We have yet another solid weekend for fights, as there are no less than four major cards this weekend, two of which are televised in the U.S.
Wednesday, December 2
Versus, 8:00 p.m. Eastern, Roy Jones Jr. vs. Danny Green (on tape delay), Bernard Hopkins vs. Enrique Ornelas. Bad Left Hook will be providing round by round coverage of the event. Should Jones and Hopkins each win, they will face each other in a rematch of a fight that Jones dominated 17 years ago. If you're really itching to watch the Jones card live, it will be available at 3:00 p.m. (I'm guessing this should be a.m., but the site says p.m.) Eastern on gofightlive.tv for $9.99. No spoilers on the site until after the Versus telecast please.
Note from SC: The Jones-Green show on GoFightLive isn't available in the U.S. or Australia.
Thursday, December 3
Versus, 9:00 p.m. Eastern, Tim Coleman vs. Mike Arnaoutis, Ray Robinson vs. Brad Solomon. So this is how things work on Versus? No fights for about 2 months, then fights on back to back nights? This may potentially be the last of boxing on Versus, other than special events. This was Jeff Wald's last time slot for The Contender fighters, and the most recent season of the show was such a dud that he just sold the time slot to Joe DeGuardia rather than put on his own show. Arnaoutis has proven himself to be a B-level fighter who can hang with the good but can't beat the best. Coleman has had a bit of hard luck, but Arnaoutis would be his toughest opponent to date. Robinson and Solomon are both undefeated prospects who are more well known for their names than for their immense talent. If there's time, Maureen Shea, who DeGuardia was promoting as "The Real Million Dollar Baby" until she recently got knocked out twice in a row, will also be facing light hitting Jenna Shiver for an interim title on the card.
Friday, December 4
RTL (Hungary) and Polsat Sport (Poland), 1:45 p.m. Eastern, Karoly Balzsay vs. Eddy Gutknecht, Zsolt Bedak vs. Ramie Laput. Balzsay was the owner of a piece of the super middleweight title until recently, when he ran out of gas against Robert Stirglitz. Gudknecht is a 17-0 prospect who's also a part of Universum's stable, but his best win to date is over an old and shot Rubin Williams. The winner of the fight would become Stieglitz's mandatory. The Laput-Bedak winner would be near the top of several sanctioning bodies' rankings at 122.
Sky Sports, 4:00 p.m. Eastern, Prizefighter - Gavin Rees, Ted Bami, Colin Lynes, Young Mutley, Michael Grant, Jason Cook, Barrie Jones, David Barnes. Bad Left Hook will have round-by-round coverage. For those of you unfamiliar with the Prizefighter format, eight fighters will face off in a single-day single-elimination tournament. Fights are only three rounds long, and the draw is randomly selected. Move on to the next round, get another fight, which is still on the same day. Former titlist Rees is probably the nominal favorite, although this tournament involves a number of solid UK-level contenders.
Gofightlive.tv, 7:00 p.m. Eastern ($4.99), Jeremy Bryan vs. Darren Fallen, Antonio Espinoza vs. Floriano Pagliara.
Gofightlive.tv, 8:00 p.m. Eastern ($4.99), Steve Chambers Upshur vs. Doel Carrasquillo, Gee Edward Cullmer vs. Loren Myers.
Telemundo, 11:30 p.m. Eastern, Cosme Rivera vs. Euri Gonzalez. Yoelvis Gamboa, Yuriorkis' little brother, will also fight on the undercard.
Saturday, December 5
Sky Box Office, 3:00 p.m. Eastern, Amir Khan vs. Dmitriy Salita, Kevin Mitchell vs. Bredis Prescott, Alex Arthur vs. Nigel Wright, John Simpson vs. Stevie Bell. Bad Left Hook will have round-by-round coverage. While the main event looks to be an even less exciting replay of Khan-Kotelnik, there are some very interesting undercard fights here. Much to my surprise, Mitchell-Prescott is an even money fight, probably in great part because the only exposure the English have to Prescott is when he starched Amir Khan. Also, Mitchell wasn't even a big super featherweight, and now he's moving up to face a huge lightweight. The winner of the fight will be the WBO's mandatory in the lightweight division. Wright is another comeback foe for Arthur, but considering the styles, it should be a fun fight while it lasts. Simpson is the current holder of the Commonwealth featherweight title, while Bell has a shiny record from mostly facing bums.
