It's another somewhat slow weekend in boxing, but Carl Frampton takes aim at the European super bantamweight title on Saturday against Kiko Martinez, Sonny Bill Williams is back in action against Frans Botha, Humberto Soto returns to the ring, and Kevin Bizier faces Nate Campbell on Friday Night Fights.
Friday, February 8
Main Event PPV (Australia) / Sky PPV (New Zealand), 3:00 am EST, Sonny Bill Williams vs Frans Botha. It wouldn't be any major surprise if 44-year-old Botha (48-8-3, 29 KO) were able to beat Sonny Bill (5-0, 3 KO), still a novice in the sport. Botha mostly loses now, but to more seasoned fighters. The last time he faced some local hype job, he wrecked Flo Simba in six.
ESPN2, 8:00 pm EST, Replay: Manny Pacquiao vs Juan Manuel Marquez IV. Thanks to the ESPN/HBO relationship, we're now getting replays of major PPV fights, it would appear. That's nice -- I mean, it's two months late, but showing this fight is never a bad idea.
TyC Sports (Argentina), 8:00 pm EST, Daniela Bermudez vs Romina Alcantra.
ESPN2, 9:00 pm EST, Kevin Bizier vs Nate Campbell, Tyler Asselstine vs Baha Laham. Bizier-Campbell could be a pretty interesting main event. Nate's 40, but not totally finished, it would appear, as he stopped Victor Cayo last year. Asselstine was supposed to be facing Joel Diaz, which was really great on paper, but that isn't going to happen, which is no big shock. It was almost too cool to be true. BLH will have live coverage.
Saturday, February 9
Sky Sports (UK), 3:00 pm EST, Kiko Martinez vs Carl Frampton, Lee Selby vs Martin Lindsay, Andy Lee vs Anthony Fitzgerald. Frampton guns for the European super bantamweight title finally, as I think this is the third date he's had with Kiko, and the first to actually go through. I'm not sure if Lee-Fitzgerald will actually be shown on Sky, but it's on the card. Selby-Lindsay is for Selby's British featherweight title. BLH will have live coverage.
TV3 (Denmark), 3:00 pm EST, Patrick Nielsen vs Patrick Mendy, Alexander Miskirtchian vs Andreas Evensen. Nielsen (17-0, 8 KO) is being softly positioned to take over the throne that Mikkel Kessler will eventually leave as Denmark's biggest boxing star. To be honest, he's no Kessler, but he's a solid young fighter. The co-feature is for the European featherweight belt.
TyC Sports (Argentina), 8:00 pm EST, Javier Maciel vs Emilio Julio.
Televisa (Mexico), 10:00 pm EST, Humberto Soto vs Silverio Ortiz, Luis Ceja vs Jose Alfredo Zuniga, Julio Ceja vs Henry Maldonado. Soto drops back to 140 for this one, as the vacant WBC Silver title is on the line for no particularly good reason whatsoever, other than Soto is a Mexican fighter with some name value, and the WBC generally takes care of those guys. Ortiz (26-13, 12 KO) isn't really better than his record. He's won five straight, but against mostly lousy competition.
UniMas / TV Azteca (Mexico), 11:00 pm EST, Enrique Bernache vs Javier Gallo, Daniel Sandoval vs Miguel Callist. UniMas is the new name of TeleFutura, if you're confused as to what channel that is.