Pick It: O’Shaquie Foster vs. Miguel Roman (Thursday, NBC Sports Net, 9 PM EST)
In a slower boxing week, a maiden voyage will set sail. NBC, the network that cracked opened the door for boxing’s network return, is keeping a toe in the water on the cable side with the debut of the Ring City USA series, live from the famed Wild Card Gym.
The main event could be a real good television fight. 27-year old Jr. lightweight O’Shaquie Foster (17-2, 10 KO) will try to extend a seven fight win streak against a veteran who has seen it all. 35-year old Miguel Roman (62-13, 47 KO) has won two since a failed title attempt against Miguel Berchelt. The man who retired Orlando Salido isn’t looking for the exits yet and all three of his stoppage defeats were in title fights. This will be a real test of where both men are at this stage of their careers. Promising 24-year old lightweight William Zepeda (21-0, 19 KO) is also in action against Roberto Ramirez (23-2-1, 16 KO). Hope for a hot start as shows like this, spotlighting the potential stars of tomorrow, can be a real lifeblood of the sport.
Additional Shows to Watch For
Thursday - Barajas vs. Sandoval (?) (UFC Fight Pass, 10 PM EST)
The Roy Jones prospect show has its latest entry with a main event in the super middleweight division. 24-year old Juan Jose Barajas (11-0, 7 KO) is coming off two consecutive decision wins. Bruno Sandoval (21-4-1, 17 KO) is the name on the marquee at the Fight Pass website. BoxRec lists Gabriel Lopez (10-4, 7 KO) as the opponent. We know Barajas is fighting someone on Thursday night.
Saturday - Benn vs. Formella (DAZN, 2 PM EST)
The son of one of the most exciting middleweight and super middleweight battlers of the 80s and 90s is a lot to live up to. 24-year old Conor Benn (16-0, 11 KO) is carving his own path at welterweight and has a chance to make a statement here. 33-year old Sebastian Formella (23-1, 10 KO) is coming off a decision loss to Shawn Porter in August. Can Benn outperform Porter? Comparison shopping is never a bad way to start some buzz. 25-year old heavyweight hopeful Fabio Wardley (9-0, 8 KO) is also in action.
Saturday - Fortuna vs. Lozada (FS1, 7 PM EST)
31-year old lightweight Javier Fortuna (35-2-1, 24 KO) feels like he’s been around forever, nipping at the fringes when he’s not in outright contention. With two straight wins, and considering his affiliations, could he be a viable opponent for Gervonta Davis down the road? 30-year old Antonio Lozada (40-4-1, 34 KO) has hit a tough patch, 0-2-1 in his last three starts but had won eight straight prior to that including an upset stoppage of Felix Verdejo. This could be a sleeper fight this week so note the early start time for the show.
Saturday - Vazquez vs. Jaimes (BestInBoxing.com, 9 PM EST)
They’re not old enough to drink in the States but they’re old enough to entertain in this Tijuana Jr. lightweight clash. 19-year old Cristian Vazquez (15-0-1, 14 KO) faces off with 20-year old Manuel Jaimes (10-0, 9 KO). They are scheduled for eight rounds but given the knockout percentage of both this one could be fun and hastened.
Cliff Rold is the Managing Editor of BoxingScene, a founding member of the Transnational Boxing Rankings Board, a member of the International Boxing Research Organization, and a member of the Boxing Writers Association of America. He can be reached at email@example.com