The old saying goes something like ‘without a main event, there’s no event.’
One can never go a week without finding a professional boxing card somewhere in the world. Just any old card isn’t what gets the juices going.
We need a main event.
This week, main event boxing is back in a good way; maybe even the best way. Boxing can be at its best when it brings a hot crowd to a backyard brawl. Neither of the two men in this week’s premiere fight was born in Canada, but they’ve made Montreal a fistic home.
Will they set their house afire?
These are the picks of the week.
Pick It: Jean Pascal vs. Lucian Bute (Saturday, HBO, 10:15 PM EST/PST)
This one probably should have happened earlier. When Bute reigned as a Super Middleweight titlist, and Pascal reigned as the lineal Light Heavyweight king, this had a potentially special shine. Alas, in boxing, sometimes protecting the gate now means making the big fight tomorrow. In Montreal, this is still plenty big enough and the Bell Centre will be rocking. Pascal (28-2-1, 17 KO) has won two straight since losing his crown to Bernard Hopkins in 2011. Bute struggled through his lone outing since being shredded by Carl Froch in 2012, getting a close decision against Denis Grachev but appearing vulnerable. Both men need a win desperately and, with the lineal crown now held by another Canadian draw in Adonis Stevenson, the chance for more domestic turmoil looms. It’s hard to imagine this one without drama. Heavyweight hopeful Mike Perez (20-0, 12 KO) is also in action against Carlos Takam (29-1, 23 KO). Will Perez show any mental effects after the injuries suffered by his last opponent, Magomed Abdusalomov?
Pick Sho: Ivan Redkach vs. Tony Luis (Friday, Showtime, 10 PM EST/PST)
ShoBox makes its 2014 debut and does so with the kind of show ShoBox should be about. Redkach (15-0, 13 KO) is a serious Lightweight hopeful from the Ukraine and he’s ready to start making his play for the next level. Luis (17-1, 7 KO) has already shown some limits but could be a good early test. The Ukraine is giving boxing a growing body of talent. Will Redkach be the latest?
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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]