Gabriel Campillo will face Sergey Kovalev in a significant light heavyweight main event, while Elvin Ayala takes on Curtis Stevens in a fight to get relevant at middleweight on January 19, live on NBC Sports.
As mentioned in the Top 10 for scheduled 2013 fights, Gabriel Campillo-Sergey Kovalev is going to fly way under the radar, as it's going head-to-head with a great HBO card, but this is a meaningful fight at 175 pounds. If Campillo (21-4-1, 8 KO) wins, he'll probably be able to find his way back into some kind of title opportunity. But if hard-punching Kovalev (19-0-1, 17 KO) can beat Campillo, he'll have made a serious statement.
I don't recommend watching sports on DVR, because it's un-American, but this is a fight worth recording if you have to miss it live, and for those without HBO, this is a terrific alternative at the very least.
In the co-feature, Elvin Ayala (26-5-1, 12 KO) will face Curtis Stevens (22-3, 16 KO). Stevens, 27, was once a somewhat hyped prospect, but he's never really recovered, so to speak, from his deadly dull loss to Andre Dirrell on HBO in 2007. He'd lost before then, but avenged that one, and the Dirrell fight made him look extremely limited, which in reality, he is. A blowout loss to Jesse Brinkley in 2010 led to two years of inactivity, but now he's back. Ayala, 31, will always have a special place in my heart for taking Sergio Mora to a draw after Mora decided to turn down a shot at Jermain Taylor in 2007 because he was such a big star from The Contender. It's evenly-matched and hopefully will be a solid fight.