This weekend isn't the biggest for boxing, but there is one very significant fight and a few others worth noting.
World Junior Flyweight Championship
Ivan Calderon v. Giovani Segura
(Integrated Sports PPV, Saturday, 9pm)
For those who just don't like mixed martial arts enough to even head to a bar or join a friend to see the novelty of James Toney giving Randy Couture a whirl, this fight is a good one. Calderon (32-0-1, 6 KO) and Segura (24-1-1, 20 KO) really couldn't be much different as fighters. They are even more at contrast than Calderon and past rival Rodel Mayol, another powerful, wild slugger at 108 pounds.
Segura is the division's best puncher, probably, and he has youth on his side. Calderon, at 35, has slipped some over the years, but is still one of the elite pure boxers in the game today. "Iron Boy" is really one of the very best 105/108 pounders to ever come down the pike. Three years ago, I would have picked Calderon to make Segura look positively foolish en route to a potential shutout decision victory.
But times change, reflexes slow, and all fighters get old. Calderon has already tested luck a couple of times, and with a recurring cut problem and the fact that he's not quite as good at 108 as he was at 105, combined with the age factor, this becomes much more of a dangerous proposition for the Puerto Rican. Segura doesn't mess around, and he'll have a significant height advantage, even though he's only listed at 5'4". The 5'0" Calderon is used to being smaller than his opponents, but add in Segura's ability to bang and Calderon getting hit more than he used to, and there could be some problems.
I think this might turn out to be a dramatic affair. There's no doubt Calderon has enough left to make Segura look bad and win a wide decision. Segura's skill is rudimentary (for a top five fighter in a division, anyway) and his chances at being the man to take Calderon's "0" are completely tied up in his power. Even the lines have this one tight: Calderon is a -205 bet, while Segura is a +165.
I have no confidence in picking this fight. Part of me is pulling one way, thinking that at 35, Calderon is due to lose. He's skirted past Hugo Cazares twice, and by Rodel Mayol twice, and Mayol is no Cazares. Segura is sort of like Mayol, but better. But then I think about some past Calderon performances, from which he's not too far removed, and I can see him just totally dominating this fight and piling up round after round after round. My gut is going with Segura, but my guts have s**t for brains. Segura TKO-11, with Calderon comfortably ahead on the cards
12 Rounds - Junior Welterweights
Marcos Maidana v. DeMarcus Corley
(TyC Sports [Argentina], Saturday, 10pm)
"Chop-Chop" rules. That's my overall opinion of DeMarcus Corley. He's the sort of fighter I'd love to read a book from, really. He had his own success, winning the WBO 140-pound title back in 2001, but is probably best known for losses to Zab Judah (SD-12, 2003), Floyd Mayweather Jr. (UD-12, 2004) and Miguel Cotto (TKO-5, 2005). Those losses happened in a four-fight span, and starting at the Judah loss, Corley is just 9-12 in his last 21 fights, though it's against some solid competition, and he's been on the short end of some close ones, and was flat robbed on Friday Night Fights in April 2009 against Hector Sanchez.
The last time I saw Corley was against Freddy Hernandez on ShoBox this past February. It was a good little fight through four rounds, but then Hernandez finished it in the fifth:
Corley is not a bad fighter at 36, but he's past his best and after seeing that ... boy, does a fight with Marcos Maidana not suit him. Maidana first made waves when he lost a very close decision to Andriy Kotelnik in February 2009. Four months later, he was brought to the States for the first time to serve as a sacrifice to "Vicious" Victor Ortiz, the smiling Golden Boy Star of the Future. Instead, Ortiz and Maidana waged all-out war, and it was Maidana who came out on top when Ortiz quit 46 seconds into the sixth round. Following that, Maidana went home to Argentina and knocked out William Gonzalez in three, and in March of this year turned out Victor Cayo's lights in an entertaining battle on Boxing After Dark.
There's not a lot to analyze this one. Maidana just punches too damn hard for Corley at this point. Corley may have some early success outboxing Maidana, but the right hand will end it. Maidana KO-5
10 Rounds - Junior Welterweights
Omri Lowther v. Hank Lundy
(ESPN2, Saturday, 10pm)
The first main event for this season-closing Saturday edition of Friday Night Fights was to involve middleweight beast David Lemieux. That was scrapped. Then it was supposed to be Demetrius Andrade against Jhon Berrio. That fell through. Then they had Omri Lowther lined up against Edner Cherry. That fell apart this week. Lucky for the promoters and ESPN, Philly's Hank Lundy stepped into the void on very short notice. Lundy (18-1-1, 10 KO) fought on July 9 on Friday Night Fights, suffering his first loss against John Molina via TKO-11 in a fight Lundy was widely leading on the official cards (98-91 twice, 97-92). So he's looking to get back into the win column fast, which is commendable. Lowther (14-1, 10 KO) is a Georgia native who relocated to Toronto and has never fought in Canada. His last fight was a month ago. This is two hungry young guys looking to make names for themselves still, both have already tasted defeat, and they have plenty to gain with a good performance on TV. Lundy doesn't always fight smart, to put it mildly, and likes to mix it up. If all goes well, it'll at least be a good fight. I like the Philly product to bounce back. Lundy UD-10
(Note: The contracted weight for this was 139 pounds. Lundy missed the weight and has to forfeit 20% of his purse. Also, Cherry was scrapped when he had an issue getting into the United States.)
12 Rounds - Welterweights
Vyacheslav Senchenko v. Charlie Jose Navarro
Senchenko is the reigning WBA titlist. Navarro is a 30-year-old Venezuelan who has mostly feasted on bums since going pro in 2004. Senchenko (30-0, 20 KO) is almost surely just a lot better than Navarro, who really has zero business fighting for a welterweight belt. Senchenko UD-12