The Week’s Boxing Schedule, Featuring Victor Ortiz, Gennady Golovkin And Blake Caparello

It was Australia Day on the weekend, so it’s fitting that there are a lot of Australian boxers fighting this week. Above is a member of our federal parliament skolling a can of beer upside down at an Australia day party, so yeah, beat that.

It’s a quantity, rather than quality kind of week, but highlights (apart from Australians Anthony Mundine, Blake Caparello and Jarrod Fletcher) include Gennady Golovkin fighting in Monaco and Victor Ortiz’s return to the ring. Let’s get to it, with the schedule in no particular order because I can’t really work out what the most important/appealing fights are this week (apart from GGG, obviously).

  • Gennady Golovkin vs. Osumanu Adama, Saturday, Monaco. Everyone’s favourite terrifying middleweight, Golovkin (28-0, 25 KO) is staying true to his stated goal of keeping busy. Unfortunately for fight fans outside Monaco, that means he’ll be off TV this weekend. His opponent Adama (22-3, 16 KO) is a limited Ghanian who, like most fighters from that country, is a tough sumbitch. I’d be pretty shocked if Golovkin wasn’t the first to stop him, though. The African has a way of going straight backwards that will have Golovkin licking his chops in delight. One of the aforementioned Australians, middleweight prospect Fletcher (17-1, 10 KO) fights the Ukraine’s Max Bursak (29-1-1, 12 KO) on the undercard. Fletcher has done it tough, losing a step-up fight against the much fancied Billy Joe Saunders. Now he’s taking on Bursak, who’s probably just outside the middleweight top 10. I give Fletcher a decent chance of pulling the upset, since he has some of the speed and skill that allowed Hassan N'Dam N'Jikam to beat Bursak in 2012. It’ll be a tough ask, though, and Bursak will be up in his grill throughout.
  • Victor Ortiz vs. Luis Collazo, Thursday, Fox Sports 1, Brooklyn. Boxing’s biggest weirdo (which is really saying something), Victor Ortiz (29-4-2, 22 KO) makes his return to the ring on Thursday after a year and a half off spent selling Facelube and whatnot. His opponent is Luis Collazo (34-5, 17 KO), a guy who had been out of the ring for a while himself before last year. Ortiz’s unpredictable mentality makes him highly beatable (if you get him on the right night), but I’m not sure Collazo has enough left to do it. I reckon he’ll have to respect Ortiz’s power a little too much and lose a fairly wide decision. That said – who fucking knows what’s going to happen when Ortiz gets in the ring. The undercard features another disappointingly one sided match-up for junior lightweight prospect Gary Russell, Jr. (23-0, 13 KO). Just about everybody has given up hope that Russell will ever fight anyone with a pulse.
  • Elvir Muriqi vs. Blake Caparello, Friday, ESPN2, West Orange N.J. Another Australian on Friday Night Fights, with light heavyweight Caparello (18-0-1, 6 KO) making his U.S. debut against Elvir “The Kosovo Kid” Muriqi (40-0, 24 KO). Caparello is a tall, awkward lefty who maybe lacks the power to really crack the big time. Muriqi, who is probably best remembered for mixing it up with Antonio Tarver way back in 2007, has way more experience at a high level but has only fought twice in the last three years. If Muriqi can find some of his old form, he could be a threat to Caparello, who didn’t set the world on fire against Allan Green. If not, the Aussie is going to beat him to the punch all night with his frustrating southpaw jab. The undercard features a TQBR favourite, D.C. welterweight Dusty Harrison Hernandez (19-0, 11 KO), in a development fight against Tim Witherspoon, Jr. (10-3-1, 2 KO).
  • The Rest. On Wednesday (or Tuesday, depending on your time zone) Anthony Mundine (45-5, 27 KO) fights Gunnar Jackson (18-4-3,6 KO), since Carson Jones pulled out. Rugby player Quade Cooper (1-0, 1 KO) fights on the undercard, if you care (which you probably don’t)… The rest of the week’s action is on Saturday, starting with fights from Cardiff to be broadcast in America on AWE. The main event pits local featherweight hero Lee Selby (17-1, 6 KO) against Rendall Munroe (27-3-1, 11 KO). The co-feature, with lightweights Gavin Rees (37-3-1, 18 KO) and Gary Buckland (27-3, 9 KO) should also be fun and our own Andrew Harrison will have a preview later in the week. London heavyweight gold medallist Anthony Joshua is also fighting… Over on Fox Deportes featherweight Oscar Gonzalez (23-2, 14 KO) fights Ranel Suco (15-7-2, 6 KO) down Mexico way… Fellow Spanish network UniMas has a frankly uncompetitive super middleweight bout between Gilberto Ramirez (26-0, 20 KO) and Don Mouton (12-7-1, 10 KO) in Texas… Meanwhile there’s a Puerto Rican show on WAPA America, headlined by junior lightweight Edgar Lopez (8-0-1, 4 KO) who fights Miguel Soto, who has a record of 12-1, 12 KO and is not to be confused with Miguel Cotto.