ARD.de, 4:15 p.m. Eastern, Marco Huck vs. Ola Afolabi, Alexander Povetkin vs. Leo Nolan, Dominik Britsch vs. Cleber Alves. Huck is a full cruiserweight titlist, while Afolabi won his interim version of the title by knocking out Enzo Maccaranelli. This one could be very interesting or very ugly, based on styles. Afolabi fancies himself a bit of a James Toney wannabe, only he's not as talented and probably punches a little harder. Huck is an exciting, hard-hitting, forward-moving Euro puncher who's built up a big name in Germany, but who was handled with ease by a good stick and move boxer in Steve Cunningham. Unfortunately for Afolabi, he has lead in his feet, and while he tries to stick and move, the movement is generally only upper body movement. Ola can probably outbox Huck during stretches where he works enough, but the two questions are whether his low workrate will fail him, and whether he'll be able to avoid enough punches coming his way from Huck's fist.
RTE Two, RTE.ie, 5:00 p.m. Eastern, Matthew Macklin vs. Rafael Sosa Pintos. RTE is kind enough to make their telecasts available through their website to the entire world. Macklin will not be defending the European title he won by knocking out Amin Akisainen in one. Check the link to get there. Right now, the time is a ballpark guess as RTE's TV Guide function only looks forward two days in advance. I'll update to the exact time later in the week.
HBO, 9:30 p.m. Eastern, Paul Williams vs. Sergio Martinez, Cristobal Arreola vs. Brian Minto. Bad Left Hook will be providing live round by round coverage of this one.
Secondsouttv.com, 9:45 p.m. Eastern, Joachim Alcine vs. Cristophe Canclaux, Troy Ross vs. Daniel Bispo. The card is also available on Canadian TV. Ross makes it two Contender winners in a row who's had no luck parlaying his new found fame into fights with actual contenders.
Elsewhere in the world of boxing....
- On the Hopkins undercard, Golden Boy prospect Danny Garcia will be taking a big step up to face 29-5-3 veteran Enrique Colin. Colin has some really solid wins under his belt, such as Michael Stewart, but mostly has lost when he's stepped up. In terms of sheer talent, Garcia is one of the better prospects on the Golden Boy roster. Not as much luck on the Jones side of the undercard. Aussie prospect Will Tomlinson will take a step up against Square Ring mainstay Verquan Kimbrough. Light welterweights Steve Wills and Chad Bennett will face off for a regional title.
- The Williams undercard actually has a couple of fights that are probably better than the televised co-feature. Chazz Witherspoon will face Tony Thompson in somewhat of a crossroads fight. Thompson has been pretty inactive since losing to Wladimir Klitschko. Also, in what promises to be an action fight, Carlos Quintana will face fringe contender Jesse Feliciano.
- Australian boxing is keeping it big this weekend. In an attempt to ride on the coattails of the Jones-Green fight, Australian Fox will be playing a heavyweight card including John Hopoate, Colin Wilson and Daniel Ammann.
- Anselmo Moreno defends his title in France against Frederic Patrac. Moreno has become quite the road warrior, although for whatever reason, he seems to be more partial to taking fights in France. Patrac is about as big of a patsy as anyone could find - since 2005, he's 12-0, but only one of his opponents had a winning record.
- Cesar Seda Jr., one of the current Puerto Rican hopes, will defend his IBO flyweight title against gatekeeper Juan Esquer. On the same card, Omar Soto, who was knocked out by Edgar Sosa in a fight he was leading, will face John Alberto Molina.
- Saul Alvarez will take on Lanardo Tyner in another step in Alvarez's progression. Tyner is 21-2, but lost to his two best opponents, Lamont Peterson and Mike Arnaoutis. He's typically fought at 140, and shouldn't be too much of a test for the larger and fresher Alvarez. I wouldn't be surprised to find out that this is being broadcast on Mexican TV somewhere, but I couldn't find it.
- Joey Abell will face Raphael Butler in a battle of Minnesota's best heavyweights. On the same card, Travis Walker will continue to try to rehabilitate his image by trashing tomato cans.