by Cliff Rold
It felt like time for a comeback.
Retired since 2015, this weekly look at the best places to spend your fistic entertainment time returns with some reader requests and a schedule filling up quickly. More networks are showing boxing than ever.
It’s hard to know what’s even on some weeks.
This won’t be one of those weeks. Boxing makes its big time return at welterweight with a clash between a fighter seen as a significant part of the near term future. A savvy veteran wants to stop the future in its tracks.
These are the picks of the week.
Pick It: TBRB #2 Errol Spence vs. #8 Lamont Peterson (Showtime, Saturday, 9 PM EST/6 PM PST)
After one of the best wins of 2018, Spence took the IBF welterweight title he won from Kell Brook and spent a head scratching seven months on the shelf. Finally he’s back in the sort of fight that, if he wins, could be good for him no matter how it goes down. Former Jr. welterweight titlist Lamont Peterson (35-3-1, 17 KO) is the sort of fighter who is more vulnerable early. As rounds go on, he seems to get stronger, take shots better, and has the sort of body attack that can make anyone wilt. Can Spence jump on Peterson early and restart the buzz of last May? Does he find himself in a tough fight if it gets past four? It’s a solid fight in a division full of them.
The show will also feature a lightweight title clash between IBF titlist Robert Easter (20-0, 14 KO) and former Jr. lightweight titlist Javier Fortuna (33-1-1, 23 KO). Easter had his hands full last out with Denis Shafikov; Fortuna has won four straight since a stoppage loss to Jason Sosa. It could get interesting. Showtime will have some earlier undercard fights on YouTube.
Additional Shows to Watch For
Saturday - BeIn Espanol (11 PM EST): Navarrete vs. Porras
Emmanuel Navarrete (22-1, 19 KO) hasn’t lost since his sixth professional fight with his last five wins coming by knockout. That’s enough to get him within shooting distance of a WBA mandatory at 122 lbs. (currently, he’s rated third there). He’ll face Glenn Porras (31-6, 19 KO) in the main event. Porras has won two straight after three losses in four fights prior to that.
Saturday – TyC (10:15 PM EST): Barrionuevo vs. Veron
For US fans with access to Boxeo de Primera, this welterweight clash could impact fights you might see not too far down the line. Cesar Miguel Barrionuevo (33-3-2, 23 KO) is facing Adrian Veron (21-2, 13 KO) for the second fight in a row. He won the first time with a sixth round stoppage after a mammoth right hand. Veron protested on shaky legs and gets another crack at it. Barrionuevo hasn’t lost since 2013 and is currently rated sixth at 147 lbs. by the WBC. Every win is a step closer to a title shot for him. Their first fight can be found easily on YouTube for anyone interested in the finish.
Cliff Rold is a member of the Ring Magazine Ratings Advisory Panel, the Yahoo Pound for Pound voting panel, and the Boxing Writers Association of America. He can be reached at [email protected]