by Cliff Rold
Don’t go thinking it’s over yet.
The hot streak boxing has been on the last few weeks?
It appears well on its way to continuing.
This Saturday, HBO will distribute a show from Macau that has two potential wars. Next Monday, in Japan, there is a tripleheader on tap with at least memorable clashes possible. It’s a good time to be a boxing fan
These are the picks of the week.
Pick It: #1 Brian Viloria vs. #10 at 108 Juan Estrada (Saturday, HBO2, 2 PM EST/PST)
Note the special start time for this rare foray into the Flyweight division on an HBO network. To be precise, this won’t be the normal HBO crew, and is on HBO2, but it will feature a return by the great Larry Merchant. It will also feature the return of the red hot Viloria (32-3, 19 KO), now a unified Flyweight titlist. He is set to defend against a man who made his name on the undercard of Viloria-Tyson Marquez last year. Estrada (22-2, 18 KO) didn’t beat Roman Gonzalez that night but he made a war of it and, if that fight was who Estrada really is, Viloria could have his hands full in Macau. The main event is only part of the deal. In what should be a corker at 130 lbs., titlist Roman Martinez (26-1-2, 16 KO) defends against undefeated Diego Magdaleno (23-0, 9 KO) Chinese Olympian Zou Shiming makes his pro debut as well. This is a can’t miss card.
Pick Deuce: Jonathan Maicelo vs. Rustam Nugaev (Friday, ESPN2, 9 PM EST/6 PM PST)
The Peruvian Lightweight Maicelo (19-0, 11 KO) might or might not get a test from Nugaev (22-6-1, 12 KO). Friday Night Fights has been a little hit and miss this year so we’ll see. Regardless, they’ll surely be reviewing the hell out of Mike Alvarado-Brandon Rios II and that’s all the reason one needs to watch. After all, the Final Four isn’t until Saturday evening and Wrestlemania will still be two days away.
Pick Japan: Tripleheader (Monday, Japan, ?)
This YouTube special technically happens early next week, but it’s close enough to Sunday to make sure it’s highlighted. This could be a sensational card as three WBC beltholders go to scratch. In the main event, Bantamweight titlist Shinsuke Yamanaka (17-0-2, 12 KO) defends against former lineal Flyweight champion Malcolm Tunacao (32-2-3, 20 KO); Tunacao has not lost only once since losing the 112 lb. title in 2001. At Flyweight, current lineal champion Toshiyuki Igarashi (17-1-1, 10 KO) defends against the winner of the 2011 BoxingScene Fight of the Year, former 105 lb. titlist Akira Yaegashi (16-3, 9 KO). Also in action, unlikely Featherweight titlist Gamaliel Diaz (37-9-2, 17 KO) defends against local talent Takashi Miura (24-2-2, 18 KO). Diaz was the first man to defeat Robert Guerrero once upon a time.
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 Rankings Board, the Yahoo Pound for Pound voting panel, and the Boxing Writers Association of America. He can be reached at [email protected]