Friday, January 28
PPV, 6:00 pm ET, Joahnys Argilagos vs Michell Banquez. A Warriors Boxing show from Florida, $15 on FITE TV. Argilagos is a talented Cuban bantamweight but not a blue chip guy or anything; he had some trouble a couple fights ago, not that it means the world, but it is the sort of thing that happens if you’re not a top-top flight prospect. He did won two World Championships as an amateur in 2015 and 2017, and bronze at the 2016 Olympics. He can box, but it remains to be seen what his ceiling is. Banquez is a once-beaten Venezuelan with a mostly dead empty record.
Saturday, January 29
ESPN+, 5:55 pm ET, Conceicao vs Martinez prelims.
PPV, 8:00 pm ET, Ilunga Junior Makabu vs Thabiso Mchunu 2, Trevor Bryan vs Jonathan Guidry. This is available at FITE TV for $50. Normally we might do live coverage, but here’s the truth of it: There is very little interest (despite it being Don King’s “Return to Greatness”) in this show and we’re short-staffed on Saturday. So when I says to Wil, I says, “Hey, you gotta get the live coverage,” I’m not also gonna make him pay $50 to talk to himself for something no one else will watch. There’s an ESPN show at least the diehards will tune in for. That is the long and the short of it all. Makabu-Mchunu is a good fight, but the WBA continuing to recognize Bryan as “world heavyweight champion” is so immensely pathetic; this fight with Guidry is a one-star fight on BoxRec’s listings, so a full star worse than Argilagos-Banquez.
ESPN and ESPN+, 10:00 pm ET, Robson Conceicao vs Xavier Martinez. A good main event, a step-up fight for Martinez against Conceicao, who was competitive against Oscar Valdez (at the very least) but has “fought down” to his level of competition at other times. Martinez is a fine prospect, 24 and it’s time for him to take a shot, and this is the first fight on his new Top Rank deal after coming up in the PBC ranks. Bad Left Hook will have live coverage.