Tuesday, June 16
ESPN, 8:00 pm ET, Joshua Greer Jr vs Mike Plania, Giovani Santillan vs Antonio DeMarco. The Top Rank schedule has some better matchups as it goes on in the coming weeks (I like both of next week’s main events), but I also think Greer-Plania has some quiet potential, as well as some upset potential. Greer is very fast and very flawed, while Plania’s only loss came in 2018 against Juan Carlos Payano, a good fighter and former titlist. Santillan is old for a prospect at 28, but he’s an unbeaten 147-pound southpaw. DeMarco still has enough fire in him to compete with decent fighters, and if Santillan can’t go, DeMarco will let us know. Undercard features Bobirzhan Mominov, Nikoloz Sekhniashvili, and Hector Perez. BLH will have live coverage.
Thursday, June 18
ESPN, 8:00 pm ET, Jose Pedraza vs Mikkel LesPierre, Gabriel Flores Jr vs Josec Ruiz. Pedraza is a former titleholder at 130 and 135, a skilled fighter but maybe pushing it fighting at 140, where he lost clearly in his debut against Jose Zepeda. But Zepeda’s also a good fighter. LesPierre really only has one notable fight, a shutout-level loss to Maurice Hooker in Mar. 2019, when Hooker had barely been able to make weight and LesPierre was unable to do anything with him anyway. Flores is a 20-year-old ticket seller from Stockton, California; Top Rank like him a lot, but I think the jury’s a bit out on his upside still. Josec Ruiz has a pretty enough record to appear to be a step up, but it’s also a totally empty record. The real money on this show might be prospect David Kaminsky taking on Clay Collard in a six-round super middleweight fight. Kaminsky is 19, talented, and raw, and MMA/boxing crossover fighter Collard just smashed a guy like that (Raymond Guajardo) in February. Collard comes to fight these kids, that’s for sure. BLH will have live coverage.
Saturday, June 20
ESPN, 11:00 pm ET, Emanuel Navarrete vs Uriel Lopez. [to the tune of “Alouette, Gentille Alouette”] ♫ Navarrete, Emanuel Navarrete, Navarrete fighting another scrub ♫ If you thought Navarrete’s title defenses had been weak, wait ‘til you see who he gets in a non-title fight! Uriel Lopez is a club fighter with a record of 13-13-1 (6 KO), and has lost three straight fights, one to Jeo Santisima, whom Navarrete dominated last time out in February. I actually really do like Navarrete, but post-rematch with Dogboe this has been an all-time “kid gloves” title reign, and I’m not going to be part of the group excusing it with “But he stays busy! OLD SCHOOL!!!” because I don’t have a hard-on for an era of boxing I never lived through and insist on believing was all great all the time. I’m also going to be honest: this is such an awful fight that if I have something better to do on Saturday, I’m not doing live coverage, and I’m not making Wil or Patrick do it, either. This now sets me up to expose myself for having nothing better to do on Saturday when I wind up here. BLH might have live coverage.