Cinco de Mayo is this week, and for the first time I can remember, there isn't a big Mexican fight card on Cinco de Mayo itself this year.
Thursday, May 6
Orange Sport (France), 5:30 p.m. Eastern, Jean Marc Mormeck vs. Fres Oquendo. Mormeck says that if he wins the fight, he will put together a big offer for a rematch with David Haye.
Friday, May 7
Sky Sports (UK), 5:00 p.m. Eastern, John Murray vs. Gary Buckland, Prince Arron vs. Max Maxwell. 28-0 Murray is putting his British lightweight title on the line against 16-1 Buckland. More significantly, however, this will be for the vacant European title, which should put the winner in line for a title shot. Murray has cleaned out the U.K. lightweight scene in surprisingly easy fashion. Arron is coming off a victory of the junior middleweight Prizefighter tournament, but at 6'3", he's probably going to campaign at middleweight long-term. It feels like he's been around a long time, as he's already suffered losses to John Duddy and Anthony Small, but in reality, he's only 22 years old and is still growing into his body, so he might actually be a prospect. In 17 wins, he's only scored one stoppage, but it seems like he's finally learned how to throw a punch, so hopefully he'll be able to increase that KO rate. Bad Left Hook will have live round by round coverage of this card.
ESPN2, 9:00 p.m. Eastern, Yordanis Despaigne vs. Richard Hall, Seth Mitchell vs. Johnnie White. Antonio Escalante was supposed to fight in the main event, but that fight has been cancelled due to a training injury, meaning we get a pretty darn weak card in the return of Friday Night Fights. There isn't even a prospect of consequence fighting on the undercard. Despaigne is a relatively exciting former Cuban Olympian, but at 30 years old, he needs to step up very quickly. This fight against former title challenger Hall is a step in the right direction, thought Hall has only fought once in the past three years.
Telefutura, 11:30 p.m. Eastern, Danny Garcia vs. Christopher Fernandez. The second installment of the revived Tecate Solo Boxeo features "Swift" Danny Garcia, a Philly junior welterweight prospect signed with Golden Boy. His last time out, he struggled with tricky Brit Ashley Theophane, so they're taking a step back with him and pairing him up with Fernandez, who's lost 5 of his last 8 fights, including stay warm bouts for Paulie Malignaggi and Devon Alexander. A number of okay prospects, including Karl Dargan, Latif Mundy and Joey Dawjeko, are featured on the undercard, so expect to see one or a number of them fighting in the supporting bouts.
Saturday, May 8
Kansai TV (Japan), 5:00 a.m. Eastern, Nobuo Nashiro vs. Hugo Cazares II. The first fight between the two about six months ago ended in a draw, and was supposed to have been a good, scrappy fight. Supposedly, the scoring was fair and could have ended up two points in either direction from a draw. This is for Nashiro's super flyweight title. Bad Left Hook will attempt to have live round by round coverage of this card.
Top Rank PPV and TV Azteca (Mexico), 9:00 p.m. Eastern ($39.95), Antonio Margarito vs. Roberto Garcia, Jorge Solis vs. Mario Santiago, Mikey Garcia vs. Juan Carlos Martinez, Urbano Antillon vs. Rene Gonzalez. First off, let me just say that I think it's shameful that Margarito's first fight back from suspension will be on pay per view when Bob Arum has a weekly free television show on Fox Sports. Margarito will need to earn my respect back before I'm willing to pay to see him fight. On top of that, since this is going head to head with a very good UFC card, a lot of cable providers probably won't be carrying the card at all. All that said, the rest of the card might be worth the price of admission on its own, as it's packed with decent fights between Mexican sluggers. Garcia is supposed to be a relatively easy fight for Margarito to bounce back with after a long suspension, and is Margarito's first fight in a long time at 154. Garcia is 28-2 and both of his losses were close, so we'll see if this is another in a recent string of miscalculations by the Top Rank matchmakers. Solis vs. Santiago is a solid matchup between exciting fighters, albeit one Solis should win. Mikey Garcia is one of the better looking prospects out there at the moment, although Martinez isn't someone who should challenge him too much, but it's not a bad fight for a late replacement. Antillon faces 27-1-1 but untested Gonzalez in a title eliminator. If you live near the Mexican border, you can catch this one for free on TV Azteca.
NESportsTV.com, 8:00 p.m. Eastern ($8.00), Billy Lyell vs. Martinus Clay. Youngstown journeyman Lyell is coming off a title shot against Sebastian Sylvester, preceded by a big upset win over John Duddy.
HBO, 9:45 p.m. Eastern, Paul Williams vs. Kermit Cintron. Well, we didn't get Williams vs. Pavlik (and I doubt we will for a while now), but we get the next best thing in Williams vs. Cintron. Williams has faced only one orthodox fighter in his last six fights, so we'll see if that throws him off his game at all. Cintron is sitting on his mandatory to rematch Sergio Martinez, against whom he got a gift draw, but he looked the best in his career in dismantling Anfredo Angulo. Rather than showing a pretty good undercard fight between Martin Honorio and Argenis Mendez, this one will lead off with a replay of Mayweather-Mosley. If you already saw it once and don't want to see it again, then tune in around 10:45 to catch the main event. Bad Left Hook will have live round by round coverage of this card.
Televisa (Mexico), 10 p.m. Eastern, Dante Jardon vs. Orlen Padilla. Jardon's nickname is "Crazy", so I'm guessing he's probably fun to watch if nothing else. This one's for a minor super featherweight trinket.
Sunday, May 9
TBS (Japan), 1:50 a.m. Eastern, Daisuke Naito vs. Liempetch Sor Veerapol. This is Naito's first fight back since losing his title to Koki Kameda. The TBS website notes that in some areas, the fight will be shown at 1:50 p.m. Japan time, or 11:50 p.m. Eastern time on Saturday.
Elsewhere in the world of boxing...
- On Friday night, a significant women's card will be taking place. Melissa Hernandez and Gwendolyn O'Neill will be fighting in separate title bouts, and not particularly out of place on a card where women are headlining, Hector Camacho Jr. will be facing off with Denny Daulton.
- Also taking smaller fights this weekend - Deon Elam, Cosme Rivera, Grzegorz Proska, Derrick Findley, Peter Okhello, Byron Mitchell and Mike Dallas Jr.