by Cliff Rold
There’s already been one televised show this week, and kudos to Ronny Rios-Andrew Cancino for a fine scrap on Monday. For anyone who missed it, consider it a ‘pick’ to keep an eye out for a replay. It might have to wait until at least Sunday though with six televised offerings between now and the wee hours of Saturday.
Three contests stand out from the crowd. The rest run in this order:
· Alan Sanchez vs. Jorge Silva (Friday, Fox Sports 2, 8 PM EST/5 PM PST)
· Alexei Collado vs. Rod Salka (Friday, Showtime, 10:45 PM EST/PST)
· Orlando Cruz vs. Gamalier Rodriguez (Saturday, Unimas, 12 AM EST/PST)
The DVR’s will be working overtime for those interested in the above. For everyone else, these are the picks of the week.
Pick It: #1 Bernard Hopkins vs. #7 Beibut Shumenov (Saturday, Showtime, 9:30 PM EST/6:30 PM PST)
Unification matters more when there isn’t a clear champion in a class. That’s not the case at Light Heavyweight. Adonis Stevenson is the World Champion, the man who beat the man. That doesn’t mean unification doesn’t still have a little extra pull. It’s usually a stamp signifying a genuine match between two of a division’s best. When one of the men aiming for unification is IBF titlist Bernard Hopkins (54-6-2, 32 KO), it’s just sort of a marvel. His fights might not always be pretty, but he’s almost fifty and still going. Shumenov (14-1, 9 KO), the WBA titlist, is lucky to be here. He got his belt in a terrible decision over Gabriel Campillo and hasn’t been particularly active. He can make a big splash and potentially end an era; no pressure or anything. The show also features a Middleweight belt defense from Peter Quillin (30-0, 22 KO) against Lucas Konecny (50-4, 23 KO) and a Welterweight belt clash between new titlist Shawn Porter (23-0-1, 14 KO) and former titlist Paulie Malignaggi (33-5, 7 KO). That’s a solid triple-header. Make note: Showtime has a full evening planned. Prior to the start of the Hopkins card, Sho Extreme will have undercard fights at 7 PM EST. Showtime proper will kick off at 9 PM EST with the start of All Access: Mayweather-Maidana. For those who like infomercials, great. For those who don’t (raises hand…sorry, this format is tired), get the snacks ready for the fights.
Pick Boxcino: Middleweight Semifinals (Friday, ESPN2, 9 PM EST/6 PM PST)
As good as the Lightweights have been through the first six fights, Middleweight has some catching up to do. Tournaments are rad. For a full preview of what’s next in this one, check out this week’s regular column from this scribe at: https://www.boxingscene.com/four-on-crowded-floor-boxcino-middleweight-semis--76797 Just watch it. It should be fun.
Pick Afternoon: #5 Scott Quigg vs. Tshifhiwa Munyai (Saturday, AWE, 3 PM EST/12 PM PST)
People of a certain age recall what it was like to watch boxing at a time when everyone was home and it didn’t interfere with the best going out night of the week. The influx of options to watch overseas action continues to provide that good old feeling. Quigg (27-0-2, 20 KO) has a WBA belt at 122 lbs. and the look of a real upside. Munyai (24-2-1, 12 KO) is a late replacement with some experience against the fringes at Bantamweight who has never been stopped. Quigg should win here but this might be a solid scrap few see coming.
We’ll find out amidst what is really a pre-fight show for Saturday.
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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]