by Cliff Rold
The preeminent ring warrior of his time is in action this week. One of his rising heirs is in battle on the undercard.
What more can one ask for?
Well, it turns out five other shows. With one small pay-per-view and five basic cable shows, fight fans almost have more than they can handle. Amen for DVR. Of the shows available, three stand out from the rest.
These are the picks of the week.
Pick It: Morales vs. Garcia & Molina vs. Kirkland (Saturday, HBO, 10 PM EST/7 PM PST)
There are fighters who can make great fights. There are great fighters. And then there are the rare gems that find a way to fit both roles. Erik Morales (52-7, 36 KO) is one of them. He’s way past his prime and yet here he is in the midst of a career resurgence. He lost last year to Marcos Maidana but came so close to winning, and came up with so much more than could have expected, that it didn’t matter. This time, he has a more skilled younger man in front of him. It might be a tall order and #9 Danny Garcia (22-0, 14 KO) will want the 140 lb. bauble on the line. It’s also still Morales so it’s worth watching. So is the undercard clash at Jr. Middleweight as all-action banger, #7 James Kirkland (30-1, 27 KO) tackles crafty #4 Carlos Molina (19-4-2, 6 KO). Kirkland could steal the show and Morales may have another trick or two left in him. This is an excellent TV card.
Pick DVR: #8 Zab Judah vs. #10 Vernon Paris (Saturday, NBC Sports, 10 PM EST/7 PM PST)
HBO isn’t the only home for significant Jr. Welterweight action this weekend. Fire up the DVR because on the fledgling NBC Sports cable network, the second night of fights is on tap and this could be interesting. Judah (41-7, 28 KO) lost an IBF belt in class last year to Amir Khan and hasn’t fought since. Paris (26-0, 15 KO) has just never fought anyone like the accomplished Judah who, along with Jr. Welter belts is also a former World Welterweight Champion. It’s a step up fight for one and a crossroads challenge for the other. If HBO goes off early, the DVR rewind function should allow it to feel close enough to start time to catch up quick.
Pick Sho: #9 Diego Magadaleno vs. Eduardo Lazcano (Friday, Showtime, 11 PM EST/PST)
Watching Friday Night Fights is a no brainer for the news stuff alone but ShoBox has the more interesting main event. Luckily those shows won’t clash much time-wise. Top-ten Jr. Lightweight Magdaleno (21-0, 7 KO) is getting closer to chances to be a real player in class. Lazcano (24-2, 11 KO) has never been stopped and Magdaleno isn’t a huge banger. That could mean rounds and some good one’s before night’s end.
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 email@example.com