HBO has announced a very rare and rather exciting split-site tripleheader for July 14, all welterweight action and three fights of actual note.
In the opener, IBF welterweight champion Kermit Cintron will make his mandatory defense against Walter Matthysse. Cintron has been inactive since October, when he knocked out Mark Suarez to take the vacant title. The 28-year old Matthysse has also been out of the ring since October, when he fought and beat journeyman Jorge Dario David Gomez Perez.
The Boardwalk Hall portion of the card will conclude with Arturo Gatti's HBO return, with the 35-year old Gatti taking on 26-year old Alfonso Gomez, who recently knocked out Martin Concepcion. Gomez is a brawler who should make for an entertaining fight against Gatti, or maybe just an entertaining loss to Gatti. HBO wanted Paul Spadafora or Steve Forbes for the fight, while the Gatti camp wanted Dmitriy Salita or Edgar Santana. HBO approved neither, then gave a tentative OK for Gomez, at least before another fellow former Contender star Peter Manfredo, Jr., was dismantled in a highly disappointing fight against Joe Calzaghe.
But then HBO got a final green light on the third fight of the night -- the highly-anticipated Margarito/Williams showdown -- and gave the thumbs up to Gatti/Gomez. With Margarito/Williams topping off the night, Gatti/Gomez didn't have to carry the weight.
All in all, it shapes up to be a fun night of boxing for HBO and the rest of us.