The Week’s Boxing Schedule, Featuring Omar Narvaez, Kazuto Ioka, Orlando Salido And Richar Abril

After one of the biggest boxing weeks of the year, the next seven days are time for a break for all but the most hardcore fans. It’s not that there’s nothing on (there is, and quite a lot of it is on TV), it’s just that it’s a mile wide and an inch deep (like the lake above, but less pretty). There are some mid-level names fighting, as you can see from the headline, but most of them are in relatively noncompetitive match-ups. HBO’s boxing talk show, The Fight Game with Jim Lampley, returns on Tuesday and will run monthly until December, so that could also keep you occupied. Let’s get to it.

  • Kazuto Ioka Vs. Pablo Carrillo, Tuesday, Tokyo. Ioka (14-1, 9 KO) has his second fight at flyweight. The first, against Amnat Ruenroeng, didn’t go so well, with the dynamic Osaka native losing a unanimous decision. This time he’s facing Colombia’s Carrillo (15-2-1, 8 KO), a tough little nugget who’s only ever won fights on the Colombian coast. He’s not that fast and in his two losses to Luis Concepcion appeared open to right hands, which Ioka throws hard and often.
  • Omar Narvaez vs. Felipe Orucuta, Friday, Argentina. From a competitiveness point of view, this rematch be the best fight of the week. Narvaez (41-1-2, 23 KO) is a long time flyweight turned junior bantamweight titlist, but hardly ever ventures outside Argentina. Orucuta (29-2, 24 KO) is a step above his usual competition, and comes in at #6 in the division according to the Transnational Boxing Rankings Board (to Narvaez’s #1). Narvaez got a controversial decision win in the first fight and Orucuta will need to do a lot to make sure the same doesn’t happen this time round. Luckily he’s a Nacho Beristain-trained boxer-puncher (aren’t they all) with a big reach advantage, so he has the tools to make it happen.
  • Orlando Salido Vs. Terdsak Kokietgym, Friday, beIN Sports Español, Ciudad Obregon Mexico. Six months after defeating Vasyl Lomachenko with his bag of veterans tricks/dickery, featherweight Orlando Salido (41-12-2, 28 KO) has a homecoming fight in Sonora against Thai veteran Kokietgym (53-4-1, 33 KO). Salido should win, but who knows — he’s inconsistent and tends to take punishment in fights where he really shouldn’t.
  • Thabiso Mchunu Vs. Garrett Wilson, Saturday, NBC, Mashantucket Conn. Main Event Promotions’ Mchunu (16-1, 11 KO) surprised many when he beat Eddie Chambers in Chambers’ cruiserweight debut. Looking back, it shouldn’t have been that surprising — Mchunu is a nifty southpaw sharpshooter with fast hands. For his opponent, Garrett Wilson (13-7-1, 7 KO), Philadelphia is both an adjective and his hometown. The guy is tough as nails and willing to mix it up — he should be able to force Mchunu to exchange. Whether he wins those exchanges with his limited power is another matter entirely.

The Rest.  All the other televised fights this week are on Saturday. UniMas has a welterweight bout between Cosme Rivera and Konstantin Ponomarev. Rivera has been around the block once or twice and can punch, so the Russian better watch out if he doesn’t want to mess up his step up… Carlos Cuadras, who many — including Beristain — tip as a future star in Mexico (and who the TBRB have as the #2 junior bantamweight), faces Jose Salgado in Sinaloa… Cuban lightweight Richar Abril makes his return after over a year of absence in Helsinki of all places, fighting Finland’s Edis Tatli… Finally brave English super middleweight George Groves gets back on the horse after a pair of losses to Carl Froch, taking on France’s Christopher “Iceberg” Rebrasse in London. No word on whether his nickname refers to hidden dimensions or his speed.