By Keith Idec
HBO will unveil a new boxing series Saturday night before its “World Championship Boxing” doubleheader from San Antonio.
The 15-minute debut of “2 Days: Portrait of a Fighter” will feature former WBA lightweight champion Brandon Rios and will air at 9:45 p.m. ET. The series will detail the 48 hours of a boxer’s life before he steps into the ring to fight.
The episode on Rios (29-0-1, 22 KOs) will show what the Oxnard, Calif., fighter went through as he tried to make weight for an eventual 11th-round TKO victory over England’s John Murray (31-2, 18 KOs) on Dec. 3 at Madison Square Garden. Rios weighed in three time for the Murray fight on Dec. 2, but couldn’t get down to the lightweight limit of 135 pounds and was stripped of his WBA title.
The series will be followed immediately by a doubleheader that’ll feature a 12-round main event between WBC middleweight title-holder Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. (44-0-1, 31 KOs) and fellow Mexican Marco Antonio Rubio (53-5-1, 46 KOs). The 12-round, co-featured fight will pit Nonito Donaire (27-1, 18 KOs), of San Leandro, Calif., against Puerto Rico’s Wilfredo Vazquez Jr. (21-1-1, 18 KOs) for the WBO super bantamweight title.
The second episode of “2 Days: Portrait of a Fighter” will feature junior middleweight contender James Kirkland (30-1, 27 KOs). It’ll debut Feb. 25 at 9:45 p.m. ET, immediately preceding a “World Championship Boxing” doubleheader from St. Louis consisting of two 12-rounders — St. Louis’ Devon Alexander (22-1, 13 KOs) against Argentina’s Marcos Maidana (31-2, 28 KOs) and Cincinnati’s Adrien Broner (22-0, 18 KOs) against Eloy Perez (23-0-2, 7 KOs), of Salinas, Calif.
Kirkland, of Austin, Texas, is scheduled to return to the ring March 24, in a 12-round WBC elimination match against Chicago’s Carlos Molina (19-4-2, 6 KOs). HBO will televise that fight from Houston, right before a main event that’ll match Mexico’s Erik Morales (52-7, 36 KOs) against Philadelphia’s Danny Garcia (22-0, 14 KOs) in a 12-rounder for Morales’ WBC 140-pound championship.
Keith Idec covers boxing for The Record and Herald News, of Woodland Park, N.J., and BoxingScene.com.