After a few weeks off from having any major fights, we get....essentially another week off. On the bright side, this year's season of Friday Night Fights is starting. On the downside, what promised to be a good fight between Robert Stieglitz and Edison Miranda has been relegated to sideshow status, and there really ain't much else going on.
Friday, January 8
TyC Sports (Argentina), 6:00 p.m. Eastern, Sergio Javier Escobar vs. Miguel Leonardo Caceres, Matias Ezequiel Franco vs. Valentin Antonio Ochoa.
ESPN2, 10:00 p.m. Eastern, Roman Karmazin vs. Dionisio Miranda, Art Hovhannesyan vs. Freddie Norwood. Karmazin and Miranda will face off in an eliminator for the belt held by Sebastian Sylvester. This might be Karmazin's last shot. His career has been pretty badly mismanaged, and he's always been very avoided due to his combination of lack of name recognition together with the fact that he's a dangerous fighter. Karmazin is no spring chicken, and his punch resistance seems to have dropped, so Miranda does have the proverbial puncher's chance. Miranda was last seen getting knocked out by Giovanni Lorenzo in another title eliminator, so he wins a fight against someone who is 2-19 and then gets another eliminator shot. That makes sense. Hovhannesyan is another Armenian prospect out of Glendale who's making his big fight debut. Norwood twice lost to Johnnie Edwards after a lengthy hiatus, but last convincingly beat rugged Jose Celaya. Bad Left Hook will be providing live round-by-round coverage of this fight.
Saturday, January 9
ZDF (Germany), 4:00 p.m. Eastern, Robert Stieglitz vs. Ruben Acosta, Manuel Charr vs. Owen Beck, Ina Menzer vs. Ramona Kuehne. What was once a promising first title defense for Stieglitz is now a joke defense and a gimme victory. Stieglitz is no great shakes, but Acosta is 0-2-1 against the recognizable names on his resume, including losses to Anthony Mundine and Karoly Balzsay and a draw with frequent knockout victim Pablo Daniel Zamora Nievas. Menzer-Kuehne matches up two undefeated womens titlists. If Roman "Made in Hell" Karmazin has one of the best boxing nicknames out there, Owen "What the Heck" Beck has one of the worst, but other than that, neither he nor Charr is worth much of a mention.
Monday, January 11
Fox Sports PPV (Australia), 3:00 a.m. Eastern, Anthony Mundine vs. Robert Medley. Initially, this was for the relatively worthless IBO light middleweight belt, but then Mundine unsurprisingly couldn't make weight, unsurprisingly blamed the IBO, and unsurprisingly changed this to a middleweight fight for a completely worthless trinket. Unsurprisingly, Medley doesn't seem have a pulse, which makes him a typical Mundine opponent. He's a welterweight whose two losses came to Isaac Hlathswayo.
TV Tokyo (Japan), 6:00 a.m. Eastern, Juan Carlos Salgado vs. Takashi Uchiyama, Poonsawat Kratingdaenggym vs. Satoshi Hosono. Unfortunately, easily the best card this weekend is also one of the least accessible. Salgado makes his first defense after his surprising knockout victory over Jorge Linares. Uchiyama is a four-time national amateur champion who has an undefeated record, but whose best win comes over an old Nedal Hussein. While I'm sure Teiken has some options over Salgado, I'm sure they'd love to get the belt back into one of their own fighter's hands. Poonsawat has been a top fighter for a long time now, but really made the world take notice when he obliterated Bernard Dunne to take an interim title. Hosono is relatively untested, but also has an undefeated record and beat former title challenger Hiroyuki Enoki in his last fight. Bad Left Hook will try to have round-by-round coverage of this card.
Elsewhere in the world of boxing....
- Anyone remember Chalie Zelenoff, the message board warrior who posted Youtube videos of himself calling out every person known to man, poorly "sparring" and getting beaten up by a heavy bag? Well, when he finally got in the ring, he was beaten (really, disqualified for continuously spitting out his mouthpiece) by "Kid Thunder" Andrew Hartley. Hartley is now 2-16 with 15 losses by knockout, but he has a rematch scheduled with Zelenoff. Anyway, tonight, Hartley will face Jason Varnell in what I guess could be called a tune-up fight. Yes, it's really that slow of a week for fights.
- As per usual, the Universum card is loaded up with names. Denis Boytsov takes on light touch Kevin Montiy in what appears to be a stay busy fight. Khoren Gevor will try to get back on the winning track against recent Saul Alvarez and Hassan N'Dam N'Jikam victim Jeferson Luis Goncalo. Prospects Sebastian Koeber, Mateusz Masternak and Christian Hammer all take on light touches.
- In Washington, David Torres will take on Raymundo Beltran in what could be an entertaining scrap. Each fighter recently lost to a more prominent Diaz (Torres to Julio Diaz, Beltran to Ameth Diaz), so this is a bounceback fight of sorts. Staying busy against cream puffs, George "Monk" Foreman III will fight on the undercard.