When I think New Zealand, I think David Tua and I think “Flight of the Concords.” Do I leave out “Lord of the Rings” because I learned from watching “Flight of the Concords” that Kiwis hate it when you bring that up? Maybe. Or maybe I just like boxing and fake folk groups more than the next guy, or at any rate more than I like Peter Jackson. A kiss is not a contract.
- David Tua-Shane Cameron, Saturday, SecondsOut. Secondsout.com appears to be airing this heavyweight fight from New Zealand for about 13 bucks. I get why Tua’s a big deal; he’s a very accomplished heavyweight, more accomplished than I remember (most accomplished New Zealand boxer ever, anyone?), having beaten Michael Moorer, John Ruiz, Hasim Rahman and others, and he’s colorful and hits HARD. I’m not sure what’s up with Cameron. I gather he fights in a blood and guts style, from some clips I saw, but there’s nothing I see with my eyes or that I can tell from his record that suggests to me he’s much of anything. The only guy he’s faced that I’ve heard of is Friday Ahunanya, and “The 13th” knocked Cameron out, even if Cameron was ahead on the cards going into the final round when the KO came. Tua’s comeback has been bedeviled by management feuds, but he’s beaten up some viable trial horses, enough to suggest he might have one more title run in him, and of course if Cameron wins he gets to play on the international map a little bit more. There’s an off-chance I’ll buy this fight out of curiosity.
- Nobuo Nashiro-Hugo Cazares, Wednesday. This is Cliff Rold’s pick for the fight of the week. I’ll just let him explain it, but the short version is we’re talking about two top-10 junior bantamweights here. Tokyo digs its midweek fights. I wish America could get behind that a bit more.
- ShoBox tripleheader, Showtime, Friday. The headlining fight, Allan Green-Tarvis Simms, doesn’t interest me that much. It’s a set-up, really, for Green to be ready to substitute into Showtime’s Super Six super middleweight tournament if he needs to. Simms has beaten some of the usual suspects and has boxing genes — his twin brother, Travis (bet that got confusing around the house) is the former junior middleweight titlist — but he’s moving way, way up in class and he’s 38. The fight I like is a welterweight bout between ESPN2 upset artist Antwone Smith and sheltered St. Louis New Jersey prospect Henry Crawford.
- Edwin Rodriguez-Darnell Boone, Saturday. This is a real step-up fight for Rodriguez, the middleweight prospect I featured in the curent edition of Ring magazine. Boone is a gatekeeper, sure, but he’s been in with everyone from Erislandy Lara to Jean Pascal, losing to both; on the other hand, he nearly beat Craig McEwan, once knocked down Andre Ward and has snatched a few “0s” from young boxers. If Rodriguez wins impressively, it will say a whole lot.
- The rest. Would-be Dec. 12 Vic Darchinyan opponent Tomas Rojas takes a junior bantamweight fight while he waits, which strikes me as risky; flyweight Omar Narvaez makes yet another title defense, but his level of competition, after a brief uptick, has taken a turn for the worse; junior welterweight Paul Spadafora’s comeback is alive and well, with his second fight in recent months; I’m not sure I even knew he had a welterweight title belt, but Vyacheslav Senchenko defends his; junior middleweight Demetrius Andrade, the 2008 U.S. Olympian I like best, fights again; heavyweight Devin Vargas (for whom I have a strange soft spot), coming off his loss, tries to get back on track; in England, “Prizefighter,” which is kinda like our “Contender,” features biggish names Danny Williams and Audley Harrison; GoFightLive has a card.