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Usyk vs Witherspoon, Warrington vs Takoucht, more: Boxing fight times and TV schedule for Oct. 11-12

Oleksandr Usyk makes his heavyweight debut and more this week in boxing.

Oleksandr Usyk and Tony Bellew Public Work Out - National Football Museum Photo by Richard Sellers/PA Images via Getty Images

Friday, Oct. 11

DAZN, 1:30 pm ET, Fabio Turchi vs Tommy McCarthy, Gevorg Khatchikian vs Matteo Signani, Francesco Grandelli vs Reece Bellotti. Pretty standard Matchroom Italy show. Turchi is at least probably the most interesting of the headliners on these things — he’s a 26-year-old cruiserweight with some actual potential upside. Khatchikian-Signani is for the vacant European middleweight title, which Kamil Szeremeta gave up for a spot on this weekend’s GGG undercard.

ESPN+, 3:00 pm ET, Jay Harris vs Paddy Barnes. Wales’ Harris was really sharp last time out against Angel Moreno, a European title-level fighter, and now takes on Belfast’s Paddy Barnes in Barnes’ hometown. Barnes won bronze at Beijing 2008 and London 2012 for Ireland, and was a standout amateur for quite a while. His pro career hasn’t translated so much. He was knocked out by Cristofer Rosales in Aug. 2018, and then lost to club fighter Oscar Mojica in March of this year, but came back in August in Belfast and is determined to give it this last shot. Barnes is a good boxer, but left his best days in the amateurs. That said, don’t totally count him out here. The show will also feature the pro debut of 20-year-old amateur star Paddy Donovan. BLH will have live coverage.

UFC Fight Pass, 9:00 pm ET, Chad Dawson vs Denis Grachev, Cassius Chaney vs Santander Silgado. Chad Dawson. Now that’s a name I’ve not heard in a long time. A long time. Dawson, now 37, was once the top light heavyweight in boxing, but an ill-conceived move down to 168 pounds saw him get manhandled by Andre Ward in 2012, and his career has never really recovered. He returned after a two-year absence in June, beating Quinton Rankin. Here he faces Grachev, who in 2012-13 knocked on the door with a solid effort in defeat against Lucian Bute and a win over Zsolt Erdei, but then lost four straight and has become a journeyman. This is CES’ first of three shows on Fight Pass, the other two going up against Wilder-Ortiz II and Ruiz-Joshua II. BLH will have live coverage.

Saturday, Oct. 12

ESPN+, 3:00 pm ET, Josh Warrington vs Sofiane Takoucht, Zelfa Barrett vs Jordan McCorry, Lyndon Arthur vs Emmanuel Anim. Warrington is defending his IBF featherweight title again, this time against what is, frankly speaking, a softer touch. Boxing has never been and never will be THE BEST FIGHTING THE BEST in every single fight, so I’d say after a run of wins over Lee Selby, Carl Frampton, and Kid Galahad, Warrington can be excused a victory lap of sorts. Even still, you’d like to think it takes more to get a world title shot than a run of eight wins over opponents with a combined incoming record of 95-162-15. Commonwealth titles are on the line for Barrett-McCorry and Arthur-Anim. BLH will have live coverage.

DAZN, 7:00 pm ET, Oleksandr Usyk vs Chazz Witherspoon, Dmitry Bivol vs Lenin Castillo, Jessica McCaskill vs Erica Farias II. Usyk is no longer coming — Usyk is HERE. The former undisputed cruiserweight champion finally returns and makes his move to heavyweight, facing late sub veteran Witherspoon in this main event from Chicago. Witherspoon is replacing Tyrone Spong, who failed a VADA test. Bivol-Castillo is for Bivol’s 175-pound title, and it’s not a very good fight, but here we are. Castillo is a competent fighter, but has never been considered a contender. McCaskill-Farias is a rematch of a fight from just about one year ago at the same venue in Chicago, McCaskill’s hometown. McCaskill is one of the more exciting of the name women’s fighters out there right now. BLH will have live coverage.

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