Edwin Rodriguez headlines a three-fight bill on HBO on September 29. (Photo by Ed Mulholland-US PRESSWIRE)
Remember when HBO was putting together a new boxing series that was going to feature prospects, similar to ShoBox but with a bigger budget? Well, that's never going to happen, which I don't think is any surprise, but since HBO guaranteed promoters dates and money for those shows, they still have to do something, and thus, we're getting a September 29 triple-header on HBO that doesn't fit the usual HBO format, but is probably going to wind up being a better show than, well, a lot of their efforts.
RingTV.com confirmed the card earlier today.
In the main event, super middleweight Edwin Rodriguez (21-0, 14 KO) will face Jason Escalera (13-0-1, 12 KO). Escalera, 27, is a New Jersey prospect who was featured on Friday Night Fights on May 18, where he battled to an eight-round draw against Nick Brinson. Rodriguez, 27, is a big, big step up in competition for Escalera, and most likely this is going to be too much for him.
The most intriguing fight of the night on paper might be the super bantamweight fight between Luis Orlando Del Valle (16-0, 11 KO) and former flyweight and super flyweight titleholder Vic Darchinyan (37-5-1, 27 KO). The 25-year-old Del Valle has been pretty impressive thus far as a pro, including good wins over Dat Nguyen and Christopher Martin. Darchinyan, 36, is coming off of a loss to Shinsuke Yamanaka, which was his second straight defeat, and his third in his last five fights.
As Darchinyan begins to wind down what has been a terrific career, he's making the jump to 122 pounds after largely failing at 118, where it seemed his power was left behind at the lower weights. Darchinyan did win a minor title at 118 (the IBO belt), but went 0-4 challenging for major titles at the weight.
The fight you can probably least count on actually happening would pit light heavyweights Isaac Chilemba (19-1-1, 9 KO) and Zsolt Erdei (33-0, 18 KO). The 38-year-old Erdei hasn't fought in a year, and has backed out of a few negotiations in that time for bigger fights than this one. But this is a good matchup if it does happen, with the unbeaten veteran (who might not be as good as his record, but is better than some people believe, which happens a lot in boxing) taking on a rising contender. Chilemba, 25, last fought in February, beating Edison Miranda.
The card will take place at Foxwoods in Connecticut.