The weekend after a huge megafight that disappointed many in the action department, but was strangely enjoyable as a masterclass, we have a number of fights this weekend that have guaranteed action, but where the skill level might not be, ahem, quite so high.
Thursday, September 24
Versus, 10:00 p.m. Eastern, Luis Ramos Jr. vs. Christian Favela; Charles Huerta vs. Rodrigo Aranda; Karl Dargan vs. Rydell Griffin. I believe this is the end of the Versus Fight Night series, bit I wouldn't swear to it. This iteration put together by GBP has been somewhat of a flop. And if you want to watch Adamek-Cunningham for the 17,000th time, you can tune in at 8 pm.
Friday, September 25
Sky Sports, 4:00 p.m. Eastern, Matthew Macklin vs. Amin Asikainen, Cello Renda vs. Sam Horton. Macklin is getting pretty high in the middleweight rankings after beating on the best that the UK and Ireland have to offer in the weight class. Asikainen has been a top 10 contender and has beaten current beltholder Sebastian Sylvester, and is in Fight Night Round 4, probably to please the all-important Finnish demographic. Either way, this should be a good fight, and should put the winner in a position to fight for a belt at 160 in the not too distant future.
Gofightlive.tv, 8:00 p.m. Eastern ($9.99), Jean Pascal vs, Silvio Branco, Sebastian Demers vs. Jose Spearman, Adonis Stevenson vs. Jermain Mackey. The first of two potentially action-packed major fights to air on GFL this weekend. I'm thrilled to see that this is the kind of fight they're able to get over there now. Branco is the mandatory for the belt that Pascal won from Diaconu. Branco has skills, but he's old and never had a fantastic chin. Pascal, on the other hand, is mostly an athletic freak who doesn't have too much by way of skills, yet makes it look good and exciting while being extremely vulnerable. Pascal hasn't made a bad fight in years, so I don't expect this one to be a borefest. Pretty much all the pre-fight hype you could want for this one is over here, if you can understand French and/or Italian. Winner gets a match with Diaconu.
Saturday, September 26
RTE.ie, 4:30 p.m. Eastern, Bernard Dunne vs. Poonsawat Kratingdaenggym. This is the first defense by all-action Irish fighter of his belt. Dunne-Cordoba from earlier in the year was my fight of the year of this year so far, and there's the opportunity to catch this one by a stream as well. Poonsawat has won his last 14 fights, with 12 of those victories coming by knockout. While it seems like he's been around forever, he's only 28 years old, and has beaten some pretty darn good fighters in the past (Cordoba, Gamez, Somsak). If you're home on a Saturday afternoon, this is must-see TV. Stream it in the background while you're watching college football. THIS FIGHT IS AVAILABLE VIA FREE LEGAL LIVE STREAM AT THE HYPERLINK FOR THIS TEXT. Oh, and if you haven't seen Dunne-Cordoba, the full fight is available to stream on their website here. If the undercard is shown at all, Patrick Hyland will face David Kiilu.
Gofightlive.tv, 9:00 p.m. Eastern ($9.99), David Diaz vs. Jesus Chavez, Jose Hernandez vs. Juan Carlos Martinez. Diaz was last seen a year ago, getting the snot knocked out of him by Manny Pacquiao. Jesus Chavez put up a decent, but not all that competitive, fight against Michael Katsidis. Winner of this fight probably gets one last shot at lightweight glory. If Chavez loses, don't be surprised to see him retire. If Diaz loses, he'll probably toil around as a gatekeeper for a while.
HBO, 10:00 p.m. Eastern, Vitali Klitschko vs. Cristobal Arreola. Bad Left Hook will be providing round by round coverage.
Elsewhere in the world of boxing...
- There are two other mildly interesting heavyweight bouts on the Klitschko-Arreola undercard. Alexander Ustinov is a former kickboxer promoted by the Klitschkos and really fits their mold - he's huge (6'7", 300), he's Ukranian, he has great power and he's robotic as hell. That said, he's also much slower than either of the Klitschkos. He's taking a massive step up, facing Cedric Boswell, who has a shiny record mostly beating cans. The one time he got a chance against a big name fighter, he was beating Jameel McCline until getting knocked out in the final round. Boswell may be 40, but moves about as well as any heavyweight out there, so it could be an interesting fight, if for no other reason than that Ustinov is laterally challenged. Also, Johnothan Banks faces Javier Mora in what looks like a stay busy fight.
- Takalani Ndlovu takes on Kiko Martinez in a featherweight eliminator in a battle of Steve Molitor victims.
- Martin Castillo continues his comeback against German Meraz. Between his chin (which was exposed to have degraded against Montiel) and his face (he's always been extremely prone to cuts, and he has scar tissue on both upper eyelids), he's probably done as a top fighter, but on a technical level he's up there with just about anyone ar 115 - 118.
- Chop Chop Corley will try to continue his march back to respectibility, facing Harrison Cuello. While Corley had a string where he legitimately lost 5 out of 6, he should be undefeated in his last 5.