Has the sport of boxing shrunk? It always seem like it the week after a big pay-per-view. You don’t have to go cold turkey, though, because there’s at least a bit of quality headpunching on. Macau makes way for Montreal on HBO, with a light heavyweight-centric card headlined by that division’s champion, Adonis Stevenson. As always, last week’s Manny Pacquiao fight will be re-aired before the live boxing. There’s also the long-delayed and little-anticipated junior middleweight fight between Anthony Mundine and Shane Mosley in Sydney and various other things, so let’s get to it:
- Adonis Stevenson vs. Tony Bellew, Saturday, HBO, Montreal. The globetrotting HBO crew heads to Montreal for a pair of fights featuring beastly light heavyweight punchers. Tim will have the full preview, but Stevenson (22-1, 19 KO) should be a big favourite to beat his opponent, scouser Tony Bellew (20-1-1, 12 KO). From what I’ve seen, Bellew just doesn’t have an identity as a fighter and, like Tavoris Cloud, will find himself on the end of some serious punishment from the still-improving Stevenson. The chief supporting bout pits Eastern Europeans Ismayl Sillakh (21-1, 17 KO) and Sergey Kovalev (22-0-1, 20 KO) against one another. Kovalev is gaining an almost Gennady Golovkin-esque following as a fearsome puncher, and for good reason. This one should add to the appeal. Sillakh has power of his own, but he’s more of a fleet-footed boxer type. He couldn’t stay away from Denis Grachev, though, who in many ways is just a poor man’s version of Kovalev. Look for the Russian to get the KO in the mid rounds.
- Shane Mosley vs. Anthony Mundine, Tuesday, ESPN3, Sydney. Has there ever been a fight so little anticipated yet so hard to make? After various false starts and withdrawals, Mosley (47-8-1, 39 KO) and Mundine (44-5, 26 KO) will finally meet in Sydney on Wednesday (Australian time). What’s there to say? Mosley is past his best, but I think he’ll still be way too powerful for “Choc”. The Australian has never had the best chin and it’s only gotten worse as he’s got older and moved down in weight. Mundine might win rounds with his hand speed, but it’ll only be a matter of time before “Sugar Shane” catches up with him and sends him down for the count.
- The Rest. Would-be Floyd Mayweather challenger junior welterweight Paul Spadafora (48-0-1, 19 KO) fights off TV against Johan Perez (17-1-1, 12 KO) on Saturday night in West Virgina, for some interim strap or another… On Saturday British heavyweight Dereck Chisora (18-4, 12 KO) has a stay-busy fight with Czech Ondrej Pala (32-3, 22 KO)… Jeff Lacy and Jorge Paez, Jr. are fighting in Louisiana and Mexicali, respectively, also Saturday, if anyone’s paying attention.