The Showtime and HBO main events Saturday are where it’s at this week for your boxing kicks. But there are a couple other modestly noteworthy bouts, too. I shall note them modestly, because that’s what they’re worth.
- Alfredo Angulo-Joel Julio, HBO, Saturday, California. I briefly considered making this one eligible for the prediction game, but I opted against it because I doubted anyone would pick Julio to win. It’s not that he doesn’t present some trouble for Angulo, a junior middleweight banger who can become a very popular Mexican fighter if he’s kept away from certain kinds of opponents (and promoter Gary Shaw, usually eager to put his guys in tough, is most certainly avoiding certain kinds of opponents for Angulo). Julio showed he could move a bit against James Kirkland, and movement is confounding to the flat-footed Angulo, but Julio eventually succumbed to Kirkland’s pressure and I think he’ll do the same to Angulo’s. Julio’s career is in a downward spiral where he’s shown he won’t beat anyone very good, and Angulo’s good enough. Julio probably was the victim of too much early hype. Anyway, he can punch a little himself, so I think it could be a fun fight for a few rounds. Angulo’s been raising a stink about not being co-promoted very well as the undercard bout, and I do wonder why if you have a card headlined by a potentially very popular Mexican fighter (heavyweight Chris Arreola) you don’t make a big deal of having another potentially very popular Mexican fighter, too. Seems like that would be a decent ticket-selling angle.
- Fight Night Club, Fox Sports Net/RingTV, Thursday, California. Hey, I like me some Enrique Ornelas, but I don’t see how the super middleweight fits into the professed mission of Fight Night Club. Ornelas gave Bernard Hopkins some moments of heck — not quite hell — in a losing effort in December, so his opponent, Justin Fogle, loser of three straight, doesn’t figure to be anywhere near the same kind of challenge. The appearance on the card of prospects Deon Elam (a cruiserweight who won a bout on the last season of The Contender reality show before losing to finalist Ehinomen Ehikhamenor and spending the last year on the shelf) and Khabir Suleymanov (a junior featherweight whose previous appearance on Fight Night Club I missed) are more in line with that. Their opponents don’t have impressive records but at the same time, Fight Night Club has usually provided decent competition to its prospects.
- Jorge Arce-Cecilio Santos, Fox Sports Net, Saturday, Mexico. Arce wants to be a bantamweight now and might be fighting Eric Morel next. Santos has been knocked out in four of his last five. Even with all the miles on his odometer, Arce is still fun to watch, but I don’t see this one lasting long unless it turns out Arce has no power at the weight, and the two fights he had there in 2007 resulted in knockouts over competent opponents, so… I just proved my point. This is a tune-up. Also on the card, featherweights Miguel Beltran Jr. (a prospect who in his last fight survived tough Miguel Roman) and Joksan Hernandez (whose two losses were over the distance to Bernabe Concepcion and Eduardo Escobedo) duke it out. That one figures to be more competitive.
- The Rest. Assorted title bouts: Luis Concepcion defends his interim junior flyweight title against Eric Ortiz Thursday… Rendall Munroe and Victor Terrazas square off in a junior featherweight eliminator Friday… Jurgen Brahmer and Mariano Nicolas Plotinsky (last name sounds like a red-baiting joke) fight for Brahmer’s light heavyweight strap… On the HBO undercard, a trio of fun prospects — junior featherweight Rico Ramos, bantamweight Chris Avalos and lightweight John Molina — make off-TV cameos.