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Boxing Breakfast: Froch-Johnson vs Zbik-Chavez This Saturday

Mikkel Kessler and Carl Froch will both be on Showtime this Saturday. (Photo by John Gichigi/Getty Images)
Mikkel Kessler and Carl Froch will both be on Showtime this Saturday. (Photo by John Gichigi/Getty Images)
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Scott Christ is the managing editor of Bad Left Hook and has been covering boxing for SB Nation since 2006.

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HBO, Showtime Both Airing Saturday Night

Boxing fans will once again have the displeasure of overlapping major cards this Saturday night, with Showtime and HBO both airing live.

On Showtime, Carl Froch and Glen Johnson meet in the semifinals of the Super Six World Boxing Classic. That show starts at 9 p.m. EDT, but Froch vs Johnson will have to wait for the tape delay of Mikkel Kessler's comeback fight against Mehdi Bouadla to finish.

On HBO, Julio Cesar Chavez Jr makes his HBO debut against Sebastian Zbik in the main event, with a co-feature of Mikey Garcia vs Miguel Beltran Jr, starting at 10 p.m. EDT.

Now the good news is that boxing fans will likely be able to see both main events, which the networks have gotten better about the last couple of years. But those who want to see the best fight of the night (Froch vs Johnson, of course) will have to sacrifice seeing Garcia, an exciting featherweight prospect/contender, in what should also be a good fight. The Kessler fight is only slightly relevant, and Showtime is only picking up the fight so that they can showcase Kessler's return for a fight later this year with Lucian Bute, or at least that's the idea. The two super middleweight stars publicly agreed to fight one another back in March, when Kessler attended Bute's fight in Montreal with Brian Magee. Bute returns with another stay-busy defense against Jean Paul Mendy on July 9, and Showtime will air highlights of that one, too.

As for the HBO show, expect that to easily win the ratings "battle" for the night. It's not nearly as good a fight as the Showtime main event, but Chavez is hugely popular and could turn into quite a ratings draw, at least for a short while. Most figure he'll be exposed sooner than later, but Zbik may not be good enough to do it, and the win would net Chavez a belt at 160 pounds, making for a possible fall showdown with Miguel Cotto, which would likely come on pay-per-view so that Top Rank could take advantage of the Chavez cash cow against an opponent who can also sell a few PPVs.

Obviously, our focus for the week will be on Froch vs Johnson, but we'll have plenty on the HBO show, too, and chances are we'll have live coverage of both main events on Saturday. Or hopefully, anyway. It's not that I'd regret missing Zbik vs Chavez live so much as, you know, I like watching boxing, so I'd rather see both.

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