By Cliff Rold
Even with DVR, sometimes weekends like the one boxing fans have coming can be tough. Eight fight cards will be broadcast in the U.S. over two days, a lot for any week. Fans have a little bit of everything: heavyweight action, title fights in two divisions, and prospects aplenty.
For those completists out there, take note that Showtime’s ShoBox series (Friday, 11 PM EST/PST), Telemundo (Friday, 11:35 PM EST/PST) and WAPA America (Saturday, check local listings) all have offerings.
The shows that stand out the most are, obviously, the picks of the week.
Pick It: #10 Kendall Holt vs. Lamont Peterson (Friday, ESPN2, 9 PM EST/6 PM PST)
It might not be the best action fight of the week, but it’s certainly got the most going for it story wise. When December 2011 closed, Lamont Peterson (30-1-1, 15 KO) was ascendant after an upset win over Amir Khan for the WBA and IBF 140 lb. titles. Their rematch fell apart when it was revealed Peterson failed a PED test through VADA, a body without official sanction but whose results were clear. Peterson wound up stripped of his WBA belt and makes his return after a year’s absence with his IBF belt still in tow. He makes his first defense with eyes wondering where he’ll be against former division titlist Kendall Holt (28-5, 16 KO). Neither man can afford to lose. For Peterson, defeat would signal to some that he’s not the same without his power ups. For Holt, it could potentially be an end of relevance. The crowd will be rocking in Washington, DC. It always is for the Peterson brothers, even when only one is set to go to scratch.
Pick Heavyweight: Two Saturday Shows
At Heavyweight, we get a glimpse of one of the division’s brightest young lights and one of its longest standing enigmas. The shows will be on different networks with time to watch both. On Wealth TV (2:30 PM EST/11:30 AM PST), #9 David Price (15-0, 13 KO) takes the biggest step up of his young career. When last seen, America’s Tony Thompson (36-3, 24 KO) was being knocked out for a second time in a second try for Wladimir Klitschko’s Heavyweight crown. Klitschko is the only man to defeat Thompson since July 2000. The U.K.’s Price’s performance here will say a lot about how close, or how far, he is from being an imminent threat to capture the top of the class. On NBC Sports (10:30 PM EST/7:30 PM PST), fans will see climbing Ukrainian Vyacheslav Glazkov (14-0, 10 KO) against an American who has long had talent but whose career has never had anything one could call drive. Malik Scott (35-0, 12 KO), the king of six and eight round decision wins, is taking a real fight. Will he be one and done?
Pick Showtime: #7 Cornelius Bundrage vs. Ishe Smith (Saturday, Showtime, 9 PM EST/PST)
Bundrage (32-4, 19 KO) hasn’t yet been able to cash in big on his IBF 154 lb. title, but he’s at least staying on TV. Winning can make for opportunities. The former “Contender” contestant has stopped former Welterweight and Jr. Middleweight champion Cory Spinks twice in title affairs and avenged a knockout loss to Sechew Powell. Now he gets Smith (24-5, 11 KO). Like Bundrage, Smith is an alum of the “Contender.” He’s been plagued with inactivity over the years and has fallen short in previous attempts to step up. At 34, he has his first title shot and a chance to validate his career. This could be interesting.
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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]