by Cliff Rold
Well, we almost had a title fight. We still have one of the best fighters in the world doing his thing this weekend.
Let’s call this a series of unfortunate events.
In a boxing year where just about everything has gone right, this weekend represents a hiccup. We have missed weight and a late replacement in two key televised slots. We also have Daniel Ponce De Leon on tap for the interested (Fox Deportes, 10 PM EST/7 PM PST).
It just misses the cut.
These are the picks of the week.
Pick It: World Champion Andre Ward vs. #7 Edwin Rodriguez (Saturday, HBO, 10 PM EST/PST)
After a 14-month layoff, the Super Middleweight king Ward (26-0, 14 KO) returns and finds himself in a non-title fight. Rodriguez (24-0, 16 KO) missed weight by a whopping two pounds and can weigh no more than 180 at an additional weight-in before the fight. It’s hard to believe the fight could be cancelled at the last minute even if he doesn’t, but stranger things have happened. The day-before weigh-in was supposed to mitigate these circumstances but they are still happening all too often. The incentive of an extra day’s hydration has way too many fighters squeezing down one extra class to their detriment and, sometimes, the sports. In Rodriguez’s case, his weight history told him he could make it. He didn’t. He’s already come out of pocket for that miscalculation. It likely won’t get any better in the ring.
Pick Network: Vyacheslav Glazkov-Garrett Wilson (Saturday, NBC, 2:30 PM EST/11:30 AM EST)
This had a good main event, a solid Heavyweight scrap for boxing’s latest baby step back to network television. Former Light Heavyweight and Cruiserweight champion Tomasz Adamek pulled out sick this week and, so, there’s this. Glazkov (15-0-1, 11 KO) is a limited but fun Heavyweight who had a chance at a statement. He at least can still hope for that in the form of a big win over a foe likely to fall. Wilson (13-6-1, 7 KO) has only been stopped once and been an okay Cruiserweight. Glazkov is about twenty pounds heavier than his standard foe and should add a second knockout loss to his ledger. But, hey, it’s network so tune in and get those ratings up so we can get more.
Pick Espanol: Jose Felix vs. Santos Benavides (Saturday, UniMas, 11 PM EST/PST)
Finally, for the late night crew, there is a chance to see a rising force at 122 lbs. Felix (25-0, 20 KO) enters off consecutive first round knockouts and the Mexican banger has a solid veteran across the ring. Benavides (23-4-2, 17 KO) should at least provide some rounds.
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Cliff Rold is the Managing Editor of BoxingScene, a founding member of the Transnational Boxing Rankings Board, and a member of the Boxing Writers Association of America. He can be reached at [email protected]