I have nothing in the way of humorous photos to offer, so please enjoy the musical selection, as you peruse the week’s boxing action outside of Brandon Rios-Miguel Acosta, which Tim Starks, who may have a humorous photo for you, will be previewing.
- James Toney-Damon Reed, Thursday, Fox Sports Net, San Bernardino Calif. The Empire Sports and Entertainment reap the benefits of adding Shelly Finkel to the staff and manage to get a regular spot on FSN with “Fight Night in America.” In order to introduce the series — which has really had no buzz whatsoever — to the casual audience, Heavyweight James Toney is brought in to face journeyman Damon Reed. With the curiosity about Toney about as high as it’s going to get after his UFC attempt, it’s a relatively inexpensive but effective main event for what The Empire is trying to do. Film companies do the same thing, splicing together gimmicky trailers generally containing superficial or humorous moments from the flick to appeal to the most people. It’s just to attract eyeballs. With that being said, this bout has the potential to either create a lot of red eyes, or it will allow them to remain open for a late viewing of Minute to Win It. Reed was blasted in one round by Herbie Hide in his lone attempt at a heavyweight strap… back in 1998. In the past three years, he’s been destroyed by Monte Barrett and Empire stable member Hasim Rahman. Toney might be faded, but he’s roughly on the same level as Barrett and Rahman at this point in their careers, and nowhere near as faded as Damon Reed, who within the denim analogy can be described as “acid wash” at this point.
- Juan Carlos Burgos-Frankie Archuleta/Maxim Vlasov-Isaac Chilemba, Friday, ESPN2, Tulsa Okla. Many boxing fans missed or forgot about the solid bout Burgos had with WBC featherweight titlist Hozumi Hasegawa last November amidst all the great tilts that rounded out 2010. As punishment to those people (or a reward, if they’re sadists), he will now annihilate Frankie Archuleta on free television. “Miniburgos” has a delicious yet ironic nickname, as he is lanky for the weight division and has good power. His downfall is that of great technicians in all fields, as he has difficulty adapting to unconventional challenges. Hasegawa’s in-and-out movement was enough to throw his timing off and reduce his punch output. The New Mexican Archuleta moves around like he’s defending a point guard, which will ultimately result in a fateful combination from his Mexican foe. In the main event, Maxim Vlasov returns to the ESPN airwaves to take on Isaac Chilemba. Friday Night Fights followers will remember him not only for his vicious knockout of Jerson Ravelo, but for his horrid 90s-style one color, unbranded green trunks that look like they were made by Glad. Chilemba has often fought at light heavyweight, and already has a bout for a regional WBC title at 175 scheduled for next month. One can safely suspect that he has difficulty making super middleweight, which might not bode well for him against the constant pressure of Vlasov. However, Chilemba is by far the more accomplished of the two, and depending on how well he moves, or uses his size, there are plenty of scenarios in which he could win.
- Danny Garcia-John Figueroa, Friday, Telefutura, San Diego Calif. After Ashley Theophane’s British junior welterweight title triumph over the weekend, Garcia’s struggles with him early last year don’t seem like a cause for concern anymore. The only cause for concern in this bout is for Figueroa’s safety. He’s only been knocked out once, but that will change soon. He is absolutely dreadful, and is already a regular horse on the Golden Boy “late replacement” carousel, having lost to Carlos Molina and Luis Ramos Jr. on short notice recently. He may not even know about this fight yet. If you’re reading this, John, start packing your bags, you’re gonna be late!
- Antonio DeMarco-Reyes Sanchez, Saturday, Showtime, Grand Island Neb. Before lightweights Brandon Rios and Miguel Acosta link up for a fight I’m unusually excited about, Showtime will open the night with two guys looking to join them in the upper tier at 135. DeMarco is a notorious slow starter, and that may help him this time around against a volume puncher like Sanchez. Edwin Valero had DeMarco flabbergasted, but in all likelihood, he was going to do that to most fighters. But the slow pace he’ll need to prevail on Saturday isn’t going to be pleasing to a Showtime audience that already might feel as though he’s been undeserving of the bulk of airtime Tony has received over the years. For Sanchez, the formula is as simple as it is visually appealing: Chuck as many arm punches as he possibly can.
- Julio Cesar Miranda-Arden Diale, Saturday, Queretaro Mexico. Miranda is still amidst his victory lap after demolishing Richie Mepranum to win the WBO flyweight title. This time, he defends his strap against 14-5-3 Arden Diale. But watching Miranda fight is enjoyable for the same reason listening to a Keith Sweat record can be enjoyable: He’s just so damn desperate. Miranda cannot stand not being right on top of his opponent slinging punches from unusual angles, which makes for thrilling blowouts, and extraordinarily excited TV Azteca commentators. They’ll have plenty to yell about for the four or five rounds this one lasts.
- The Rest. A promising Fight Night Club main event Thursday headlined by junior welterweight Jessie Vargas has degenerated into a series of replacement opponents that leaves him with Cristian Favela (19-30-7)… There’s a Telemundo card Friday and GoFightLive card Saturday… Potential Nonito Donaire opponent Anselmo Moreno stays busy Saturday with a title defense against Lorenzo Parra… Our Andrew Harrison covered the top show in England for Saturday.
Corey Erdman is a boxing writer and radio host at theScore on SIRIUS 98. Follow him on Twitter @corey_erdman or contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.