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Friday night's fights: Fonfara-Cleverly on Spike, Monaghan-George on truTV

Andrzej Fonfara faces Nathan Cleverly in Chicago, with a world title co-feature, and Seanie Monaghan headlines in Brooklyn against Don George tonight on Spike and truTV.

Jordan Hardy/Premier Boxing Champions

A pair of light heavyweight bouts headline TV cards tonight, with a pair of contenders fighting in Chicago and a pair of veteran battlers taking the stage in Brooklyn.

In the PBC on Spike (9 pm EST) main event from the Windy City, local favorite Andrzej Fonfara looks to continue a strong run when he faces former titleholder Nathan Cleverly. This is a fight that seems likely to produce a 2016 challenger for Adonis Stevenson, something that Fonfara badly wants after coming up short in a competitive bout with Stevenson last year.

Fonfara, 27, has won two straight since falling to the lineal champion of the division, beating Doudou Ngumbu and Julio Cesar Chavez Jr, the latter a huge win for for the Warsaw-born fighter. Fonfara didn't just pull an upset or scrape past Chavez, didn't get surprisingly fair scores, he annihilated Chavez and forced him to quit after nine rounds of one-sided action in one of the most dominant performances we've seen this year.

Fonfara (27-3, 16 KO) is now standing firm as one of the more serious contenders out there, and under the PBC/Haymon banner, WBC titleholder Stevenson is the most logical target. The division's other three belts (IBF, WBA, and WBO) are all held by Sergey Kovalev, who is with Main Events and HBO.

Cleverly (29-2, 15 KO) was a bit of a surprise opponent for this fight, as it wasn't expected he would come back to the United States to face a serious opponent on that opponent's home turf. Doing so suggests that the 28-year-old Welshman is hungry and willing to take the risk to get back into the race at 175, after a failed stint as a cruiserweight. Cleverly hasn't beaten anyone legitimate since he was wiped out in four rounds by Sergey Kovalev in 2013, but he is 3-1 since then, his loss a decision defeat to rival Tony Bellew in November 2014.

Most recently, Cleverly beat Czech club fighter Tomas Man in 24 seconds on May 30, so Fonfara is a big leap back into the realm of real fights.

The Spike co-feature is also a good matchup, with two Japanese fighters coming to Chicago to square off for the WBA super flyweight title. Kohei Kono (30-8-1, 13 KO) will be defending against former flyweight and bantamweight titleholder Koki Kameda (33-1, 18 KO). The multitude of PBC cards means that Haymon and his team have had to look around for fighters to showcase, which in itself is a great thing. Getting a Kono-Kameda fight on American TV from Chicago would've seemed near impossible even a year ago. This is, in fact, the first time that two Japanese fighters have fought for a world title on American soil.

Kono, 34, isn't a particularly strong champion. He knocked out Denkaosan Kaovichit in February 2014 to win the vacant title in a fight that had been evenly contested through seven rounds, but his first defense in Tokyo against unheralded Dominican Norberto Jimenez wound up a draw.

But Kameda, 28, has a record that doesn't tell the whole story, either. Though his only loss came in 2010 against the great Pongsaklek Wonjongkam, Kameda has barely survived several of his victories since then, with narrow and debatable wins against David De La Mora, Hugo Ruiz, Panomroonglek Kaiyanghadaogym, and Jung-Oh Son. Rather than continue to defend his WBA bantamweight title, Kameda has made the decision to drop down to 115 pounds and go for a belt in a third weight class, the one he skipped when he hopped from 112 to 118.

This will be the first fight for Kono since New Year's Eve last year, when he drew against Jimenez. But Kameda has had an even longer layoff, not fighting since a November 2014 win over Omar Salado, which also took place in Chicago. Koki and his brothers Tomoki and Daiki are all indefinitely suspended from fighting at home in Japan, where the boxing commission refused to renew their licenses.

Anthony Pietantonio v Sean Monaghan Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images

Over on truTV (10 pm EST), Top Rank's Friday Night Knockout series returns tonight from Aviator Sports Complex in Brooklyn, with local favorite Seanie Monaghan set to take on Chicago's Don George in a 10 round main event.

Monaghan (25-0, 16 KO) is a fighter too old to be a prospect, and he doesn't appear good enough to become a legitimate contender. But Monaghan, 34, can sell a few tickets, is a fun fighter to watch most of the time, and makes for good TV. Despite his undefeated record, he appears very beatable, and that makes him an attractive opponent.

George, nicknamed "Da Bomb," has fought at super middleweight to date, with mixed results. In 2012, he was stopped in the 12th round by Adonis Stevenson in an IBF eliminator, and he's gone 2-1-1 with one no-contest since then. Trying to fight closer to the middleweight division in 2013, he was stopped in six by Caleb Truax in Minneapolis, but came back to beat Troy Lowry 10 months later in a catchweight bout north of 168.

His most recent fight came in August 2014, which was originally ruled a decision win for George over Dyah Davis, in the main event of the ESPN2 card held at U.S. Cellular Field in Chicago. That result was changed to a no-contest when George failed a post-fight drug test.

George turns 31 in a couple of weeks, and this is a chance for him to get his name back in the mix. It's not a top-level fight, but it should be a good mix of styles that provides some action, and that's not a bad TV main event.

The co-feature will see welterweight Brad Solomon (25-0, 9 KO) get back to it, as the 32-year-old fights for the second time this year, taking on Raymond "Tito" Serrano (21-2, 9 KO) in a 10 round fight.

Solomon looked like an intriguing prospect a few years ago, but his career has sort of stalled at the same level it's been at since 2010. In May, he beat Adrian Granados via 10-round split decision on the Mayweather-Pacquiao undercard. Granados is not an easy out for anyone, and that was a tougher matchup than records would indicate.

Serrano, 26, is a Philadelphia fighter who had his prospect bubble burst in 2012, blasted out in five rounds by Karim Mayfield. He lost his next fight eight months later against Emmanuel Taylor, too. But neither of those are bad wins -- both Mayfield and Taylor can fight, and after an extended break, Serrano returned last November and has gone 3-0 since, most recently beating Jeremy Bryan on February 27.

Solomon, a tall welterweight at 5'11", will have a three-inch height advantage on Serrano, and will be the clear favorite in this fight.

Bad Left Hook will have live coverage of both shows tonight.

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