There are fights today and tonight, and we here at BLH will have live coverage from Russia, Germany, and Canada. Oh, boy! OH, BOY!
1. World title fights!
Among the bouts headed our way today are a trio of world title fights, two at cruiserweight and one at super middleweight. From Moscow, Krzysztof Wlodarczyk (49-2-1, 35 KO) defends the WBC cruiserweight title against Grigory Drozd (38-1, 27 KO), and Denis Lebedev (25-2, 19 KO) defends the WBA cruiserweight title against Pawel Kolodziej (33-0, 18 KO). And from Germany, Arthur Abraham (40-4, 28 KO) puts his WBO super middleweight title on the line against Paul Smith (35-3, 20 KO).
2. Potential new light heavyweight contender!
Artur Beterbiev (5-0, 5 KO) will look to make something of a name for himself at light heavyweight when he faces former titleholder Tavoris Cloud (24-2, 19 KO) in Montreal. Beterbiev, 29, is a Russian amateur standout who won gold at the 2006 and 2010 European Amateur Championships, and the 2009 World Amateur Championships, plus silver at the 2007 Worlds. He competed at the 2012 London Olympics, too, as a heavyweight, beating American Michael Hunter before losing to eventual gold medalist Oleksandr Usyk.
Beterbiev now lives and fights out of Canada, and is taking a big step up against Cloud (24-2, 19 KO). The 32-year-old Cloud may not be a true world class fighter, having lost two straight and getting a gift in his last win against Gabriel Campillo in 2012. It's been over three years since he last scored a legitimate win, beating Yusaf Mack. But Cloud, even if he's truly as mediocre as he's looked in recent fights (and he almost certainly is), is a far cry from the club fighters that Beterbiev has been feasting on thus far. Or he figures to be, anyway. Maybe he's not. But it's a good matchup, very tough for a sixth pro fight, and I like this trend of decorated amateurs not farting around for 20 or 30 fights against a bunch of guys they know they can beat.
3. Veteran tune-ups!
The Abraham-Smith card will also feature Matthew Macklin (30-5, 20 KO) in action, as he returns in an eight-round fight against Jose Yebes (12-4-1, 5 KO). Exciting, right?
In Canada, Dierry Jean, Kevin Bizier, and Antonin Decarie are all in action. Man. Feel the anticipation.
4. Honestly, I'm really struggling here
This isn't even interesting enough for jokes or anything.