By Cliff Rold
There’s nothing wrong with the fights on U.S. television this week.
It’s just that the rest of the world is getting matches that could really rock. Anyone in the States who wants to see Eddie Chambers rematch Derric Rossy (any hands?) won’t have a moment’s pause in doing so.
A prayer for some YouTube action sounds like the best-case scenario for Saturday’s Cruiserweight gem in Germany. Occasionally, ESPN3 picks up some of these cards but no announcement is out there yet. Finger crossing can’t hurt.
These are the picks of the week.
Pick YouTube: #9 Yoan Pablo Hernandez vs. Steve Herelius (Saturday, Germany, ?)
In most other weight classes, this fight might merit mention at the bottom of the weekly picks given the lack of T.V. but, chances are, by Sunday morning the reports will make this a YouTube must. Cruiserweight delivers more often than not action wise and this fight has every bit the promise that the excellent Marco Huck-Denis Lebedev fight delivered on in December. Hernandez (23-1, 12 KO) has won nine in a row since a third round stoppage loss to former titlist Wayne Braithwaite in 2008. Herelius (21-1-1, 12 KO) is unbeaten in eight bouts since a stoppage loss to former Heavyweight titlist challenger Albert Sosnowski. Two fights ago, Herelius posted a career best corner retirement over former titlist Firat Arslan for an interim WBA belt. A showdown for the winner with veteran beltholder Guillermo Jones could be in the offing…though with Jones, one never knows just how long he’ll be taking off. Also on the card, the best Cruiserweight in the world will be in action as IBF titlist Steve Cunningham (23-2, 12 KO) makes what looks like a stay busy defense against Enad Licina (19-2, 10 KO). Look can be deceiving…after all, last week Nobuo Nashiro looked a solid favorite over Tomas Rojas at 115 lbs. It didn’t work out that way.
They fight the fights for a reason.
As an overseas bonus for the super hardcore nuts that even follow the 105 lb. division, don’t let the limited mark of title challenger Kazuto Ioka (6-0, 4 KO) be off putting. Japan’s Ioka has already accelerated into veterans and the Thai WBC titlist Sithsamerchai (35-0-1, 13 KO) might be aging just a bit. This could get interesting.
Pick Sho: Rico Ramos vs. Alejandro Valdez (Friday, Showtime, 11:00 PM EST/PST)
ShoBox goes for the second week in a row with an intriguing step up match for the promising Jr. Featherweight Ramos (18-0, 10 KO). He’s picked off the usual suspects in terms of learned vets. Valdez (23-4-3, 17 KO) is a little bit different. He’s beaten some of the same usual suspects. He’s also been in with some of the very best around the Bantamweight limit, plus a few. Results are mixed. Hozumi Hasegawa blew him out in two but Fernando Montiel was lucky to get out of the fight on a technical draw and, while Nehomar Cermeno stopped him, he made Cermeno pack a lunch to do it. Ramos wants to get to the level of the Hasegawa’s and Montiel’s. If he can get by Valdez, it would be a strong sign that the destination is within sight. The Chambers-Rossy II firecracker will also be on the card for those who wondered, at the end of the first bout, if these two would ever share a ring again.
Pick Memories: Marco Antonio Barrera vs. Jose Arias (Saturday, FSN, 10 PM EST/PST)
The great Barrera (66-7, 43 KO) thinks he has one last run in him. He’s probably wrong. At 37, he’s begging for a bad end, worse than the endings he’s already been provided but ignored. His opponent, the 43-year old Arias (15-1, 9 KO), was 7-0 with 7 knockouts in 2010 after not having taken a fight since 1999. Those stops came against the whole Willie Standup family so don’t read much into it. This is a chance to see what remains of a legend on an otherwise slow weekend and, more than likely, see those remains post a good looking win.
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Cliff Rold is a member of the Ring Magazine Ratings Advisory Panel and the Boxing Writers Association of America. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org