The Week’s Boxing Schedule, Featuring Juan Manuel Marquez, Pawel Wolak, Ricky Burns And Others

Happy 10th anniversary this weekend, ShoBox. I nitpick here and there with the occasional ShoBox card, but the video and the stats tell it all: Consistently, reliably, ShoBox challenges young prospects with tough match-ups, either giving them their first loss and/or the experience they need to go on to bigger things. It’s a really great series, one that fills a vital niche in boxing.

There are no major major major fights this weekend, but there’s one potential Fight of the Year candidate, some regional scraps of some import and any number of significant fighters in some of the ol’ punchy-punchy. Here they be:

  • Juan Manuel Marquez vs. Likar Ramos, Saturday, TRLiveStream, Cancun Mexico. In a certain way, this is the most IMPORTANT fight of the weekend, because it involves a top-5 pound-for-pound guy, and if Marquez somehow loses, the fall plans of pound-for-pound king Manny Pacquiao to fight Marquez a third time go out the window. Marquez, the lightweight champ, is moving up to junior welterweight for the fight, which is one way it could help him get ready for the bigger Pacquiao. Ramos is also a quick southpaw. But Ramos and Pacquiao don’t fight anything alike; Ramos is a good deal more cautious. And if Jorge Solis could knock the fellow out — and Solis is the most significant name Ramos has faced by a longshot — then so too should Marquez be able to do it. What’ll be worth watching it for to see how quick and strong Marquez is at the new weight. Also on the card is Marquez’ featherweight bro Rafael and flyweight Roman Gonzalez against Omar Salado, who’s been knocked out of late by guys who aren’t as good or powerful as the hard-hitting Gonzalez but who fought Ulises Solis to a draw back in 2005.
  • Pawel Wolak vs. Delvin Rodriguez, Friday, ESPN2/ESPN3/ESPN Deportes, New York City. Here’s the aforementioned Fight of the Year candidate, maybe. Who doesn’t love Pawel Wolak? Nobody doesn’t, that’s who. The junior middleweight is instant drama. He got a career-best win over Yuri Foreman last time out; the time before, had to crawl off the mat to beat Jose Pinzon; the time before, he want to war with James Moore; and so on. Rodriguez has been in his share of action fights, too, although his drama has often been related to him losing close fights more often than he should, through not much fault of his own. Anyway, these two match up for their latest action fight, the best such action bout on paper from Friday Night Fights this season — although it’ll have to be pretty good to top last weekend’s main event, which figured to be pretty good but far exceeded expectations.
  • Ricky Burns vs. Nicky Cook/John Murray vs. Kevin Mitchell, Saturday, Liverpool England. Lil’ Ricky really hasn’t done anything very interesting since his win last September in a career-making kind of victory over Roman Martinez, but this is a step in the right direction. He’s fighting the man whom Martinez beat to get the junior lightweight belt that Burns now holds. Cook was doing well in that fight before Martinez came on and stopped him. Cook took two years off and got an easy win back under his belt, so let’s not fool ourselves about how viable he is right this second, but like I said, step in the right direction. Murray-Mitchell is a more highly-anticipated domestic match-up of two U.K. lightweights, but I expect our Andrew Harrison will providing a fuller preview.
  • Marco Huck vs. Hugo Hernan Garay, Saturday, Munich Germany. Huck, the #2 cruiserweight according to Ring Magazine, keeps chugging along, fouling all over the place and exhibiting good power and occasionally only eeking out the decision. He’s actually built up a nice little resume for himself, but he does seem to fall short of facing the best of the best cruiserweights. Whatever happened to that cruiserweight Super Six, anyway? Garay is a former light heavyweight who once gave Zsolt Erdei two close fights and did the same more recently to Gabriel Campillo, but he also got starched in one round by Chris Henry even MORE recently.
  • Julio Cesar Miranda vs. Brian Viloria, Saturday, Honolulu. This makes the upteenth comeback of Viloria, as mercurial a talent as there is in the sport. He’s taking on Miranda, who’s had some setbacks over the years against top-notch guys like division champion Pongsaklek Wonjongkam, but is in as good a stretch of boxing as he’s had in his career, really. Your guess is as good as mine about how this one turns out. I suspect it depends on what mood Viloria is in, really.
  • Diego Magdaleno vs. Alejandro Perez, Friday, Showtime, Las Vegas. Magdaleno didn’t make the greatest impression on me when I saw him last, but I’d criticized his lack of power and since then he’s mainly knocked people out, so read into it what you will. He is aggressive, so that means he’s mostly not boring. Perez has some juice coming off his 1st round stoppage of Antonio Escalante, although most people thought that said more about Escalante than Perez. We’ll see if that should’ve been the case, come Friday’s ShoBox headliner.
  • The Rest. On TeleFutura Friday, Solo Boxeo Tecate is featuring junior featherweight Jayson Velez, hailed by Golden Boy as “one of the top prospects to emerge from Puerto Rico in recent years”… GoFightLive on Friday webcasts a somewhat evenly matched contest of journeyman/gatekeepers in junior middleweights Gabriel Rosado and Allen Conyers.

About Tim Starks

Tim is the founder of The Queensberry Rules and co-founder of The Transnational Boxing Rankings Board ( He lives in Washington, D.C. He has written for the Guardian, Economist, New Republic, Chicago Tribune and more.