by Cliff Rold
There might not be any single event that stands out as ‘can’t miss’ this weekend, but there is at least plenty of ‘why miss?’ Three interesting cards combat for attention on Saturday night, and all of them will be worth a look for the serious fight fan.
The DVR will need its overtime pay.
Friday also has something for fights fans, even if it isn’t a new edition of Friday Night Fights (ESPN2 is dark this week). The interested can check out Jr. Featherweight Jonathan Oquendo (23-3, 16 KO) and Guillermo Avila (12-1, 9 KO) on Telemundo at 11:35 PM EST/PST.
Or go out for a drink.
Or sleep and get ready for Saturday night.
These are the picks of the week.
Pick It: World Jr. Welterweight Champion Danny Garcia vs. Mauricio Herrera (Saturday, Showtime, 9 PM EST/6 PM PST)
As a follow up to a sensational 2013, it’s just sort of there. As a victory lap payday for a champion who made his reign clear, Garcia (27-0, 16 KO) still managed a challenger capable of an upset against anyone. Herrera (20-3, 7 KO) can be limited but he’s tough and being the first man to defeat Ruslan Provodnikov has to be worth something. The better part of this show looks to come at Heavyweight as we begin to find out just how real a contender Deontay Wilder (30-0, 30 KO) might be. Malik Scott (36-1, 13 KO) might not be a huge power threat, but he’s not a stiff or never was either. Wilder finally has an opponent who can make him better and the progress towards real contention will begin (or end?) here. As a note: some reports have Juan Manuel Lopez-Daniel Ponce De Leon II shifting to the ShoExtreme broadcast, likely with Alvarez-Angulo replayed at the top. Check local listings.
Pick Heavy: #5 Tomasz Adamek vs. Vyacheslav Glazkov (Saturday, NBC Sports, 9 PM EST/6 PM PST)
For anyone without Showtime, this will be the card of choice. Based on action potential, should it be the choice for all? It might be. Adamek (49-2, 29 KO) has had the look for a fighter ready to topple for a while. Is Glazkov (16-0-1, 11 KO) up to the task? His only other serious step up was a draw that should have been a loss to Malik Scott. We’ll know whether there is a real contender possible after Saturday. The support bout looks like fun too as Light Heavyweight Denis Grachev (13-2-1, 8 KO) tries to rebound from a thudding loss to Edwin Rodriguez against rugged Isaac Chilemba (21-2-2, 9 KO). This one should go some rounds.
Pick Solo: #9 Fernando Montiel vs. Cristobal Cruz (Saturday, UniMas, 11 PM EST/PST)
This fight has some intriguing questions. The former three-division and unified Bantamweight titlist Montiel (50-4-2, 38 KO) has been campaigning at 122 lbs. since 2011, going 6-1 since losing to Nonito Donaire. No title shot has emerged yet and now his task is the former Featherweight titlist Cruz (40-15-3, 24 KO) who hasn’t even been at 126 since 2010. The last time there, he lost his IBF belt to Orlando Salido and is 1-3-1 with two stoppage defeats since. Will age and wear make this fight a farce? Will weight be an issue? Or could we see two aging warriors pull out a gem? It’s definitely not the fight of the night on paper, but it should be worth a DVR check later on.
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Cliff Rold is the Managing Editor of BoxingScene, a founding member of the Transnational Boxing Rankings Board, and a member of the Boxing Writers Association of America. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org