by Cliff Rold
The 2013 boxing season is underway, but so far it’s been mostly toes in the water. The coming weekend presents the first big wave with a potentially high quality, high knockout night on HBO. Only one of the three fights look likes a walk in the park.
The man taking the walk is being positioned for a run. There’s nothing wrong with that.
And HBO isn’t the only quality show set to go on Saturday.
These are the picks of the week.
Pick It: HBO Tripleheader (Saturday, HBO, 9:45 PM EST/PST)
If any of these fights go the distance, it would be an accomplishment all its own. All three matches are just that open to an early finish. The only fight with the look of the foregone conclusion is the Middleweight action on tap. #2 Gennady Golovkin (24-0, 21 KO) put his WBA belt up against #10 Jr. Middleweight Gabriel Rosado (21-5, 13 KO). Rosado has been on a roll, but he hasn’t faced anything like Golovkin. At Jr. Lightweight, #3 Rocky Martinez (26-1-1, 16 KO) puts his WBO belt up against Juan Carlos Burgos (30-1, 20 KO). Has Martinez ever been in a bad fight? Then we have the main event. #2 Orlando Salido (39-11-2, 27 KO) is like a Featherweight Glen Johnson, seemingly peaking after years of ups and downs. His WBO belt is on the line against a young tiger many see as the heir apparent in the division, #7 Mikey Garcia (30-0, 26 KO). This is a big step up for Garcia who has just begun to flirt with upper echelon competition. His bloodlines indicate championship potential. Will the punches of Salido indicate something else? This is an excellent card and the easy pick of the week.
Pick DVR: #2 Gabriel Campillo vs. Sergey Kovalev (Saturday, NBC Sports, 9 PM EST/6 PM PST)
U.S. West Coast fans without access to East Coast HBO will not have to choose. For those who do, best to DVR this show. The undercard will kick off before HBO. The main will not and this could be a very good fight. Campillo (21-4-1, 8 KO), the former WBA Light Heavyweight titlist, suffered arguably the worst decision of 2012 in losing to Tavoris Cloud in a shot at the IBF belt. After an injury delay, he’s finally back and time isn’t on his side. At 34, he can’t afford any more setbacks real or manufactured. Kovalev (19-0-1, 17 KO) is making a big step up but he’s shown some crack so far and Campillo can be hurt…if he can be touched. The Light Heavyweight division has some interesting action coming together. The winner of this one will be a factor as the year rolls on.
Pick More DVR: #10 Sergio Thompson vs. Moises Castro (Saturday, Fox Deportes, 10 PM EST/PST)
Well behind the other two shows on Saturday night, this is still worth a record and review with Sunday cereal. Thompson (25-2, 23 KO) flies a little under the radar but this could be a big year for the big punching Jr. Lightweight. His competition could be better; Castro (29-19-4, 13 KO) isn’t anything to get hyped about. But eleven wins in a row, ten by knockout, include a second round stop of Jorge Linares. Thompson is worth keeping an eye on.
Back in seven.
For BoxingScene’s latest full divisional ratings, log on to: http://www.boxingscene.com/forums/view.php?pg=boxing-ratings
Cliff Rold is the Managing Editor of BoxingScene and a member of the Transnational Boxing Ratings Board, the Yahoo Pound for Pound voting panel, and the Boxing Writers Association of America. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org