I don’t know what’s funnier, a multi-way venn diagram of bro-dom, or the fact that a guy called Zoltan Kiss, Jr. is fighting in Namibia on Saturday. Surely Zoltan is a huge bro. I bet he’s wearing a sideways visor right now.
As for the non-Namibian boxing schedule, there’s a fair bit going down this week. The big show on HBO features Kazakh middleweight and meat enthusiast Gennady Golovkin taking on Birmingham’s most famous Irishman, Matthew Macklin. On top of that, there are important cards taking place from Florida to Dubai, so let’s get to the schedule.
- Gennady Golovkin vs. Matthew Macklin, Saturday, HBO, Mashantucket Conn. Kazakhstan’s Golovkin (26-0, 23 KO) is a cult figure in boxing, a skilled knockout puncher who has reportedly been involved in gym wars with a who’s who of Californian fighters. Macklin (29-4, 20 KO) is the epitome of a reliable fighter, but it’s doubtful that will be enough against a phenom like Golovkin. That said, Macklin will be by far the best fighter that Golovkin has faced so far, so you never really know what will happen. Tim will have a full preview later in the week, but my tip is a Kazakh KO in the 8th. On the undercard, highly fancied South African super middleweight Thomas Oosthuizen (21-0, 13 KO) takes on California’s Brandon Gonzalez (17-0, 10 KO). I like this fight. At 6’4”, Oosthuizen is huge for a super middleweight, a lefty and a skilled boxer. He’s going to be a huge handful for everyone he fights, but Gonzalez isn’t the type to be deterred. I think he’ll spend some time on the Saffa’s chest and at least make it interesting. Rounding out the card is a 154 lb. fight between Cleveland prospect Willie Nelson (20-1-1, 12 KO) and Argentina’s Luciano Cuello (32-2, 16 KO). You can’t watch the 6’3” Nelson without having fond memories of Paul Williams, another massive, active junior middleweight. I’m not saying Nelson is on that level, but Cuello isn’t the guy to test him. After the fights, the latest episode of HBO's "The Fight Game" airs.
- Sergio Mora vs. Grzegorz Proksa, Friday, ESPN2, Jacksonville Fla. This middleweight fight is bizarre and I’m not sure I want to see it. Mora (23-3-2, 7 KO), a cagey boxer well known for winning "The Contender" some time before the birth of Christ is notorious among boxing fans for his boring fights. Poland’s Grzegorz Proska (29-2, 21 KO) was thought of for a while as comparable to Dmitry Pirog, another hard-hitting Eastern European southpaw with a difficult name. But Proska lost where Pirog didn’t, first to the unheralded Kerry Hope and then to Golovkin. What happens when you put an action shy boxer like Mora in with a whacky southpaw like Proksa? It’s almost impossible to tell, but I reckon there’s a better than 50 percent chance that it stinks. I’ll take Proksa’s youth over Mora’s experience, but I do so with little confidence and even less enthusiasm.
- The Rest. A pair of English cards offer intrigue this week: Frankie Gavin (15-0, 11 KO) fighting Denton Vassell (20-0, 10 KO) for the British and Commonwealth welterweight titles in Liverpool, and lightweight Anthony Crolla (25-4-1, 9 KO) taking on Gavin Rees (37-2-1, 18 KO) in Bolton. TQBR’s Andrew Harrison will have full previews of both cards… Friday on Telemundo junior welterweight veteran Joan Guzman (33-1-1,20 KO) fights Vicente Mosquera (37-2-1, 17 KO) in a fight that is somehow for an interim alphabet belt. The world’s first out and proud pro boxer, Orlando Cruz, fights on the undercard… Chinese strawweight Xiong Zhao Zhong (20-4-1, 11 KO) fights Denver Cuello (33-4-6, 21 KO) of the Phillipines in Dubai the same night… UniMas has featherweights Robert Marroquin (23-2, 16 KO) and Daniel Diaz (19-5-1, 15 KO) on Saturday night.