We’ve already previewed and predicted the two biggest fights of the weekend but there’s a lot happening this week besides. Let me be your Sacajawea. (Also, have I mentioned you need to get your predictions in for the prediction game ASAP? I have, I know it, but I just want to remind you again for Friday’s fight you’ll need to get it in by 11:59 ET tonight, and Saturday’s you’ll need it in by 11:59 p.m. ET Friday.)
- Tomas Adamek-Jason Estrada/Peter Quillin-Fernando Zuniga, Saturday, GoFightLive/Comcast Sports Net Chicago, New Jersey. This is worth picking up for $9.99 on GoFightLive if you can’t get it on Comcast. Adamek, the cruiserweight champ who’s doing an extended feel-out of heavyweight, takes his second bout in the new division against Estrada. Estrada’s a good little fighter. Estrada competed on fairly even terms with Alexander Povetkin when Povetkin was returning from an injury before running out of steam in his first 10-round fight, and he’s got speed and was a 2004 Olympian. His biggest flaw is that he has virtually no power, owning a 25 percent KO rate in his wins. Estrada is better preparation for Adamek for a potential David Haye fight later than a Chris Arreola fight in April, and I favor Adamek, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see this one turn competitive. On the undercard, Quillin is making a significant leap up in competition, as the super middleweight prospect takes on tough gatekeeper Zuniga.
- Guillermo Rigondeaux-Adolfo Landeros/Joey Hernandez-Ed Paredes II, Friday, ESPN2, Florida. This isn’t a good Friday Night Fights card just because of the good light heavyweight main event between Glen Johnson and Yusaf Mack. Amateur sensation Rigondeaux’s next professional opponent is about on the level of his recent step-up, Giovanni Andrade, but this time the junior featherweight Cuban is taking on an someone who’s a bit sturdier. Both Andrade and Landeros have been in against some top-notch opponents; Andrade had eight knockout losses in 12, while Landeros has two knockout losses in 12. Unforunately, those two KO losses came in Landeros’ last two fights, and he hasn’t been too active, with those two KO losses coming in 2008 and 2009. Still, anytime Rigondeaux’s on TV, it’s worth tuning in. The other fight on the Friday Night Fights card is a rematch of a bout where welterweights Hernandez and Paredes fought to a draw in what was said to be a wild fight. Also, Hernandez’ nickname is “Twinkle Fingers,” which is sweet.
- Denkaosan Kaovichit-Daiki Kameda II, Sunday, Japan. These two flyweights fought each other very close in October — 114-114 and 115-113 twice. Kameda is the lesser of the Kameda brothers, and in the first fight Kaovichit was said to be the more skilled of the two men, but Kameda’s still just 21 and Kaovichit is 33. Kaovichit is the #3 flyweight in the world according to Ring magazine and Kameda isn’t ranked in the top 10, but I might expect the scorecards to be reversed this time around, just based on the age issue.
- Carlos Abregu-Richard Guttierez, Saturday, Showtime, Mexico. On the undercard of the Edwin Valero-Antonio DeMarco lightweight clash is a pretty good lookin’ scrap. Abregu was in one of the best fights of 2009, a knockout win over Irving Garcia, and Guttierez has been in some rollicking donnybrooks himself. I’m not sold on Abregu as a prospect, given the difficulty of his last two ShoBox outings, and Guttierez’ days of being considered more than a journeyman/gatekeeper are over, but it’s a nice warm-up. It would have been a nice ShoBox fight, but was moved to the undercard of this fight from Jan. 29.
- ShoBox, Friday, Showtime, California. This isn’t one of the better ShoBox cards. But at least in the main event we’ll probably get a real fight. Freddy Hernandez, a woefully slow 30-year-old welterweight “prospect,” takes on the even older 35-year-old DeMarcus Corley, who’s been just dangerous enough to lose a couple close fights recently to prospects in decisions should have gone his way. On the undercard, junior welterweight prospect Francisco Contreras goes from fighting abysmal competition to fighting his only opponent to have a winning record over a six-fight span, Juan Castaneda, Jr., a victim of Saturday Showtime headliner DeMarco. Taking the last six fights of each of Contreras’ 12 career opponents to date, they have a combined record of eight wins, two draws and 50 losses.
- Brandon Rios-Jorge Teron, Saturday, Fox Sports Net, Texas. As prospect vs. prospect showdowns go, this is a really nice one. Rios and Teron are both big, tough, offense-minded lightweights, each with one blemish on their record, Rios a draw and Teron a loss, both later avenged. Rios at 5’9″ is tall for 135 but Teron is even bigger, at 6′; Rios has a power advantage. Rios is 23; Teron, 24. This Fox Sports Net thing is really working out well. What a good fight to have as a second or third option on a Saturday night, depending on how interested you are in Valero-DeMarco and Adamek-Estrada. On the undercard, there’s a featherweight bout where Tomas Villa (he of Rogers Mtagwa-Villa) takes on Juan Ruiz (who beat old Wayne McCullough in his most recent fight and has gone the distance with Bernabe Concepcion and Antonio Escalante).
- The Rest. All on Saturday: Jorge Solis moves up to junior lightweight to fight for some alphabet interim title belt against Likar Ramos in Mexico… Hot Canadian prospect David Lemieux will do battle with Jason Naugler, who’s lost five of his last six against good competition but only once by KO, and they’ll scrap over a Canadian belt… Shamone Alvarez and Alexis Camacho meet up in a battle of third-tier welters in Atlantic City on GoFightLive for $5.99, and I’d probably buy it if I wasn’t already planning to buy Adamek-Estrada on their website. [UPDATE: The Alvarez-Camacho show has been canceled because of the crazy snowstorm.]