by Cliff Rold
Is everyone done debating the winner of Alvarez-Lara? No?
The world moves on regardless. This week, it moves on to some half dozen televised shows of, well, variable quality. It’s a bust fight week if nothing else. With three outings Friday (including a late night Telemundo show, 11:35 PM EST), the replay of Alvarez-Lara on Saturday, and two same day replays from Macau, there is plenty to watch.
How to separate the wheat from the chaff? Is there really wheat?
These are the picks of the week.
Pick It: World Champion Guillermo Rigondeaux vs. Sod Kokietgym (Saturday, UniMas, 11 PM EST/PST)
No matter how entertaining he is or is not (and to most, it’s just a big not), there is no denying two important points. Rigondeaux (13-0, 8 KO) is the only true World Champion at 122 lbs. and there are very few better at his craft in any division. Kokietgym (63-2-1, 28 KO) looks to be a fairly hopeless challenger but he’s a chance for Rigondeaux to impress in style. Also on the UniMas portion of replays from earlier in the day in Macau, former 108 and 112 lb. titlist Brian Viloria (33-4, 19 KO) is in action against Jose Zuniga (11-5-1, 5 KO) and looking for another title shot. Given his profile, it should be soon in coming. For those interested in more from Macau, HBO2 will air Flyweight Zou Shiming (4-0, 1 KO) and Super Middleweight Gilberto Sanchez (28-0, 22 KO) at 5 PM EST/PST.
Pick Deuce: Emanuel Taylor-Karim Mayfield (Friday, ESPN2, 8 PM EST/5 PM PST)
Note the early start time this week for this clash of Jr. Welterweight hopefuls desperate not to lose their second in a row. Mayfield (18-1-1, 11 KO) trains with Andre Ward and was inching towards contention before Thomas Dulorme hustled past him earlier this year. No thriller, the 33-year old Mayfield has little time to play with to get himself back on track. Taylor 17-2, 12 KO) couldn’t keep up with Chris Algieri last time out and could struggle with the speed of Mayfield here but he’ll have chances to make it a contest. Will either man lay out to stay relevant?
Pick Once: Mercito Gesta-Luis Arceo (Friday, FS1, 10 PM EST/7 PM PST)
Luckily for Friday fight fans, these two shows (and most of Telemundo) won’t overlap much. If one wanted, a five hour or so marathon could be possible. Gesta (27-1, 15 KO) has fought only once since being soundly outboxed in a Lightweight title shot against Miguel Vazquez in 2012. Arceo (28-12-4, 18 KO) had won five straight before a stoppage loss to undefeated Jose Zepeda in his last start. Gesta is in rebuilding mode and Arceo is here to play a part. We’ll see if Gesta can begin to recapture some of the early promise some saw in him.
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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]