Hey did you hear Max Boxing and Boxing Scene are merging? Go figure.
I just wanted to throw out what our next five Fight Nights would be, and let you know that we haven't died -- Marquez-Pacquiao stuff is coming, and I am pumped for this fight.
March 15 -- Juan Manuel Marquez v. Manny Pacquiao II (HBO PPV)
Barring Comcast again screwing the pooch and not delivering on the pay-per-view order, we'll be here for this one, live and round-by-round, for all of the night's televised fights. The undercard is Luevano-Jandaeng, Mares-Gabi, and apparently, David Diaz v. Ramon Montano, as the rumored Andrade-Bika fight got scrapped long ago. Unless they go with three fights (and why not televise Diaz smoking Montano if you want to do Diaz-Pacquiao later?), Diaz looks like he's on the big show. In the opener. Against a scrub. In a non-title fight. What a hype job!
March 22 -- Joel Casamayor v. Michael Katsidis and Librado Andrade v. Robert Stieglitz (HBO)
Casamayor-Katsidis is one I'm really looking forward to. No matter what happens in this fight, Nate Campbell is now the man to beat at 135. If Katsidis wins, he'll be the true lightweight champion, while Campbell will be recognized by most as the division's best. 135 is a mess. Andrade-Stieglitz is an OK replacement for the Junior Witter-Demetrius Hopkins fight that was never actually signed, which didn't stop anyone from saying it was happening. Too bad Junior won't get to demolish Hopkins on American TV. Hopkins, if you haven't read, is out at Golden Boy.
March 27 -- Cory Spinks v. Verno Phillips (donkingnetwork.tv)
That's right! If you've yet to hear the great news, Cory Spinks will fight Verno Phillips on a streaming webcast. Thank you, Don King. This one has the potential to be too bad to pass up.
March 28 -- Kassim Ouma v. Cornelius Bundrage (ESPN2)
This is more of a "maybe" -- as in "maybe we'll cover it, if there's absolutely nothing better to be doing." I like Ouma and Bundrage both, but they're not exactly at hot points of their career. Remember when FNF routinely had interesting main events? This is two guys hoping for a reclamation project. The fight could be good, though, and that's why I'm considering doing it. Just for kicks. And I like these dudes.
March 29 -- Carl Froch v. Denis Inkin and John Murray v. John Fewkes (SHO)
Four unbeaten European stars make their American TV debuts after the Frank Shamrock-Cung Le headlined MMA card on Showtime. Showtime deserves BIG props for how they're doing business right now. With MMA so popular, they're putting attractive boxing matchups in pairs. It's a wonderful idea, and hopefully will lead to more appreciation for both sports on the opposite sides of the fence. Plus, Showtime no longer seems concerned with names. Instead, how about good fights? Haye-Maccarinelli only lasted five minutes, but it was a fun five minutes. Froch-Inkin is a very important fight at 168 pounds with Joe Calzaghe now out of the division, Mikkel Kessler somewhere contemplating Star Trek, and Lucian Bute about as well known as Froch or Inkin. I'm also hoping that Showtime (and hopefully HBO, too) using European fighters frequently will get rid of the stupid notion that American fight fans don't care about European fighters. It's simple: if American fight fans get to SEE these fighters, they will begin to care. So put them on TV. I'd rather see Froch-Inkin than anything Antonio Tarver could do, besides perhaps Tarver v. Kimbo Slice.
There's a rare week off from Saturday night action after that (well, Ivan Calderon is fighting), and then we get back into it with Cotto-Gomez + Cintron-Margarito II, before we head into the Hopkins-Calzaghe superfight.
Looks good so far. Actually later today or perhaps tomorrow, I'm going to look at how 2008 is going so far in the HBO v. Showtime boxing war.