Brace yourself over the next month for a pretty slow period in boxing, in terms of big fights. We’ve got the bantamweight tournament finale between Joseph Agbeko and Abner Mares Aug. 13 and the Aug. 27 junior welterweight showdown between Robert Guerrero and Marcos Maidana, then, besides that, just some interesting smaller fights here and there. TQBR will try to make up for the loss of extensive preview/prediction posts and results posts by staying on top of all the other regular features — like this one — plus a couple more irregular features, like, perhaps, a post on which boxers have the best toenails.
Until the toenails post, this is what the weekend holds for you.
- Victor Cayo vs. Lamont Peterson/Edison Miranda vs. Yordanis Despaigne, Friday, ESPN2/ESPN3/ESPN Deportes, Las Vegas. Birthing this junior welterweight title eliminator has been the hardest fight to make in boxing outside of Floyd Mayweather-Manny Pacquiao. And with considerably less fanfare, Cayo-Peterson is finally upon us. It hasn’t been worth all the trouble, but Cayo-Peterson is actually a swell fight. Peterson is something of a technician who’s nonetheless found himself in a couple good scraps of late, the loss to Timothy Bradley and a draw against Victor Ortiz. Cayo took his upset win of Julio Diaz to call for a shot at Maidana, but once he got it, probably regretted asking for it, because Maidana made short work of him. Still, Cayo is an awkward sort of seventh-generation Roy Jones, Jr. type who will probably be on more even competitive footing against Peterson. The winner’s in line to face Amir Khan, and that’s if’n Khan doesn’t move up to welterweight first or face Erik Morales or somebody like that first. Meanwhile, Miranda and Despaigne are in a light heavyweight “loser leaves town” bout, the kind Friday Night Fights carries a fair number of, which I’m fine with, by the way.
- Beibut Shumenov vs. Danny Santiago, Friday, TeleFutura, Las Vegas. It sure is crowded in Las Vegas for mid-level fights Friday night. Last I checked Shumenov was in some kind of lawsuit with promoter Goossen Tutor, so either that’s been resolved or there’s nothing that’s keeping Shumenov from fighting on while he waits. Shumey is a fun light heavyweight ranked in the top 10 who nonetheless still owes Gabriel Campillo a rematch. I doubt it ever happens, since Campillo fairly stomped him in their second fight and Shumey was lucky to get the win. The rematch only came after Shumenov pitched a fit about the first decision that went against him, talking about what’s fair etc. etc., then fairness didn’t matter when his OWN decision win in the rematch was significantly more controversial. This kind of thing annoys me, but then, most humans annoy me. Santiago, his opponent, is best known for being knocked out by Antonio Tarver in 2007 and has hardly fought since. That this fight warrants such wordy treatment at all in this here schedule speaks to how thin a week it is.
- Mike Alvarado vs. Gabriel Martinez, Saturday, Fox Deportes/FSN, Denver. That this fight warrants such wordy treatment at all in this here schedule speaks to how thin a week it is. And that’s nothing against Alvarado. I like me some Alvarado, I do. His name has been tossed around for any number of fights in the junior welterweight division, but I guess none of them are in the immediate future so he’s staying busy…? And that’s nothing against Gabriel Martinez. But looking at his record, he’s got a loss to Mark Melligen, a no contest with Jesus Soto Karass and a loss to Saul Alvarez among his noteworthy opponents. Decent fighters, all, mind you. But the record of a “stay busy” opponent, ultimately.
- The Rest. Billy Dib, the unbeloved featherweight from Down Unda, squares off against Jorge Lacierva for a vacant title Friday; Lacierva has a mini-run going I failed to notice, btw, what with wins over Fernando Beltran, Jr. and Joksan Hernandez… Bantamweight prospect Leo Santa Cruz, coming off a nice little win over Jose Lopez, takes a step back for some reason against Everth Breceno Saturday when he takes his talents to the so-sexy-I-wanna-have-sex-with-it stream offered by AT&T U-Verse… Also Saturday, Muhammad Rachman and Porsanwan Porpramuk — two men who can’t sneak into Ring Magazine’s top 10 at strawweight, one of the thinnest divisions in the sport — fight for Rachman’s title belt. It’s so obvious. Two dudes who aren’t in the top 10 of the best institutional ratings in the sport clearly should be fighting for a “championship,” right?