by Cliff Rold
It was a good, if not as good as hoped, start for elite level action last weekend. Fans got a little bit of everything. Featherweight Mikey Garcia overwhelmed Orlando Salido and took a busted nose to the cards before Salido could land any prayers. Gennady Golovkin got a professional go from Gabriel Rosado in a better fight than one could have thought going in.
And we got someone being ripped off. Again. The year is less than a month old and Juan Carlos Burgos joins Arash Usmanee in the “that’s just boxing’ antipathy circle.
The best moment of the weekend didn’t come on HBO. That was reserved for the breakthrough performance from Sergey Kovalev. His demolition of Gabriel Campillo was an emphatic arrival and a breath of new air at 175.
This weekend’s action is a little more limited in scope. There will be action nonetheless.
These are the picks of the week.
Pick It: #3 Lucas Matthysse vs. Mike Dallas (Saturday, Showtime, 10 PM EST/PST)
Argentina’s Matthysse (32-2, 30 KO) continues his quest to make an interim WBC belt at 140 lbs. into a mandatory crack at regular titlist Danny Garcia. They share promoters and the fight seems natural, but Golden Boy seems to be leaning towards a Garcia rematch with Amir Khan if he gets past Zab Judah. Company figurehead Oscar De La Hoya made comments on Twitter last year about a Matthysse fight with Top Rank’s Brandon Rios. That’s a likely fight, right? Not really. Matthysse can only keep knocking down what’s in front of him; this weekend, it’s Dallas (19-2-1, 8 KO). Expect the Argentine to knock him to South Fork. The highlight of the show will likely come in support at Welterweight with Selcuk Aydin (23-1, 17 KO) and Jesus Soto Karass (26-8-3, 17 KO) signed for a surefire leather swapper. Undefeated Jr. Middleweight Jermell Charlo will also be featured.
Pick Deuce: Sergiy Dzinziruk vs. Brian Vera (Friday, ESPN2, 9 PM EST/6 PM PST)
This might not be an action classic, but it’s a solid Middleweight ‘where are they’ scrap. Dzinziruk (37-1-1, 24 KO) had a nice run with a belt at 154 lbs. before moving up to get smoked in a shot at the Middleweight crown by Sergio Martinez. A draw in his next bout with Jonathan Gonzalez was uninspired on both sides. At least Dzinziruk showed up in shape. Vera, a former contestant on “The Contender” arrives off a debated decision last year against former Jr. Middleweight titlist Sergio Mora. It was his second win over Mora and he’s split a pair with Andy Lee in the past. Only 31 to Dzinziruk’s 36, is Vera the fresher man? Will it matter in the ring? As noted, we find out Friday where they both are.
Pick More Sho: Demetrius Andrade vs. Freddy Hernandez (Friday, Showtime, 11 PM EST/PST)
The slooooooooooow roll of Andrade (18-0, 13 KO) at Middleweight continues on Friday with a showdown against the former Welterweight title challenger Hernandez (30-3, 20 KO). Andrade seemed ready to turn the corner, matching his talent to a run at contention, after a solid win over Grady Brewer in 2011. It’s arguable that he’s fought anyone as good since. Hernandez is in the ballpark. A pro for four years who has had some up and down performances, is Andrade going to be worth taking note of in 2013? So far, he’s been about as intriguing as Heavyweight Malik Scott. His development is a parallel to Olympic teammate Gary Russell Jr., another talent with the reins being held too tight. Russell is far more fun to watch most of the time.
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Cliff Rold is the Managing Editor of BoxingScene and a member of the Transnational Boxing Ratings Board, the Yahoo Pound for Pound voting panel, and the Boxing Writers Association of America. He can be reached at [email protected]