Tonight's Versus card saw Ulises Solis successfully defend the IBF light flyweight title with a decisive victory over Will Grigsby, who effectively quit on the stool at the behest of the ringside physician, referee Jay Nady and Grigsby's trainer. The 36-year old Grigsby was clearly never in the fight, though from a fan's view it didn't appear as though he was seriously injured or anything.
On the undercard, Tye Fields locked up a spot later this year to challenge Valuev. The 6-9 (or 6-8, depending on who you ask) Fields was exceedingly active in his unanimous decision victory over a game Kendrick Releford. Fields/Valuev won't be pretty, but part of me hopes it gets US television just because of the spectacle it will present. Those are some big, big men. Fields is a likeable fighter who works his ass off, too, not your standard lumbering oaf. He is technically awful, but he's fun to watch. Basically, he's a gigantic Ricardo Mayorga in terms of technical ability, though he's not Mayorga in any other sense.
In Italy, Michelle Picirillo won again, beating Englishman Michael Jones (24-3 now) by 12th round TKO. Piccirillo improves to 47-3.
On Saturday, we'll be live at BLH.com for HBO's Boxing After Dark presentation of super flyweight dynamo Jorge Arce (45-3-1) against Julio Ler (23-1). Arce is considered by many (if not most) to be among the elite pound-for-pound fighters in the game today.
The first fight of the night on Saturday will see unbeaten middleweight Kelly "Ghost" Pavlik take on Jose Luis Zertuche for the NABF middleweight crown. Pavlik last fought in November on Versus against Lenord Pierre, a fourth round TKO and total demolition job on Pavlik's part. After that fight, the Pavlik camp made it clear that they were looking to move the Youngstown, Ohio, native up in the world of boxing, and a fight on HBO is the way to do that. Pavlik is an exciting guy, with a 29-0 record and 26 knockouts.
Both fights are scheduled for 12 rounds, and we'll have coverage of every last one of them. Stop by and score along.