Tons and tons of televised cards this weekend, although none of them are particularly huge fights. If you really wanted to and had access to every channel in the world, you could pretty much watch boxing all weekend.
Friday, January 29
Sky Sports (UK), 5:00 p.m. Eastern, Lee McAllister vs. Sam Amoako. This one's for the commonwealth lightweight title, and looks to be a mismatch on paper. The rangy McAllister has held fringe and local titles for the better part of the last four years, although he lost to John Murray the last time he faced an undefeated fighter. Amoako is undefeated, although he's just 6-0, with all of the fights coming in Ghana and only one of those fights coming against someone with a winning record.
ESPN2, 10:00 p.m., Curtis Stevens vs. Jesse Brinkley. This one's a title eliminator for the right to face Lucian Bute. This has the potential to either be fight of the month material or a complete stinker. Stevens is a prototypical low output slugger, who comes plodding forward and looking to throw bombs at any opening. Brinkley, a Contender Season One contestant, is a tough guy boxer who's willing to brawl and gets by on his heart and guts more than his talent.
Fox Sports Net and Fox Sports Espanol, 11:00 p.m. Eastern, Gabriel Campillo vs. Beibut Shumenov, Erislandy Lara vs. Grady Brewer. Both of these guys are making their U.S. TV debuts, and both have great back stories. Campillo had lost his two step-up fights but got a last-minute title shot against Hugo Garay and managed to wrest the title. Shumenov has faced top competition ever since his pro debut and challenged for Campillo's title less than 10 fights into his career. In supposedly one of the better fights last year that nobody ever saw, Campillo won a close decision in a fight where both fighters touched the mat. Shumenov is an offense-first fighter, while Campillo is a more tentative outside boxer, but this could be an exciting style clash. Lara against Brewer is a big step up for amateur star Lara. Brewer won Season 2 of The Contender and hasn't lost in about five years. Bad Left Hook will be providing live round by round coverage of this fight.
Showtime, 11:00 p.m. Eastern, Chris Avalos vs. Jose Nieves, Archie Ray Marquez vs. Derrick Campos. This...is...Shawtime! Gary Shaw continues his trend of dominating the Shobox cards with challenging fights for his prospects. The last time we saw Avalos on TV, he was losing to journeyman Giovanni Caro when he came from behind with a stoppage victory. Nieves is 17-1-3 with wins over Tomas Rojas and Angel Priolo and looks like a major step up for 14-0 Avalos. Marquez is probably the best long-term prospect on the card. He'll take on the iron chinned Campos in what looks to be a showcase fight.
Saturday, January 30
Setanta Ireland, 3:45 p.m., Brian Magee vs. Mads Larsen. A European super middleweight title is on the line for this one. Magee has built up some career momentum recently, but lost the three times he stepped up against Carl Froch, Robin Reid and Vitali Tsypko. Larsen was once a top super middleweight who lost much of his prime to promotional squabbles with notoriously unscrupulous Mogens Palle, but the last time he lost was over six years ago to Sven Ottke.
ARD.de (Germany), 4:15 p.m., Sebastian Sylvester vs. Billy Lyell. Lyell is a perfectly deserving late replacement for Sylvester's original joke opponent, Pablo Navascues. Lyell recently beat John Duddy, but generally doesn't have the talent to consistently compete on a world level. Who knows which fight will be the televised undercard, but see below for a rundown.
TyC Sports (Argentina), 9:00 p.m. Eastern, Hector David Saldivia vs. Ricardo Cano. Saldivia is 32-1, has never left Argentina, and his best win is Dionisio Miranda, but a fringe WBA title is on the line for this one, meaning he may get thrown into the welterweight mix relatively soon (although he's probably a level back from guys like Lujan and Abregu).
For Sports Espanol, 10:00 p.m. Eastern, Jorge Arce vs. Angky Angkota, Eduardo Escobedo vs. Joskan Hernandez. Arce says he'll retire if he can't beat the 23-4 Indonesian Angkota, who doesn't have any good wins over light flyweight. Somehow, this one is sanctioned for an interim WBO title. I could be wrong, but I believe that if Arce wins, he'd be the first man to capture four separate worthless interim titles. Anyway, even if Arce is way past it, he always makes exciting fights, and this one shouldn't be any different. Please note that this one is on Fox Sports Espanol only and will not also be carried on FSN.
Televisa (Mexico), 11:45 p.m. Eastern, Roman Gonzalez vs. Ivan Meneses, Juan Jose Landaeta vs. Francisco Rosas. Chocolatito will be making the third defense of his strawweight title. Former titlists Landaeta and Rosas will square off in a title eliminator.
Elsewhere in the world of boxing...
- On the Sebastian-undercard, Sauerland has stacked the decks with heavyweight prospects. The best of that bunch in my opinion is Kubrat Pulev, a talented Bulgarian who's already beaten Gbenga Olukun (who beat Lamon Brewster) and Zack Page (who's taken the "0" away from lots of decent prospects) only four fights into his career. For his fifth fight, he's taking on former title challenger Matt Skelton, which is a hell of a jump in class. Also on the undercard, Robert Helenius will take on Lamon Brewster. Helenius destroyed Taras Bidenko his last time out and may also be a heavyweight to watch out for. Thirdly, Edmund Gerber will face Rene Dettweiler in another step-up bout of sorts for a heavyweight prospect with less than 10 fights of experience. In addition to all the heavyweight prospects, light heavyweight contender Karo Murat will face Sean Corbin.
- There's a decent little card going on at the Mohegan Sun on Friday. Peter Manfredo Jr. will be taking on Matt Vanda in what looks like an exciting fight on paper. It's also a battle of two guys who look like they wear skirts in the ring rather than boxing trunks, but that's a completely different story. The undercard features a number of undefeated northeastern prospects, including Matt Remillard and Edwin Rodriguez.
- Undefeated Polish heavyweight Andrzej Wawrzyk makes his U.S. debut in a card out at the UIC Pavillion in Chicago on Friday. He'll take on Harvey Jolly. Prospects Don George and Kenny Galarza will also be featured on the card.