by Cliff Rold
Will Bernard Hopkins ever get old? Is Tavoris Cloud ever going to fight more than a part-time schedule?
When will Game of Thrones get back on Television?
There are questions that are easy to answer.
For instance, Thrones is back on the air March 31st to begin adapting “A Storm of Swords,” the third book in the series the TV show is based upon.
The other two questions? Well, the first might get an answer this coming weekend. The latter only time will tell. ESPN2, Showtime, and Telemundo all have cards on Friday (check local listings). Everything that must be seen? It happens on Saturday.
These are the picks of the week.
Pick It: #1 Bernard Hopkins vs. #2 Tavoris Cloud (Saturday, HBO, 9:30 PM EST/6:30 PM PST)
Hopkins (52-6-2, 32 KO) was dreadful in two outings with Chad Dawson in losing the Light Heavyweight crown. He was a lot of fun to watch winning it against Jean Pascal. At 48, Hopkins is already too old to deal with certain styles and amounts of speed. Put him with someone who stays in his wheelhouse though and it’s good theatre. Cloud (24-0, 19 KO), with only five fights since 2008, promises to be part of that theatre. Only 30, he’s been one of the game’s most fun fighters when he actually fights but he hasn’t done that enough. Last time he was seen, the slick Gabriel Campillo was coming off the floor to box his ears and lose a disputed decision. Hopkins can redeem the sour taste that outing in the mouths of many or confirm suspicions about Cloud’s limits. Cloud seems capable of exacting a toll on the legs of Hopkins. It sounds like fun. An undercard clash between former Welterweight titlist and #9 Jan Zaveck (32-2, 18 KO) and Keith Thurman (19-0, 18 KO) should be as well.
Pick Latino: #2 Juan Carlos Salgado vs. #6 Argenis Mendez (Saturday, HBO Latino, 8:30 PM EST/PST)
One hour before the regular HBO broadcast, this Jr. Lightweight belt clash may just steal the night. Fighting on the other side of the country from the Brooklyn card featuring Hopkins-Cloud, this rematch of a solid 2011 showdown could be a blast. Salgado (26-1-1, 16 KO) got up from a knockdown in the final round to win the vacant IBF belt against Mendez the first time they squared off. He’s already made three defenses of what, for Salgado, is a second major title. He briefly held the WBA belt once before, his only defeat coming to the man many feel is the best at 130 lbs., Takashi Uchiyama. Mendez (20-2, 10 KO) has won two straight to earn a chance at revenge and has a full toolbox of technical gifts. So far, he’s been his worst enemy in
Pick Rubber: #5 Edgar Sosa vs. #9 Ulises Solis (Saturday, UniMas, 11 PM EST/PST)
This Solo Boxeo main event caps a fantastic Saturday. Sure, it might mean some DVR magic while HBO finishes but it should be worth it. A clash of two of the best little men in the world over the last decade or so, it is also a rubbermatch based on an early career rivalry. Solis (35-2-3, 22 KO), then a future two-time IBF 108 lb. titlist, won close six and twelve round decisions over Sosa in 2001 and 2003. Sosa (47-7, 28 KO) would go on to a lengthy reign as WBC king in the class. In this late stage of their careers, they are fighting for one last chance at glory in the Flyweight division. The winner moves closer, hoping to beat their man and father time. This could be the fight of the week.
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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]