Advertisement
Advertisement

BoxingScene.com's Television Picks of The Week

By Cliff Rold

So, the old man still has it against the right foes.

We already knew that.  It was still something to see last week.  Bernard Hopkins’s knockdown of Beibut Shumenov in round eleven was a memorable moment to punctuate the evening.  Will we get some proper punctuation this weekend?  Note, there will be a Thursday night edition of Friday Night Fights this week (Josesito Lopez-Aron Martinez, 9 PM EST/6 PM PST) as well as a Unimas show late on Saturday (Jose Zepdea-Rob Frankel, 11 PM EST/PST).  Beyond those two shows…

These are the picks of the week.

Pick It: World Champion Wladimir Klitschko vs. Alex Leapai (Saturday, ESPN, 5 PM EST/2 PM PST)

After the steaming turd that was his successful defense against Alexander Povetkin, why would a fight against a fighter who really has no business with a mandatory slot be the pick of the week?  It’s all about network location.  Over the next two weeks, ESPN is investing in the Heavyweight division and increasing their overall investment in boxing by doing so.  If the ratings are strong, we can hope for more.  HBO and Showtime are fine but the audience mass available through ESPN is substantially better.  It’s the next best thing to network TV.  If ESPN can get some momentum going in what is classically the easiest division to mainstream, boxing can only benefit.  Combine that with this: Klitschko (61-3, 51 KO) is sometimes more watchable against the hapless.  Leapai (30-4-2, 24 KO) may or may not fit that description.  It certainly looks that way on paper. 

Pick Fly: #1 Juan Francisco Estrada vs. Richie Mepranum (Saturday, Azteca America, 10 PM EST/PST)

In 2013, Estrada (25-2, 18 KO) won two of the major titles at Flyweight with an excellent upset of Brian Viloria.  He followed with an exciting, validating title defense against legitimate contender Milan Melindo.  Both of those bouts stole the show on HBO2 shows from Macau.  His reward?  It isn’t an upgrade to HBO prime time.  The urge is typically not to recommend Azteca shows because one never knows whose Azteca America listings will actually show frigging fights.  Estrada vs. Mepranum (27-3-1, 6 KO) might air in your locale.  If it does, watch it.  Estrada is one of the best Mexican fighters going today.  He’s also a standout in arguably the most exciting, maybe even best period, weight class in boxing today.

Pick Showtime: Tripleheader (Saturday, Showtime, 9:30 PM EST/PST)

So this is one of those cards that everyone seems ready to drown in antipathy.  In a year where the two flagship networks are struggling to provide subscribers the quality they should expect, we have three fights with prohibitive favorites in every bout.  Welterweight Keith Thurman (22-0, 20 KO) faces former Lightweight titlist Julio Diaz (40-9-1, 25 KO).  Lucas Matthysse (34-3, 32 KO) returns from a loss to Danny Garcia against John Molina (27-3, 22 KO).  Rising Lightweight Omar Figueroa (22-0-1, 17 KO) tackles Jerry Belmontes (19-3, 5 KO).  None of the men in position of opponent are so terrible as to be without any chances, but those chances are mighty slim.  This seems like a night designed to make the desired victors come out looking like beasts.  We’ll see how it goes.

We’ll find out amidst what is really a pre-fight show for Saturday.  

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, a founding member of the Transnational Boxing Rankings Board, and a member of the Boxing Writers Association of America.  He can be reached at [email protected]

User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Post a Comment/View More User Comments (0)
Top Headlines Daily Bread Mailbag: Kovalev-Ward, Canelo-GGG, Crawford, More David Price is Hungry To Get His Hands on Anthony Joshua Hearn: If Haymon Brings Sack of Money - Burns vs. Broner in Vegas Andre Berto Targets Danny Garcia: I Want To Make a Statement! "Fighting Words" - The Revolving Door and Boxing's Changing Faces Mayweather Continues To Push a McGregor PPV With Poster Gervonta Davis is Set To Face Mario Rorozco on Barthelemy-Bey Photos: Orlando Salido Arrives in LA For Francisco Vargas War Mosley Tabs Porter Over Thurman: He Has Better Chin, Endurance Hearn: Badou Jack-Callum Smith is The Fight We're Pushing For Mares: Don't Rule Out Possibility of Cuellar Getting Knocked Out! Deontay Wilder's Handlers Reach Out To Alexander Ustinov Kosei Tanaka Stops Rene Patilano in Six Rounds in Nagoya, Japan Video: Shane Mosley Jr. Reflects on Win, The Future, More Tony Bellew: I'll Face That Bitch David Haye on That Joker Channel! Denis Shafikov, Joel Diaz Jr. To See Action on June 11 in El Monte Tony Bellew Gets Off The Deck, Brutal KO of Makabu For WBC Belt Video: David Avanesyan, Trainer Talk Win Over Shane Mosley Stephen Smith, Sean Dodd, Scott Fitzgerald All Victorious Video: Roberto Duran on Mosley Defeat To Avanesyan David Avanesyan Will Be Ringside To Scout Thurman vs. Porter Callum Smith Stays on Course For Title Shot, Get TKO in Six Ricky Burns Ready For Revenge on Crawford, Broner Showdown Video: Shane Mosley Talks About Loss To David Avanesyan David Price Returns in Style With Quick Knockout Victory Holyfield Believes Anthony Joshua Could Break Marciano's Record Bellew vs. Makabu LIVE Results From Goodison Park Frank Warren Questions Hearn's Position on Joshua vs. Haye James DeGale's Coach Confident: Badou Jack is Tailor-Made For Us Hearn: Eubank is Bigger UK Fight For Golovkin Than Saunders Golovkin's Coach: Only GGG Fight Brings Mayweather 100 Million! Bellew: I'll Fight That Bitch David Haye, He's Degrading Boxing! Photos: Ricky Burns Makes History, Blasts Di Rocco For WBA Belt Bellew vs. Makabu: Sean Dodd Looks To Enter The World Scene Viktor Postol Motivated By Underdog Role Against Crawford Arum: If Mayweather Wants Pacquiao, Let Him Come To Manila Haumono Saw Flaws, Believes He Will Chin Check Joseph Parker Glowacki Hopes To Get Usyk To Poland, Then Wants Lebedev Avanesyan Ends Shane Mosley, Secures Thurman-Porter Shot Vazquez Outpoints Bone, Eyes Future Clash With Adrien Broner
Advertisement

Latest Active Forum Threads
Advertisement
Advertisement