If you’re one of the people who think that Mike Alvarado was “soft” for “quitting” on the weekend, then boxing probably isn’t the sport for you. Maybe you need something tougher, like Nigerian boxing or “Dembe,” a sport in which itinerant fighters beat each other with hands wrapped in rope. Also, you’re a sicko.
If not, welcome back to The Queensberry Rules for the weekly schedule. There’s a bit going on this week, on both sides of the Atlantic. There were meant to be some fights in Australia too, but Shane Mosley didn’t get paid and left the country. Boxing seems to be pretty good at this kind of thing, but boxing in Australia really excels at it.
- Bernard Hopkins vs. Karo Murat, Saturday, Showtime, Atlantic City. Tim will have the full preview of this light heavyweight bout, but I just want to say that I think it’s going to be an awful fight. People will tune in because Bernard Hopkins, 48, is an ageless marvel. But that’s not going to stop the fight sucking. Murat (25-1-1, 15 KO) is not a particularly active or flashy fighter, while “The Alien” (as Hopkins now wants to be known) is pretty anaemic himself. I expect this to be a prototypical ugly Hopkins (53-6-2, 32 KO) victory. The undercard holds much more promise, with middleweights Peter Quillin (29-0, 21 KO) and Gabe Rosado (21-6, 13 KO) set to square off. Neither of these men is afraid to mix it up. That probably bodes well for “Kid Chocolate,” who’s a natural middleweight and a big puncher. Rosado isn’t totally without boxing acumen, but I think Quillin’s long straight right will catch up with him eventually. I can’t picture Rosado winning this, though I can totally see him putting on another ridiculous tough guy performance before the referee stops it in the late rounds. Surely there’s got to be easier ways to earn a living. American heavyweight prospect Deontay Wilder is also fighting, against Nicolai Firtha, who he is guaranteed to ice.
- Kell Brook vs. Vyacheslev Senchenko, Saturday, AWE, Sheffield. Meanwhile (or actually a few hours earlier, if you want to get technical with time zones and whatnot), Sheffield welterweight Kell Brook (30-0, 20 KO) faces Ricky Hatton conqueror Vyacheslav Senchenko (34-1, 23 KO). Senchenko’s nothing special, but he’s a plucky little bastard with a whole lot of name recognition in England thanks to his ruining Ricky Hatton’s comeback. That said, I don’t think he has the ability to challenge Brook like Carson Jones did in his first fight with the Yorkshireman. Senchenko isn’t a pitty pat puncher, but it’s not like his body shot knockout of Hatton was typical. And let’s remember that Hatton was ahead at the time of the stoppage. Brook hasn’t spent years abusing his body like Hatton did and he’s younger, stronger and harder hitting. This one doesn’t end with Senchenko taking his belt back to Donetsk. Olympic heavyweight gold medallist Anthony Joshua has his second professional fight on the card (he won the first one, duh).
- The Rest. Lots of boxing around the world happening, all on Saturday unless otherwise specified… There’s a Puerto Rican show on UniMas headlined by junior featherweights Jose Lopez (there may be more boxers called “Jose Lopez” than any other name) and Jerry Guevara (though Jerry Guevara is unique)… TBRB #6 junior flyweight Johnriel Casimero (18-2, 10 KO) fights Felipe Salguero (18-4-1, 13 KO) in Manila… You might not want to hear it, but lightweight spoiler Miguel Vazquez (33-3, 13 KO) is making his return in Tijuana in a rematch with Ammeth Diaz (32-11, 23 KO)… Super middleweight Arthur Abraham (37-4, 28 KO) keeps an admirably full schedule, generally against fighters of questionable quality like Giovanni De Carolis (20-4, 10 KO) who he faces in Germany… And finally there’s a Golden Boy card on Fox Sports on Monday (the 28th) headlined by a development bout for junior featherweight prospect Manuel Avila (12-0, 4 KO), who faces Jose Silveira (15-9, 6 KO).