Normally, the weekend before a megafight there isn't much else going on. This weekend is an exception, as there are two solid cards happening, and a few smaller fights that could be worth watching.
Wednesday, November 4
ESPN2, 8:00 p.m. Eastern, Jason Litzau vs. Johnnie Edwards, Frankie Figueroa vs. Rashad Holloway. Tonight, ESPN2 will be airing a live fight card that's taking place on a military base for our troops. You can't get a ticket to go live, but you can catch the action on TV. Litzau vs. Edwards may be an exciting one. Litzau is a flashy fighter who has good quickness and power, but likes to showboat a little too much and has a chin that's just one step above grade A china. Edwards is also most famous for being a first round knockout victim of Yuriorkis Gamboa, but he owns a couple of decent wins over Freddie Norwood. Since his last Norwood victory, he's lost two decisions to up and coming prospects. Still, both guys like to bang a bit and neither guy has a good chin, so this one should at least have an exciting ending. Figueroa makes his first appearance since being kicked out of the Cotto training camp, and will try to show off his "Gato moves" against Holloway, a Cincinnati prospect who's taking a big step up in class.
Friday, November 6
Sky Sports, 5:00 p.m. Eastern, Paul McClosky vs. Daniel Rasilla. McCloskey's opponent was originally to be Soulemane M'Baye, but 15-2 Rasilla is stepping in as a late replacement. However, this will still be for the vacant European junior welterweight title. It wouldn't be the biggest fight in the world, but if McClosky wins, he has to be on the short list for a Ricky Hatton comeback fight.
Integrated PPV, 9:00 p.m. Eastern ($24.99), Zab Judah vs. Ubaldo Hernandez, Joey Casamayor vs. Jason Davis. Scott's write-up on this card is here.
Saturday, November 7
Integrated PPV, 3:00 p.m. Eastern ($24.99), Nicolai Valuev vs. David Haye, John Ruiz vs. Adnan Serin. Bad Left Hook will be providing round by round coverage, at least of the Haye fight. Don't blame Scott if he doesn't cover the John Ruiz fight - staring directly at a John Ruiz fight can cause permanent blindness. Lucky for all of us, Ruiz is the mandatory for the winner of the main event. Those of you in Germany can also catch the fight for free on ARD.
Gofightlive.tv, 8:00 p.m. Eastern ($5.99), Mike Jones vs. Raul Pinzon, Gabriel Rosado vs. Latif Mundy. Frankly, for $20 less, this one's worth about as much as the Zab Judah card. Someone needs to get Mike Jones on TV already. He's one of the better prospects out there who has yet to be televised. He was scheduled to clash with Richard Gutierrez, but Gutierrez had to pull out. Pinzon isn't a bad replacement, but not a great one either. He's a standard Columbian slugger with a questionable chin who lost his last two fights to Saul Alvarez and David Torres. Rosado tries to bounce back from his loss to Alfredo Angulo, which he can probably blame on his lack of concentration during the fight as much as anything.
HBO, 9:30 p.m. Eastern, Chad Dawson vs. Glen Johnson II, Alfredo Angulo vs. Harry Joe Yorgey. Bad Left Hook will be providing round by round coverage of this card as well.
Elsewhere in the world of boxing....
Sam Sexton will rematch Martin Rogan on Friday. Sexton vs. Rogan I was a fun heavyweight bout earlier in the year that ended quite controversially. Sexton was beating up on Rogan pretty good early in the fight, but Rogan, with both of his eyes closing shut, came back to seriously hurt Sexton. Sexton stayed up on his feet, but was clearly in la-la land, and one more solid punch would have taken him down for the count (and possibly seriously injured him). Rogan took his foot off the gas, thinking the referee would step in and stop the fight when his opponent was clearly defenseless. Instead, this gave Sexton enough time to recover and last the round, and the referee stopped the fight between rounds due to Rogan's eyes swelling shut, resulting in a TKO win for Sexton. Rogan is a throwback mauler, so the rematch should be fun as well. Sadly, best I can tell, it's not being televised live because it conflicts with the McClosky fight. It will be shown on tape delay on BBC1 on Wednesday. In addition, it will be aired live on Hungarian TV, of all places, so maybe you can catch a stream.
- The Haye-Valuev undercard is absolutely loaded with every Sauerland prospect out there, although I don't know which fights, if any, will be televised. Robert Helenius takes on Taras Bidenko in a matchup between two fringe contenders. Gbenga Oloukun tries to bounce back from a loss only a few weeks ago against 2-0 Kurbat Pulev. Sergei Lyakhovich is scheduled to fight West Virginia insurance salesman (and recent victim of every senior citizen comebacking heavyweight out there) Jeremy Bates. Alexander Frenkel will take on a completely shot to bits Kelvin Davis. 6'7" cruiserweight prospect Francisco Palacios will take on DeLeon Tinsley in a step up fight. Tinsley has good wins over Alfredo Escalera Jr. and Lou Del Valle, but has generally lost to class opposition, such as Ola Afolabi, Enad Licina and Aaron Williams. David Haye's prospect George Groves takes a minor step up against seasoned veteran Konstantin Makhankov.
- In an all-Canadian card, Sebastian Demers takes on Nicholson Poulard, David Lemieux goes after Alfredo Contreras. Demers got smashed the two times he stepped up at 160, so despite not having much power, he's moved up to 168. His debut in the weight class went well, as he won by first round knockout. If he gained power in gaining weight, he might actually be better off at his new weight. The fight is for the NABO title vacated by Andre Ward when he joined the Super Six tournament.
- Heriberto Ruiz and Jackson Asiku will face off for an IBO title. Ruiz seems to be leveling out as a high level gatekeeper, with wins over Rey Bautista and Mauricio Martinez, but losing every time he's jumped up one level in class, losing to Steve Molitor, Eric Morel, Alejandro Valdez and Irene Pacheco. Asiku has gone undefeated in the last 5 years, clearing out the Aussie circuit in the process.
- Taking tune-up or stay-busy fights this weekend: Peter Manfredo, Austin Trout, Jean Paul Mendy, Martin Lindsay, Grzegorz Proska, Keith Thurman, Brandon Rios, Tyrone Brunson