The Week’s Boxing Schedule, Featuring Denis Grachev And Chris Avalos

“Look upon me, ye mighty, and despair,” said the July boxing schedule. And despair we shall, for there’s not much on. Sure, last week threw up an unexpected heavyweight slugfest in Thompson vs. Price – but I’m not sure we’ll have any such luck this week. I’m just going to get straight into it because there are a few fights, but none really worth writing home about, unlike the opening pitch in the video above.
  • Denis Grachev vs. Edwin Rodriguez, Saturday, beIn Sport, Monaco. To me, the final of the “Monaco Million Dollar Super Four” is the most intriguing fight of the week. Not because of its awesome name, or the fact that it’s being broadcast on a soccer station affiliated with Al Jazeera, but because I love light heavyweight Denis Grachev (13-1-1, 8 KO). He’s toughness personified, punches hard and never says die. What more could you want? He beat the crafty, long undefeated Zsolt Erdei by decision to earn his place against Edwin Rodriguez (23-0, 15 KO). That result was controversial, but I don’t think it reflects poorly on Grachev, who kept coming forward all night. And I don’t think it will have any bearing on what happens on Saturday. Rodriguez is no Erdei. He’s always struck me as a totally lukewarm fighter. He has no real identity and won’t be able to move forward in this fight without playing right into the Russian’s hands. But if he tries to box, he’ll have real trouble — he just doesn’t have the skills to avoid Grachev. I see a painful first loss on the horizon for the Massachusetts based Dominicano. It’s a big night for atypical Russian fighters, with junior welterweight Khabib Allakhverdiev (18-0, 8 KO) fighting veteran Frenchie Souleymane M’baye (40-4-1, 22 KO). I quite like me a bit of Allakhverdiev, who did the world a favour by ending Joan Guzman’s undefeated run late last year. I think he’ll be way too good for the (relatively) aged M’baye.
  • The Rest. Friday Night Fights features a clash of somewhat tarnished prospects, with Californian junior featherweight Chris Avalos (21-2, 16 KO) fighting the Philippines’ Drian Francisco (24-1-1, 19 KO) in Las Vegas. Undefeated junior middleweights Glen Tapia (18-0, 10 KO) and Abraham Han (19-0, 12 KO) round out the undercard… Telemundo will air a fight between featherweights Aalan Martinez (14-2-1, 10 KO) and Charlie Serrano (15-3-1, 4 KO), also on Friday… Underrated junior lightweight Alejandro Perez (17-3-1, 11 KO) fights on UniMas Saturday night, taking on Edgar Riovalle (35-14-2, 25 KO) in Inglewood… WAPA America has fights from Puerto Rico the same night, headlined by strawweights Janiel Rivera (9-0-2, 6 KO) and Felipe Rivas (14-12-1, 8 KO)… Also Saturday super middleweight beltholder and Arthur Abraham conqueror Robert Stieglitz (44-3, 25 KO) takes and easy fight against the unheralded Yuzo Kiyota (23-3-1, 21 KO) in Dresden.