mexican to win titles in four weight classes. Cermeno is no cupcake. He may be 1-3 in his last four, but all three of his losses were disputed losses to top ten guys in Anselmo Moreno (twice) and Victor Terrazas, twice on the road. Brick's Pick: Both guys have a little bit of warrior in them, but tend to play it safe unless their opponent brings the fight to them. Montiel's chin seems to be dented, for sure, and age is certainly catching up with him, but I think he has just enough left, and just enough of a hometown advantage, that he can pull this one out. On neutral ground, this would be an even money fight in my mind. Montiel SD-12.
Televisa (Mexico), circa 12 a.m. Eastern, Victor Terrazas vs. Feider Viloria, Jose Salgado vs. Everth Briceno, Pablo Cesar Cano vs. Pablo Lugo. Lots of fights between fringe contenders who are action fighters on this one, so this could be a pretty solid card. Terrazas is waiting for a title shot at Toshiaki Nishioka after beating Nehomar Cermeno his last time out.
Televisa (Mexico), circa 12 a.m. Eastern, Humberto Soto vs. Motoki Sasaki. Once again, Televisa schedules against themselves in different parts of the country. Soto has mostly been taking it easy lately, and the fact that the Urbano Antillon fight was a knock-down, drag out war (and BLH's fight of 2010) shows that he's starting to fade. Sasaki has generally lost when he's stepped up in class, but he's also generally fought at 147 for most of his career. If he weren't 35 years old, I might call him a spoiler here, but history ain't too kind to old dudes who move down in weight late in their careers.
Cadena Tres (Mexico), circa 12 a.m. Eastern, Robinson Castellanos vs. Sergio Ariel Estrela. How you get a "silver" title fight in one of the strongest weight classes out there (featherweight) between a guy who is 11-5-2 and a guy who is 11-9 is completely beyond me. Oh yeah, it's a money grubbing alphabet organization.
- The Alexander-Matthysse card is so stacked, that a title bout that's a rematch of a pretty good fight didn't even make it onto the televised card. Cornelius Bundrage earned his title by defeating Cory Spinks, who just hasn't looked great in a while. The last time he fought Sechew Powell, there was toe to toe action for the round that it lasted and a double knockdown from which Powell got up but Bundrage didn't. The card would have been even more stacked had Guillermo Jones not pulled out of his title defense against former Contender fighter Ryan Coyne, who instead will take a fluffy fight against David McNemar. Cory Spinks, Omar Henry (in his first fight back after "retiring" to get out of his Top Rank contract and going pro in MMA, before heading back to boxing) and the ghost of Yuri Romanov (who's been out of action for about three years now) will also fight on the card.
- A solid all-Italian bout will be happening between undefeated fighters Daniele Petrucci and Leonard Bundu with the European welterweight title on the line. These Italian fights don't get televised much, but both men have beaten some solid European-level competition, and the winner might be about ready to make the jump to the world level.
- Thai minimumweight prospect Wanheng Manayothin will be taking a step up against former titlist Florante Condes. A win for either fighter probably puts him in the top 10, if he's not there already in a very weak weight class.
- Also in action this weekend: Ossie Duran, Nadjib Mohammedi, Gumersindo Lucas Carrasco, Logan McGuinness, Joseph Elegele, Patrick Hyland, Adrian Young, Dodie Boy Penalosa Jr., Kevin "Duckpin" Johnson, Travis Walker and Fernando Angulo.