The Week’s Boxing Schedule, Featuring Wladimir Klitschko, Yuriorkis Gamboa And Anthony Mundine

Whoa, there’s lots of boxing on this week. It was a bit sad writing the schedule, though, because so few of the fights are likely to be competitive. At least the top dog of the heavyweight division (get it? Because the picture… it’s of dogs… never mind), Wladimir Klitschko will be on HBO again. Not that his fight against Bulgaria’s Kubrat Pulev is likely to be anything other than the standard fare. Anyway, check out what’s on (in chronological order) and maybe you’ll find something you like.

  • Anthony Mundine Vs. Sergey Rabchenko, Wednesday, Melbourne. Faded Australian middleweight Mundine (46-6, 27 KO) faces undefeated Belarusian Rabchenko (25-0, 18 KO) Down Under. The switch-hitting Eastern Euro isn’t anything special, but I’m not sure you have to be to beat Mundine these days. He’s sturdy, and that may be enough. On the undercard, Aussies Lenny Zappavigna ( junior middleweight) and Lucas Browne (heavyweight) get some relatively easy work in.
  • Joseph Diaz, Jr. Vs. Roberto Castaneda, Thursday, Fox Sports 1/Fox Deportes, Indio Calif. London Olympian and junior featherweight prospect Diaz, Jr. (12-0, 8 KO) continues his way up the pro ranks against Casaneda (21-7-1, 15 KO), who’s lost six of his last seven. Giant Chinese heavyweight Taishan Dong fights on the undercard.
  • Carlos Cuadras Vs. Marvin Mabait, Thursday, Washington, D.C. Mexican fan favourite Cuadras (30-0, 24 KO) makes his US debut against the Filipino junior bantamweight Mabait (19-2-2, 13 K) after a fight with Mabait’s countryman Sonny Boy Jaro fell through. It should be a good opportunity for Cuadras to showcase his entertaining boxer-puncher style.
  • Sammy Vasquez Vs. Alberto Mosquera, Friday, beIN Sports, Pittsburgh. Weltereight Vasquez (16-0, 12 KO) makes up for his terrible nickname (The Who Can Mexican) with fast feed and a fondness for letting his hands go. Mosquera (21-1, 14 KO) isn’t afraid to mix it up, so this should be a fun fight between two southpaws. Much-maligned lightweight Rod Salka has his first fight since a brutal loss to Danny Garcia against Monty Meza Clay on the undercard.
  • Wladimir Klitschko Vs. Kubrat Pulev, Saturday, HBO, Hamburg. Bulgaria’s Pulev (20-0, 11 KO) is the latest in a long line of heavyweight prospects-turned-contenders who fancy themselves a chance to knock off Klitschko (62-3, 52 KO), the heavyweight champ. That illusion is going to go out the window about as soon as Pulev tastes the Ukrainian’s ramrod jab. He’s not powerful enough to be a huge threat and too immobile to avoid incoming fire. Will probably be painful both for the viewer and the challenger.
  • Gilberto Ramirez Vs. Fulgencio Zuniga, Saturday, HBO Latino, San Antonio. Left-handed Mexican super middleweight Ramirez (29-0, 23 KO) takes on veteran Colombian gatekeeper Zuniga (27-9-1, 24 KO). Zuniga brings power and is a tough nut to crack, but Ramirez’s length and skills will be too much for him. Highly fancied Mexican Olympian Oscar Valdez continues to make baby steps on the undercard.
  • Donnie Nietes Vs. Carlos Velarde, Saturday, beIN Sports Espanol, Cebu City Philippines. Top junior flyweight contender Nietes (33-1-4, 19 KO) is at home against Mexico’s Velarde, a little fella with fast hands who likes to get in close. Could be a good one if you can track it down.
  • Cristian Mijares vs. Lester Medrano, Saturday, Fox Deportes, Cancun.  Featherweight vet Mijares (50-8-2, 25 KO) heads up this card against Nicaragua’s Medrano (14-2-1, 9 KO), but the real attraction will be lightweight Yuriorkis Gamboa (23-1, 16 KO), fresh from a beating at the hands of Terence Crawford. How will it affect the dynamic Cuban? We might not find out much against his opponent Joel Montes De Oca (18-3, 10 KO), who has been bussed in from Mexico City from the occasion and has never fought anyone of note.
  • Thomas Oosthuizen Vs. Denis Grachev, Saturday, Kempton Park South Africa. Not a bad little fight in South Africa with lefty light heavyweight Oosthuizen (22-0-2, 13 KO) fighting Russia’s Grachev (13-4-1, 8 KO), a former kick boxer with a limited grip on the sweet part of the sweet science. Frankly, the tall and fast Oosthuizen is all wrong for Grachev, who comes forward at a snail’s pace throwing everything and the kitchen sink, but hey, you never know.
  • Matthew Macklin Vs. Jorge Sebastien Heiland, Saturday, Dublin. Irish/Brummy middleweight Macklin (31-5, 2 KO), continues a run of less than inspiring opponents against Heiland (24-4-2, 20 KO), who is venturing outside his native Argentina for the first time.