The Week’s Boxing Schedule, Featuring Mikey Garcia, Bryant Jennings And Lamont Peterson


Muhammad Ali turned 72 last week, so take that hilarious Jerry Quarry impersonation as belated happy birthday from TQBR, champ. I found the vid on Reddit’s r/boxing page, which (as I’ve said before) is definitely worth a visit if you’re interested in random and/or funny boxing stuff.

This week is the first truly packed week of boxing this year. There are not one, but two premium cable shows (counter-programming each other, grr) and a whole bunch of other stuff on lesser networks to get you going. Let’s get to it.

  • Mikey Garcia vs. Juan Carlos Burgos, Saturday, HBO, New York. The sport’s #1 cowboy hat wearer, junior lightweight Mikey Garcia, is back. Garcia (33-0, 28 KO) is the #2 contender in the division and he’s taking on the #3, Juan Carlos “Mini” Burgos (30-1-2, 20 KO). There’ll be a full preview later in the week, but suffice to say this is a decent fight. Unfortunately Burgos is coming off two draws. The first, a hard-fought battle with Roman Martinez (who Garcia subsequently stopped) was controversial. Burgos basically gave the second away, after dominating Yakubu Amidu in the early going. Garcia is an unstoppable, albeit slow moving, object. Not the kind of fighter you want to fade late against. I’d be willing to bet he’ll be the first man to stop Burgos. On the undercard Philadelphia heavyweight Bryant Jennings (17-0, 9 KO) and Poland’s Artur Szpilka (16-0, 12 KO) will do battle, despite visa issues very nearly scuttling the fight. Szpilka, having originally been denied entry to the US by the Department of Homeland Security, will have spent an unexpected day and a half on planes in the week before a fight, hardly an ideal preparation. I saw this as a pick-em contest between Jennings’ slickness and Szpilka’s own fast hands, but no one who’s been on an aeroplane for 36 hours (an occupational hazard of being Australian, in case you’re wondering) could bet on Szpilka.
  • Lamont Peterson vs. Dierry Jean, Saturday, Showtime, Washington D.C. When it rains premium cable boxing shows, it pours premium cable boxing shows. Showtime is flipping HBO the bird, as it is wont to do, by putting junior welterweights Lamont Peterson (31-2-1, 16 KO) and Dierry Jean (25-0, 17 KO) on at the same time Saturday night. Jean will be looking to emulate the success of his Haitian/Quebecois compatriot Jean Pascal by pulling the upset against the more proven Peterson in his own backyard. As always, there’ll be a full preview later in the week, but I think Peterson is probably the more dynamic and harder working fighter here and will outhustle the man from north of the border. You can thank shit-talking and Twitter for the supporting bout between junior middleweights Jermell Charlo (22-0, 11 KO) and Gabe Rosado (21-7, 13 KO). It’ll be Charlo’s first real test, and Rosado is just the guy to do it (and lose). The Philly fighter really knows how to push guys to their limit (and lose). Charlo’s skills and good looking jab should keep Rosado off until the later rounds, when he’ll make a late charge (and lose).
  • Marco Huck vs. Firat Arslan, Saturday, Stuttgart. If you like spiteful central European cruiserweight battles with awkward publicity shots, this is most definitely the fight for you. Huck (36-2-1, 25 KO) was gifted a unanimous decision last time these two met, back in November 2012. Arslan, who’s no spring chicken at 43, fought out of his skin that night and I don’t think we’ll see a repeat performance. Huck, who had just come off a disappointing draw with Alexander Povetkin at heavyweight, says he took Arslan lightly, and for once I believe the excuse. Give me Huck by stoppage.
  • Cornelius White vs. Thomas Williams, Jr., Friday, ESPN2, Shelton Wash. Light heavyweights are the order of the day on Friday Night Fights this week. White (21-2, 16 KO), who is coming off a rather devastating loss to Sergey Kovalev, is tasked with stopping the momentum of prospect Williams (15-0, 10 KO). He might be able to do it, assuming the damage Kovalev inflicted doesn’t have lasting effects. To my eye, Williams is quite flatfooted and White, while not elite, can be quite mobile when he’s at his best. Avoiding a firefight may be the order of the day. On the undercard fallen featherweight prospects Rico Ramos (22-3, 12 KO) and Jonathan Arrellano (14-2-2, 3 KO) will look to revive their careers (by fighting each other, that’s how this works). After a promising rise through the ranks, Ramos has been underwhelming even in victory. Don’t expect any different here.
  • The Rest. NBC Sports Net has a fun show from Atlantic City on Friday, with middleweight punchers Curtis Stevens (25-4, 18 KO) and Patrick Majewski (21-2, 13 KO) in the starring role. Majewski is a plugger and a slugger, while Stevens has a bit more finish on him (which may carry him over the line). At any rate, you have to admire the guy for getting back in the ring so soon after Gennady Golovkin turned him into a fine paste… The same night on the other side of the country (Indio, Calif. to be exact) on Fox Sports 1, junior welterweight prospect Antonio Orozco (18-0, 14 KO) fights Miguel Angel Huerta (27-11-1, 18 KO)… It’s probably also worth mentioning that fan favourite "Comanche Boy" George Tahdooahnippah fights off TV in Oklahoma City on Friday…. UFC boss Dana White's boxing reality show debuts Thursday on The Discovery Channel.