Another week, another schedule, another picture of animals fighting. But don’t worry, it’s not just animals, there are humans fighting this week too. There are the “Boxcino” tournament finals on ESPN and light heavyweight champ Adonis Stevenson (booo!) is fighting on HBO. There’s also the premier of an HBO “2 Days” documentary about “The Siberian Rocky” AKA Ruslan Provodnikov on HBO on Saturday, which, much like the man himself, is guaranteed to be entertaining.
- “Boxcino” Tournament Finals, Friday, ESPN2, Verona N.Y. ESPN’s “Boxcino” tournament, which started as “I support this in principal but it’s a bunch of low-level contenders and club fighters” kind of thing, has morphed into much-watch boxing. First up is the lightweight final, between Petr Petrov (34-4-2, 16 KO) and Fernando Carcamo (17-5, 13 KO). I don’t see this one as all that competitive — Petrov has the skills to comprehensively beat “El Guerrero Yaqui” and the will to match him if things get messy. I mean, I hope things get messy because that will be fun. But if Petrov will use his superior footwork and handspeed to demolish him from the outside if he has any brains. The middleweight semi-final has a more interesting clash of styles, with baby-faced Los Angeles native Brandon Adams (14-0, 9 KO) taking on Upstate New Yorker Willie Monroe, Jr. (17-1, 6 KO). Adams will no doubt attempt to pressure the taller lefty, and this fight will most likely be a test of how much he has learned over the course of the tournament. Monroe has doubtless had the harder draw, having defeated Chicago hardcase Donatas Bondorovas and highly fancied Ukrainian Vitaliy Kopylenko to get to the final, and on paper has the nous to outbox Adams. But he’s been flustered before and Adams seems to have a rare mix of power and intelligence, so he’ll need to keep his wits about him.
- Adonis Stevenson Vs. Andrzej Fonfara, Saturday, Showtime, Montreal. Lineal light heavyweight champion Adonis Stevenson (boooo!) has his first fight on Showtime (boooo!) against Poland’s Fonfara (boooo!). It’s unlikely to be competitive and really only serves as a reminder of how much it sucks that Stevenson (23-1, 20 KO) isn’t fight Sergey Kovalev. It’s not that Fonfara (25-2, 15 KO) is an awful fighter, he’s just rudimentary and all his best wins have an air of having been less to do with skill and more to do with being in the right place at the right time. He just doesn’t have the athleticism or subtlety to deal with a guy like Stevenson, who is by no means amazing but is at least really damn powerful and really damn fast. At least the knockout could be spectacular, right? On the undercard, once fancied middleweight banger David Lemieux (31-2, 29 KO) takes on once-fancied middleweight boxer Fernando Guerrero (26-2, 19 KO) in a “would have been a great ShoBox in early 2011” kind of fight.
- The Rest. Not a whole lot. Featherweight veteran Jhonny Gonzalez in a disappointing stay busy fight with Clive Atwell (he’s from the boxing hotbed of Guyana, in case you were wondering)