By Cliff Rold
Revenge is in the air this week. One man is more likely to get his than the other. So it goes as the boxing wheel of fate spins.
This is one of those weeks where the absence of HBO and Showtime shows indicates to the more casual viewer a week off.
It is not.
This week, the 2010 choice for BoxingScene and Ring Magazine Fight of the Year gets its sequel. It’s said, often, the sequel is never better than the original. Lethal Weapon II, the Empire Strikes Back, and Godfather II all disagree.
They might be the exceptions no matter what they have to say. Yoda be damned.
These are the picks of the week.
Pick II: World Champion Giovanni Segura vs. #1 Ivan Calderon (Saturday, PPV, 9:00 PM EST/6:00 PM PST)
Not even one full year after their first epic battle, the two best Jr. Flyweights in the world lock horns a second time. Those who see this as more epilogue than resumption can be forgiven. The 28-year old Champion Segura (26-1-1, 22 KO), likely in his final appearance at 108 lbs. before a permanent move to Flyweight, went on the road to stop the 36-year old Ivan Calderon (34-1-1, 6 KO) in Calderon’s native Puerto Rico last August. Now, it’s Segura with the home court, Mexicali likely to be rabidly in his favor. For Calderon to turn the tide, he needs the most impressive, most complete performance of his career. It’s a tall order considering the battering he took the first time around. It’s worth a look to see if he can pull it off.
Pick II, Part 2: #9 Eric Morel vs. Martin Castillo (Friday, Telefutura, 11:30 PM EST/PST)
This is the safer bet if one is looking for a rematch piece of revenge. Ironically also featuring a Puerto Rico-Mexico clash, the island should fare better as former Flyweight titlist Morel (43-2, 21 KO) faces the shadow of the Martin Castillo (35-4, 18 KO) who boxed him silly in 2005. Fighters age differently and Morel has aged better than Castillo, winning eight straight since their fight (and his return to the ring from a prison stint for sexual assault). Castillo was a first round knockout victim last July to Jorge Arce and has not fought since. This looks like an “L” but…well, he beat Morel so easy in 2005 it makes one curious to see if he might just have solid in him. If the question isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, ESPN2 will have a solid Friday Night Fights card earlier in the night.
Pick Earth: Lots of Global Action (Saturday, ?)
Many global television networks are making a habit of streaming fights and this is a great week to keep an eye on it. Last week, fans got to see Alexander Dimitrenko-Albert Sosnowski and ESPN3 posted the Dmitry Pirog fight. A classic heavyweight crossroads (#9 Robert Helenius vs. Samuel Peter), two Cruiserweight title fights on separate cards in Poland (#3 Krzysztof Wlodarczyk vs. Francisco Palacios) and Germany (#2 Marco Huck vs. Ran Nakash), a Middleweight eliminator (#10 Hassan N’Dam N’Jikam vs. Giovanni Lorenzo) combine for a wealth of action. Throw in Flyweight titlist Luis Concepcion and this weekend is loaded. YouTube searches should be fun Sunday morning.
For BoxingScene’s latest full divisional ratings, log on to: http://www.boxingscene.com/forums/view.php?pg=boxing-ratings
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