by Cliff Rold
With word floating heavily that HBO doesn’t want to be in the Guillermo Rigondeaux business, this is the sort of week that reminds that boxing has more than one outlet. No, not all of them pay the same, but there is more than one place to watch a fight.
And sometime, the quieter places bring some healthy action. This week, US TV runs out two intriguing Friday night main events while the overseas crowd might have one heck of a fun Heavyweight fight on hand.
These are the picks of the week.
Pick It: Ajose Olusegun vs. Hank Lundy (Friday, ESPN2, 10:30 PM EST/7:30 PM PST)
What happens when two fighters prone to making good scraps, both coming off severe career setbacks, get matched with each other? We’ll find out this week on “Friday Night Fights;” the prospects are promising. Jr. Welterweight contender Olusegun (31-1, 14 KO) earned new levels of respect last year in a vicious battle with Lucas Matthysse. He may not have his undefeated record anymore, but fans found out he belonged with the best of his class. Olusegun had one stay busy win since and makes his serious return here. Lundy (22-3-1, 11 KO) seemed to be closing in on a title shot at Lightweight but consecutive losses to Raymundo Beltran and Viktor Postol threw him off course. A third loss in a row, in his second straight fight at 140, could be devastating.
Pick Sho: Mickey Bey vs. John Molina (Friday, Showtime, 10 PM EST/PST)
Ironically, the only other man to defeat Hank Lundy (and the first for that matter) also has a critical juncture contest this Friday. Molina (25-3, 20 KO) suffered an embarrassing first round loss to Antonio DeMarco in a Lightweight title shot last year and a just barely loss to Andrey Klimov his last time out. Now he has the undefeated Bey (18-0-1, 9 KO) and a loss could put him firmly in a gatekeeper slot. Super Middleweight Badu Jack (14-0, 10 KO) will also be in action facing Farah Ennis (21-1, 12 KO) is an interesting early test on this edition of ShoBox.
Pick Heavy: Malik Scott vs. Dereck Chisora (Saturday, London, BoxNation)
After years of letting his career wither on the vine, Scott (35-0-1, 12 KO) went out and schooled undefeated Vyacheslav Glazkov in a breakout performance. He was promptly hosed with a silly draw verdict but moves on to an even bigger opportunity. Chisora (16-4, 10 KO) has been matched as tough as any 20-fight veteran in the Heavyweight division. Legit losses to Tyson Fury and Vitali Klitschko were still encouraging; a hammering knockout loss to David Haye has him teetering. Scott-Chisora is a solid boxer-brawler battle with plenty of drama based on the home country edge for the less refined man. A win could make Scott a contender. A win keeps the camera friendly Chisora a viable foe for anyone. There is no live US TV planned, but this should be a YouTube seek no later than Sunday.
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Cliff Rold is the Managing Editor of BoxingScene and a member of the Transnational Boxing Rankings Board, the Yahoo Pound for Pound voting panel, and the Boxing Writers Association of America. He can be reached at [email protected]