Felix Sturm and Matthew Macklin square off Saturday in Germany. (Photo by Alex Grimm/Bongarts/Getty Images)
We'll have a big weekend of live fight coverage coming your way starting tomorrow, so let's take a quick look at all of the cards we'll cover live with round-by-round scoring and immediate post-fight results and analysis.
Note: The full TV and internet fight schedule for this week is available here. There are a ton of televised fights this week.
Molina (22-1, 18 KO) lost his undefeated record in November 2009 when he was upset by tough veteran Martin Honorio, but since then has rallied to win four straight, including a big rebound win last year over prospect Hank Lundy on Friday Night Fights, stopping Lundy in the 11th round of a fight that was wide for "Hammerin'" Hank on the scorecards. Molina isn't a future superstar, but he makes for good fights most of the time, and has a lot of guts. Frankel (28-10-1, 5 KO) returned to boxing this year after missing all of 2010, and is probably a bit better than his record indicates. He doesn't have much of a punch, but has won seven of his last eight, and the lone loss was a majority decision to David Diaz in Diaz's backyard in January, which was his first fight in 22 months.
Herrera (17-1, 7 KO) returns to Friday Night Fights following his January win over then-unbeaten Ruslan Provodnikov, and also beat journeyman Cristian Favela in April. Dallas (17-1-1, 7 KO) also fought on Friday Night Fights in January, but he wasn't so lucky as Herrera, as he was stomped by Josesito Lopez and knocked out in the seventh round. This is his first fight since the loss.
This is the second Friday Night Fights show that will be available in 3D if you have all the appropriate equipment. The first was Fernando Guerrero's win over Derrick Findley in February, so soon enough Molina vs Frankel will join Guerrero vs Findley and the X-Games on an endless loop on ESPN 3D.
Neither of these fights has much by way of intrigue on paper, but both Kirkland and Vera are reliably exciting fighters and are personal favorites, so we'll be following up FNF with Solo Boxeo Tecate again this week.
Kirkland (27-1, 24 KO) is looking to bounce back from his shocking defeat at the hands of Nobuhiro Ishida on April 9, and has Ann Wolfe back in his corner as trainer after what can only be called a failed stint with veteran trainer Kenny Adams. We detailed Kirkland's comeback-within-comeback a couple of days ago.
Sharpe (17-7-3, 4 KO) is no threat to Kirkland. And I don't mean "no threat" in the way that Ishida was no threat. Sharpe is not good at all and is 0-7-2 in his last nine fights, having not won since 2004. He also just returned to the ring this year, which seems to be happening quite a lot.
Vera (18-5, 11 KO) seems to intrigue the Golden Boy brass, as they're actually going to try to do something with him after getting options on him following his win over their fighter, Sergio Mora, on Friday Night Fights in February, which was his last fight. Suarez (11-11-1, 5 KO) is just an opponent for him, but Vera's trainer recently made a statement to Bad Left Hook calling out Julio Cesar Chavez Jr for a fight this year. Vera is all action and never in a boring fight, and has been sparring recently with Kirkland. The two have known each other for years and put on a real brawl on HBO in 2008.
The Sturm vs Macklin fight is also airing at 4pm EDT on SAT1 from Germany and Epix and EpixHD.com in the United States. We'll be watching the Sky broadcast.
Sturm (35-2-1, 15 KO) is making the 10th defense of the WBA middleweight title he regained from Javier Castillejo in 2007, and is on his third overall trinket reign at 160 pounds. Macklin (28-2, 19 KO) is getting his first crack at a major title with this fight, but is a former British and two-time European champion at middleweight.
Macklin is a legitimate challenger to Sturm, unlike some of Sturm's past opponents, which have made him one of the more criticized titlists in recent years. But he's also a legitimately good fighter, and has in his career pretty well handled fighters of Macklin's level. Sturm will also have home field advantage in Germany.
From the UK, Brook (23-0, 16 KO) makes his debut for his new promoters at Matchroom Sport after leaving Frank Warren. His opponent N'dou (48-12-2, 31 KO) is a tough veteran who doesn't have much hope of winning this fight, but if he's a final tune-up for the 25-year-old Brook before a step up, then the fight will serve a purpose. The challenge for Brook is trying to become the first man to stop N'dou in his 18-year career.
Saturday, 9:45pm EDT: Boxing After Dark (HBO)
Junior Welterweights, 12 Rounds: Devon Alexander vs Lucas Matthysse
Light Heavyweights, 12 Rounds: Tavoris Cloud vs Yusaf Mack
Heavyweights, 12 Rounds: Bermane Stiverne vs Ray Austin
If these fights all go the distance, this one's gonna go late. Alexander (21-1,1 3 KO) is coming off of a loss and two straight bad performances overall, while Matthysse (28-1, 26 KO) is a live underdog with a big punch who gave Zab Judah all he could handle last year. Cloud (22-0, 18 KO) is a big favorite against Mack (29-3-2, 17 KO), while Stiverne (20-1-1, 19 KO) makes his HBO debut against Austin (28-5-4, 18 KO).
Click here for more on this card, including the off-TV undercard.