by Cliff Rold
Headgears, bad refereeing, corrupt scoring, and very few knockouts…
…We bid you adieu.
Love it or hate it, Olympic boxing makes its presence known every four years and dominates the landscape for the two weeks it goes on. Then it’s over and we wait to see who will continue on unpaid and who will make their mark in the pro ranks. One thing is certain: if Vasyl Lomachenko can take a shot, he’s got a shot to be the equivalent of his countrymen then Klitschko’s in the lower weights.
They emerged as the literal best in the world at Heavyweight. Lomachenko may be good enough to make Ukraine the home of the mythical pound-for-pound honors. That’s down the road. This week, boxing fans (were going to) get a bombs away season finale on ESPN2. That’s been replaced by one of the game’s trickiest men. Some more action scheduled for more than nine minutes will join them.
These are the picks of the week.
Pick It: Don George and Carlos Molina (Friday, ESPN2, 10 PM EST/7 PM PST)
The heavy hitting of the NFL marks the end of ESPN2’s Friday Night Fights each year. It was coincidence that they were to end with some heavy hitting of their own but an injury to Adonis Stevenson has left Super Middleweight Don George (22-2-1, 19 KO) to face Dionisio Miranda. Assuming it is now elevated to the main event, the unlucky Carlos Molina (19-5-2, 6 KO) bounces back from a schooling of James Kirkland that ended in a hasty disqualification loss. Damian Frias (19-4-1, 10 KO) is his comeback foe. Oh, and Teddy Atlas will surely wax poetic about his Olympic experience.
Pick If Available: #3 Juan Carlos Salgado vs. Jonathan Barros (Saturday, Azteca, 10 PM EST/PST)
Getting the advertised action on Azteca can be a crapshoot. One never knows. If it comes through here, it will be worth a look. Salgado (25-1-1, 16 KO), a Jr. Lightweight titlist, is a fun fighter to watch, hitting and getting hit. Barros (34-2-1, 18 KO) has a split in two fights with Celestino Caballero, even if his good day was a little dubious scoring wise. This is a solid scrap and the winner will be obligated to face a mandatory from the talented and sometimes underachieving Argenis Mendez. If Mendez ever puts it all together, he could become a force at 130.
Pick Solo: Breidis Prescott vs. Francisco Figueroa (Saturday, Telefutura, 11 PM EST/PST)
The man who first beat Khan is what Prescott (25-4, 20 KO) remains known as, but if there were a second recall it would be his losing effort last year to Mike Alvarado. Their terrific war was a credit to both men. Prescott fell short, stopped in ten, and his rebuilding continues with his second start since. He takes a step back in the direction of stiff competition with Figueroa (20-4-1, 13 KO) and we get a chance to see how well he is recovering. In a light week, it will do.
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 protected]