By Cliff Rold
After a pair of exciting rematches at Heavyweight and Jr. Flyweight, this week’s televised options get a lot more hectic. Like last week, there is quality. We also have quantity with more than a half dozen televised options on the dial.
The easy pick comes on HBO, and more on that in a moment. The action kicks off with a Thursday night show on Fox Sports 1 (Antonio Orozco vs. Martin Honorio, 10 PM EST/7 PM PST) and keeps going through the weekend with additional shows Friday on ESPN2 (Delvin Rodriguez vs. Joachim Alcine, 9 PM EST/6 PM PST) and Showtime (Joel Diaz Jr. vs. Tyler Asseltine, 4 PM EST/ 1 PM PST) along with a Saturday afternoon card on AWE (Lee Selby vs. Romulu Koasicha, 4 PM EST/1 PM PST). Feel free to choose any of the above. In this corner…
These are the picks of the week.
Pick It: #3 at 147 Juan Manuel Marquez vs. #3 at 140 Mike Alvarado (Saturday, HBO, 10:15 PM EST/PST)
There is no doubting which of these two men history will regard as the greater. Marquez (55-7-1, 40 KO) is one of Mexico’s all time greats. History doesn’t win fights though. At 40, Marquez has been in many wars and the 33-year old Alvarado (33-2, 23 KO), while technically moving up to face him, is the bigger man. In terms of world-class foes, Alvarado might be the biggest Marquez has ever seen. It’s relative youth (albeit with the wear of wars of his own) and size against schooling and skill and should all shake out for an exciting affair. The stakes are high as well. The winner may be looking at a fall date with Manny Pacquiao and, given Marquez’s age and Alavardo’s previous losses to Brandon Rios and Ruslan Provodnikov, neither man can afford a setback.
Pick Reign: #1 Omar Narvaez vs. Antonio Garcia (Saturday, TyC, 10 PM EST/PST)
Most American viewers only know Narvaez (41-1-2, 22 KO) for a lackluster outing at Bantamweight against Nonito Donaire. There is more to the Argentine and he will attempt the tenth defense of his WBO 115 lb. belt on Saturday. If he wins, he closes in on 30 wins in title fights after a sixteen-defense reign as WBO Flyweight titlist. While his competition is varied, and often less than stellar, and he’s had some close hometown calls, it’s still an admirable consistency. Garcia (13-1, 6 KO) doesn’t appear to have the experience to make a real run but Narvaez is 38. Could this be the culmination of a run? If not, you’ll see a fighter post a rare pair of double-digit defense reigns in two classes.
Pick Olympian: Jose Ramirez vs. Jesus Selig (Saturday, UniMas, 11 PM EST/PST)
He might not have the biggest upside of the 2012 US Olympians (that’s Errol Spence), but the Jr. Welterweight/Welterweight hopeful Ramirez (9-0, 7 KO) has a chance to be its most exciting classmen. What he lacks in refinement, and he’ll get better there, he makes up with a nasty body attack and aggressive style. Selig (16-2-1, 10 KO) is a nice progression fight and a chance to see if Ramirez can build a fanbase near his hometown of Avenal, California. The bout will be the first at Fresno’s Selland Arena since Floyd Mayweather defended against Victoriano Sosa there in 2003.
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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]