MYSTIC, Conn. — Wuh-oh, Ricardo Mayorga. I’m not saying my midsection looks better than yours, but I’m not about to spend my Saturday night getting hit in it by a junior middleweight who specializes in gut-punching. It’s a total surprise to learn that a boxer has claimed to be in great shape only to learn otherwise. Via our Corey Erdman via Boxing Scene.
Greetings from Mystic, where me and my crew are about to go to the weigh-in for the card headlined by middleweight champion Sergio Martinez and Serhiy Dzinziruk. In this weekend preview, we’ll hit the undercard for Mayorga-Miguel Cotto, obviously, but also some of the other action this weekend that we haven’t already covered. There’s not much of it, but there are some nice fights to be had besides the big fights headlining the Showtime pay-per-view and the HBO card.
- Andy Lee vs. Craig McEwan, Saturday, HBO, Mashantucket Conn. This was originally gonna be an all-Irish showdown between Lee and John Duddy, but Duddy’s out, so now it’s an Irish vs. Scottish match-up of accents that few people can distinguish between for imitation purposes. And, ya know, it’s a fight that’s better in some ways than the original bout. Only Lee had a potential future between himself and Duddy, but this is now something of a prospect/semi-contender vs. prospect/semi-contender match-up where the winner comes out looking like a legit contender, perhaps. It’s a bout pitting the wits of two of today’s finest trainers against one another, Emmanuel Steward in Lee’s corner and Freddie Roach in McEwan’s corner. Lee was the more hyped prospect prior to his loss to Brian Vera, but McEwan has the better resume, having beaten, for instance, Brian Vera. I’m glad I’ll get to see this one in person. I wonder if some Irish folk will come up from New York City, or if some Scottish folk will come from wherever Scottish people hang out.
- Javier Fortuna vs. Derrick Wilson, Saturday, Mashantucket Conn. Here’s another good one on the undercard of Martinez-Dzinziruk, but it won’t be on HBO. Fortuna is the junior lightweight trained by deservedly celebrated Martinez trainer Gabriel Sarmiento, and all reports are that he’s sensational. Wilson has pulled at least a couple upsets of more ballyhooed prospects, so this figures as his toughest test. Gabriel won’t be here; don’t know if that’ll affect Martinez, cuz he’s an experienced pro and can handle the transition to his trainer’s brother Pablo just fine, I expect, but I wonder how it’ll affect a younger guy like Fortuna in his biggest bout to date.
- Miguel Vazquez vs. Leonardo Zappavigna/Yuri Foreman vs. Pawel Wolak, Saturday, Showtime pay-per-view, Las Vegas. Even if I’m not thrilled by the headliner, there are a couple significant fights on the Top Rank card. Vazquez is just plain crafty and has risen into the ranks of a top-10 lightweight. Zappavingna is a big puncher from down under. Both had their way with common opponent Ji-Hoon Kim, only Vazquez boxed him silly. Foreman is making a return to the ring against a tough opponent in Wolak, trying to put the knee injury and first loss he suffered to Cotto last summer behind him. Wolak, while highly limited and nearly knocked out early in his last fight by a huge underdog, is incapable of being boring; Foreman boosted his excitement quotient in the Cotto bout, elevating himself in a loss. Both men are hard as nails and while I don’t know to what degree it will be a good fight aesthetically, both should have earned our respect by now and this is a worthwhile bout.
- Ricky Burns vs. Joseph Laryea, Saturday, Glasgow Scotland. Speaking of respect-earning: junior lightweight Ricky Burns, in one of last year’s best fights, is back in the ring. Oh yeaaaah.
- The Rest. Welterweight Demetrius Andrade appears on the undercard of Martinez-Dzinziruk, off TV… Local attraction in my neighborhoold Jimmy Lange takes on Johnny Holmes in a middleweight bout Saturday… Welterweight Sebastian Lujan fights Hector David Saldivia Saturday.