Friday, July 1
Thailand 3, circa 5:00 a.m. Eastern, Pongsaklek Wonjongkam vs. Takuya Kogawa. True flyweight champ Pongsaklek continues his normal career pattern with this one. He'll have a really good fight or two, usually earned by way of manddatory, and then go back into hiding in Thailand, making title defenses against mediocre opposition while staying very busy. He goes for win #81 (and the 20th title defense of his career) against Kogawa, a middling Japanese fighter who has spent most of his career at bantamweight. Fear not though - Edgar Sosa is Pong's mandatory, has made it very clear that he wants the fight, and says he'll be taking that fight next if he wins this weekend.
ESPN Deportes, ESPN3.com, 10:00 p.m. Eastern, Mark Melligan vs. Sebastian Lujan, Mickey Bey Jr. vs. Alejandro Rodriguez. Melligan and Bey are Top Rank prospects who have both struggled recently. For whatever reason, the Bobfather has tried to build him up as the next big Pinoy thing, except that he just isn't that good and there are about a dozen other Filipino fighters who would be more deserving. Lujan is a tough, tough late replacement, who since practically getting his ear lopped off by Tony Margarito has rattled off some decent wins over Jose Luis Castillo, Walter Matthysse, Charlie Navarro and Jorge Daniel Miranda. Bey was lucky to earn a draw with Jose Hernandez, who had lost his previous three in a row, his last time out. Rodriguez has a similar profile to Hernandez. Note that this one won't be on ESPN2. Brick's Pick: Melligan has had some trouble with guys who bring pressure and guys who box well in the past; Lujan can do both. While Melligan is the theoretical A-side and the house fighter, if he manages to win this one other than controversially, I'll consider it an upset. Lujan TKO-8.
TeleFutura, 11:35 p.m. Eastern, Frankie Gomez vs. Khadaphi Proctor, Randy Caballero vs. Alexis Santiago. Golden Boy puts up two of its main blue chip prospects to headline this one. Gomez has been seen before, and he was a top amateur champion at a young age (and the primary rival to Jose Benavidez Jr.) along with seeming to be a pretty exciting and aggressive fighter overall. Proctor has been the B-side to a lot of prospect fights, but he's managed to pull off a couple of upsets. This is probably the first good look most fans will get of Caballero, who is represented by Al Haymon and thus it's probably just a matter of time before he becomes HBO's next hype job. Santiago is undefeated, but against a less than overwhelming slate of opponents.
Saturday, July 2
Sky Box Office (UK), Main Event (Australia), Polsat Sport (Poland), 3:00 p.m. Eastern, Wladimir Klitschko vs. David Haye, Ola Afolabi vs. Terry Dunstan, Ashley Sexton vs. Mike Robinson. We'll be having a lot of coverage this week on the biggest heavyweight fight in recent memory. As shouldn't be any surprise, the undercard is typical Klitschko dreck, but at least people won't be subjected to an Alexander Ustinov fight. Brick's Pick: I'll go into much more detail later in the week, but I think this is pretty likely to be a dud of a fight where Haye makes it interesting for a round or two, gets smacked hard once, and then you end up with two tentative fighters who won't do much until Wlad turns up the pressure late and knocks Haye out. Basically a redux of the Chambers fight. Klitschko TKO-11. Bad Left Hook will have live round by round coverage of this card.
HBO, RTL (Germany), 4:45 p.m. Eastern, Wladimir Klitschko vs. David Haye. Here's to hoping the first of Wladimir's fights to be aired on HBO in years isn't as bad as the last few that did.
Fox Sports Net, Fox Deportes, TV Azteca (Mexico), 10:00 p.m. Eastern, Hernan "Tyson" Marquez vs. Edren Dapudong, Daniel Rosas vs. Federico Catubay. After getting shellacked by Nonito Donaire not long ago, Marquez scored a major upset in defeating Luis Concepcion for a title in a serious fight of the year candidate. His first defense is a relatively easy one, and probably the kind of defense he needs, against Dapudong, who has a bit of pop in his fists but has generally lost when he's stepped up in class. Rosas is only 11-0, but he won Campeon Azteca and has beaten several much more experienced fighters in and around bantamweight. Catubay is a pretty standard gatekeeper these days, but this is a showcase for Rosas more than anything.
TyC Sports (Argentina), RPC (Panama), 10:00 p.m. Eastern, Celestino Caballero vs. Jonathan Victor Barros. Caballero has said he'll retire if he doesn't win this one. He's won big fights in his opponent's backyard before (Somsak Sithchatchawal, Steve Molitor, Lorenzo Parra), but he's just not the same animal at 126 as he was at 122. Barros apprised himself well against Yuriorkis Gamboa and beat Victor Terrazas since then, so he's somewhat legitimized his paper title. Brick's Pick: Echoing my sentiments from when the fight was originally scheduled, I do think Caballero will be just a little too much for Barros, and he always seems to step up his game when the marbles are on the line. Caballero TKO-9.
Televisa Deportes (Mexico), circa 12:00 p.m. Eastern, Edgar Sosa vs. Julio Paz, Giovanni Caro vs. Simphiwe Vetekya. As mentioned above, Sosa is the mandatory to face lineal flyweight titlist Pongsaklek Wonjongkam. He takes a tune-up against Paz, who I know little about other than that he has a 12-1 record fighting exclusively in Uruguay, which probably tells you as much as you need to know about his chances of winning this one. Caro and Vetekya face off in an eliminator for the right to face Toshiaki Nishioka. Caro has an ugly 22-8-4 record, and a history of getting knocked out, but he's gone undefeated in his last eight fights against decent competition. Vetekya, on the other hand, has a much prettier 22-1 record, but has barely fought since keeping it close against Hozumi Hasegawa in 2007.
Also in smaller fights this week: Chauncey Welliver (in China of all places), Masaaki Serie, Timur Ibragimov, Carlos Negron, McWilliams Arroyo, Billy Lyell, Darnell Boone, Ronald Cruz, Luciano Cuello, Ricardo Castillo, Jorge Paez Jr., Cristian Esquivel, Ricardo Nunez, Anthony Dirrell, Wes Ferguson and Jonathon Banks.