Tonight's edition of ESPN Friday Night Fights is live at 10 p.m. EST on ESPN2 and ESPN3, with a triple-header headlined by a light heavyweight crossroads bout.
In the main event, former middleweight contender Edison Miranda (35-6, 30 KO) is back in the ring in a 10-round bout against late replacement opponent Isaac Chilemba (18-1-1, 9 KO). It's a good fight for Chilemba, a 24-year-old South African with some real potential, who is replacing Yordanis Despaigne in this fight, meant to be a rematch of a controversial FNF main event last year, after Despaigne pulled out about two weeks ago, following a loss in December to Cornelius White.
Miranda, 31, is still a pretty entertaining fighter who talks some good trash, but at light heavyweight he's small and doesn't have the same power he used to have as a middleweight. This was even a problem at super middleweight for the limited Colombian brawler. If Chilemba beats Miranda, it's a step forward. But if Chilemba isn't good enough to turn into a contender, Miranda could let us know tonight, win or lose.
Miranda vs Chilemba is set for 10 rounds.
On the undercard, a pair of lightweight prospects have been matched in an eight-rounder. Cuba's Rances Barthelemy (14-0, 11 KO) will face Hylon Williams Jr (15-0, 3 KO). Barthelemy, 25, isn't one of the hyped Cubans, but as always they get a lot of TV slots because they're inexpensive and have a backstory to talk about. Williams, 21, is a decent prospect but little more -- he has no punching power whatsoever, which will always limit him, and he's not an incredible stylist or anything, either. It's a win-and-come-back fight for both.
The middle bout on the card will be a heavyweight contest between Russia's Magomed Abdusalamov (12-0, 12 KO) and another Cuban, Pedro Rodriguez (8-0, 6 KO). Rodriguez, 31, has thus far beaten a handful of scrubs. Abdusalamov, 30, hasn't faced elite competition either, but he does have a win over Rich Power, whose name sounds better than his fighting looks.
Join us tonight for live coverage of all three bouts from Texas Station in Las Vegas.