The Week’s Boxing Schedule, Featuring Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr., Vasyl Lomachenko And Ricky Burns


At TQBR we like to expand your sporting frontiers, which is why we’re leading this edition of the weekly schedule with this gif of excited South African cricketer Dale Steyn. Like Steyn, we’re excited. Excited about big fights being back on the menu. Those large events come courtesy of HBO, AWE (formerly Wealth TV) and even ESPN2 with their Boxcino tournament. Let’s get into it.

  • Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr. vs. Brian Vera, Saturday, HBO, San Antonio. This fight actually makes me a bit sad. Chavez, Jr. (47-1-1, 32 KO) is a spoilt child who used his star power to force Vera (23-7, 14 KO), a natural middleweight at best, to fight at light heavyweight when he was too lazy to make the weight in their first go-round. Vera, to his credit, fought his heart out only to see the judges take his deserved win away. Now they’re doing it again, except this time Chavez has taken the fight seriously and I think he’ll win easily. I wish it wasn’t so but it is. The much more interesting fight is the featherweight support bout between Ukraine’s Vasyl Lomachenko (1-0, 1 KO) and Mexico’s Orlando “Siri” Salido (40-12-2, 28 KO). Lomachenko, a two-time Olympic gold medallist, wanted to win a world title in his first pro fight, but had to settle for attempting in his second. Talk about precocious. They guy is an animal, like the version of Yuriorkis Gamboa that we used to capitalise around these parts. Salido is a real challenge as well, he takes a while to warm up but he’s hard as hell (if a little inconsistent). I think Lomachenko can do it.
  • Ricky Burns vs. Terence Crawford, Saturday, AWE, Glasgow. The Glaswegian crowd might not get all they bargained for here, with two tactical boxer types topping the bill (I just wanted to write Glaswegian). That’s not to say that this lightweight match-up isn’t a quality one, it is; Burns (36-2-1, 11 KO) and Crawford (22-0, 16 KO) are #3 and #5 in the Transnational Boxing Rankings, respectively. It’s just that Burns is a mover and a fencer, while Crawford is a pure counterpuncher. Burns has been dragged into the trenches before (paging Ray Beltran), but Crawford isn’t the man to do that. Crawford has the pizzazz to engage Burns, but if he doesn’t show more urgency than he did in his last fight, against Andrey Klimov, he’ll just eat jabs all night. London super heavyweight gold medalist Anthony Joshua fights on the undercard (he seems to fight virtually every weekend at this point, good on him).
  • Boxcino middleweight tournament, Friday, ESPN2, Hammond Ind. If last week’s lightweight quarterfinals were anything to go by, then the middleweight bracket of Friday Night Fights’ Boxcino middleweight tournament should be a blast. It should also be fairly unpredictable, but that’s never stopped me before. The wild cards are Ghana’s Sena Agbeko (15-0, 15 KO) and Ukraine’s Vitaliy Kopylenko (22-0, 12 KO), who fight Midwestern club fighter Cerresso Forte (17-2-1, 11 KO) and Texan Raymond Gatica (13-2, 8 KO), respectively. The toughest match-up of the night might be between Chicago based Lithunian Donatas Bondorovas (18-4-1, 6 KO), who had a close run thing with the aforementioned Vera last year, and Willie Monroe, Jr. (15-1, 6 KO). Monroe is doubtless the more polished of the two, but Bondorovas could maybe shake things up if he can fluster the New Yorker with his big right hand. The remaining fight pits LA prospect Brandon Adams (12-0, 8 KO) against Daniel “The Haitian Sensation” Edouard (23-4-2, 14 KO). Adams looks like he applies intelligent pressure (in the footage I’ve seen of him), but he’s a little ponderous and somewhat hittable. Eduouard hasn’t fought in three years and lost last time out to Peter Manfredo, Jr., but he’ll nevertheless be a big step up for Adams. I’d like to think the rookie can do it, though.
  • Robert Stieglitz vs. Arthur Abraham, Saturday, Magdeburg Germany. Stieglitz (46-3, 26 KO) and Abraham (38-4, 28 KO) are having a third fight and I see absolutely no reason why it won’t turn out exactly like the second, in which Stieglitz stopped Abraham in four. Abraham’s large water bird is cooked. He was never that flash as a super middleweight anyway.
  • The Rest. If you’ve got a thing for former drug cheats, then Showtime has a ShoBox for you on Friday night, with middleweight J’Leon Love (16-0, 9 KO) and lightweight Mickey Bey (19-1-1, 10 KO) both fighting… If that’s not your thing, but you still want to watch some boxing before Saturday, Universal Sports Network is airing a Thursday show from Brooklyn on tape delay, headlined by a clash of young New York cruiserweight prospects, Steve Bujaj (10-0, 7 KO) and Elvin Sanchez (6-2-1, 5 KO) Slow but fun Mexican welterweight brawler Pablo Cesar Cano (27-3-1, 20 KO) fights veteran Fernando Angulo (no relation of Alfredo) on the outskirts of Mexico City Saturday on Fox Deportes. Angulo’s boxrec page intriguingly claims that he “ran away at age seven to live in the jungle for months at a time over the years.” I’m sold… Hekkie Budler (24-1, 7 KO), the #2 strawweight contender, fights Karluis Diaz (21-4, 13 KO) in Johannesburg the same night.