ESPN Friday Night Fights will return to the airwaves in January, as it does every year, and while there are only two shows close to set at the moment, hey, at least there's two. That's more than zero, and also more than one.
On January 9 from the Chumash Casino in Santa Ynez, California, Gary Shaw has a show that will be headlined by Darleys Perez (31-1, 20 KO) taking on Jonathan Maicelo (21-1, 12 KO) for the interim WBA lightweight title, which Perez won earlier this year. The WBA has no reason to have an interim title, but they consistently have had one for years in this division, so let's all just go with it, because why not? Who cares? I don't care. Do you care? You do? Oh. Weird.
On January 16, Artie Pellulo has a show from the increasingly popular Turning Stone Resort & Casino in Verona, New York, which has become the Chumash of the East. Remember Boxcino? The lightweight and middleweight tournaments we all had fun with? Well the winners will be back on this show. They haven't fought since the May tournament finals.
Petr Petrov (35-4-2, 17 KO) will be in a 10-round lightweight fight. Juan Carlos Burgos was at one point thought to be his opponent, but Burgos is out. Middleweight Boxcino king Willie Monroe Jr (18-1, 6 KO) will face the well-known Bryan Vera (23-8, 14 KO), who hasn't had a sanctioned boxing match since March, when he lost a rematch to Julio Cesar Chavez Jr on HBO, in what was the most-watched fight of the year on American soil. Vera was last seen in that bareknuckle boxing thing, losing to Gabe Rosado.