It’s a typically light January weekend for boxing, but there’s not much else happening, so we might as well talk about it.
- Lucas Matthysse vs. DeMarcus Corley, Friday, TeleFutura, Mendoza Argentina. Too often since Solo Boxeo returned to the airwaves last year, the cards have been sub-Friday Night Fights fare. This week is an exception to the rule, as the headlining junior welterweight clash is ESPN2-worthy. Matthysse is a promising young contender who came within a hair of beating Zab Judah in his last bout, and only inexperience may have kept him fro the win; there are those who will argue convincingly that if Matthysse had been busier early in the fight, he would have won. Corley, meanwhile, is a rugged veteran who in his last appearance in Argentina nearly pulled off the upset of Marcos Maidana (I thought he deserved the win). Since, Corley lost a clearer decision to a Ukrainian prospect, but he’s shown he can give hell to guys better than Matthysse. It could be an interesting one.
- Evander Holyfield vs. Sherman Williams, Saturday, Integrated Sports Pay-Per-View, White Sulphur Springs W.Va. There have been a lot of deserved brickbats thrown at this card and I don’t feel like piling on, so I’ll just try to put it in context for those who are wondering why Holyfield is fighting this weekend at age 48. As brilliant as the above promo is — every boxing card should have such engaging marketing — Holyfield will not achieve his dream of again becoming undisputed heavyweight champion, and even in this weak era for the division, he is really just a notch above journeyman at this point. But he keeps passing his physicals, and under those circumstances it’s hard to deny him the right to fight. Unfortunately enough for the sport, every time Holyfield fights, he gets as much media attention as anybody else in boxing, most of it along the lines of, “So Holyfield is still fighting? How old is he, anyway? How sad.” And it is, especially since the real, most probable reason he’s doing it is because his finances aren’t in order, but evidently he makes enough money to keep at it or offers the prospect of such to someone with money to spend. I don’t understand why anyone would want to buy a ticket to this show or pay to watch it on TV — it also features a bunch of other over-the-hill and/or borderline unhealthy heavies like Monte Barrett — but that’s the situation. We’ll still have more coverage of this card later in the week, I expect.
- Diego Magdaleno vs. Marcos Leonardo Jimenez, Saturday, Fox Deportes, Las Vegas. Magdaleno, a junior lightweight prospect, appeared on Top Rank Live last year and impressed me as aggressive and feather-fisted but bad on defense and still growing into the kind of fighter he’ll be. Jiminez is a virtual unknown with two losses on his record, one of them to the most recognizable name on his resume, Daniel Jiminez, who knocked out Marcos and has fought the likes of Roman Martinez and Jesus Chavez. It’s unclear what else will be aired on television, since Top Rank’s release doesn’t say, but Magadleno’s brother, featherweight Jesse, is on the card, as are top prospects Roberto Marroquin (featherweight) and Jose Benavidez, Jr. (junior welterweight). You might check Top Rank’s website for potential webcasts beforehand of whatever doesn’t make the TV cut.
- The Rest. There’s a Telemundo card Friday… the Sebastian Sylvester middleweight/Steve Cunningham cruiserweight keep-busy card got canceled… and there are smaller cards all around the world from France to Pennsylvania.