by Cliff Rold
It hasn’t been as globally hyped, as anticipated, and yet it may well be what Wladimir Klitschko-David Haye never turned to be.
This weekend’s outstanding Heavyweight showdown should also be a fight. Maybe it won’t be a classic, but at some point the man who won genuinely great fights at Light Heavyweight (against Paul Briggs) and Cruiserweight (Steve Cunningham) is going to engage to try and win the WBC Heavyweight strap. In front of a stadium of his countryman in Poland, would anyone expect less?
Can we expect more?
These are the picks of the week.
Pick It: #1 Vitali Klitschko vs. #2 Tomasz Adamek (Saturday, HBO, 4:45 PM EST/1:45 PM PST)
Klitschko (42-2, 39 KO) is the bigger man. He’ll probably, even at age 40, be the better man. However, if he’s lost the step he’s appeared to recently, if Adamek (44-1, 28 KO) can use his legs and straight shots to get in and out all night….
The ‘if’ is pretty damn good here, and the crowd is a bonus. Poland is going to be live, wild, and firmly in Adamek’s corner. Vitali’s willingness to travel is good business but, also, a nice hearkening back to when real champions hit the road. Ok, so Vitali isn’t the real champion, not with big brother holding down the legitimate throne. It’s close enough in this case to skip the semantics.
This one is worth looking forward to. Note the early start time though. One wouldn’t want to miss it even if…
Pick HBO Again: #2 Yuriorkis Gamboa vs. #8 Daniel Ponce De Leon (Saturday, HBO, 10:30 PM EST/PST)
…HBO will provide two viewing opportunities on Saturday. Daytime is for the live broadcast. This late starting show will be main evented by Featherweights Gamboa (20-0, 16 KO) and De Leon (41-3, 34 KO). It’s hard to get the image of De Leon getting rolled by Juan Manuel Lopez out of the mind’s eye for this one, no matter his punching reputation or Gamboa’s penchant for getting punched. Some are looking forward to it and Gamboa is among the most electric performers in the game. That’s good enough, and this should provide a spectacular finish at some point.
Pick Something: Three Show Friday (Telefutura, ShoBox, Telemundo)
It’s hard to separate which show is most must-see on Friday so rather than delve into the who, let’s focus on the how. ShoBox starts at 11, Telefutura at 11:30, Telemundo at 11:35. Obviously, the DVR can tape one, leaving a live run. Here’s the easiest way to pull it off. Pick a Spanish broadcast to go live with, leaving ShoBox for later. Why? ShoBox plays again on Showtime Extreme at 2:00 AM, so that can be watched after Telefutura or, in case of sleep, allows for a double feature with Frosted Flakes Saturday morning.
Back in seven.
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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