The Week’s Boxing Schedule, Featuring Amir Khan, Chris Algieri And Kell Brook

If the boxing schedule is anything to go by, this whole Al Haymon thing seems to be working out OK so far. This week he’s promoting (er, sorry, “advising”) a show featuring welterweights Amir Khan and Chris Algieri. It’s not going to set the world on fire, but the undercard could be a cheeky hit. Looking further afield, there are solid cards happening in the UK and Mexico, and less appealing fare on smaller US networks. Let’s jump into it.

  • Amir Khan vs Chris Algieri, Friday, Spike TV, New York. “Premier Boxing Champions” returns to Spike with a battle of welterweight slicksters. It might end up a very tactical affair, and I’m not sure how Algieri (20-1, 8 KO) wins it. He just doesn’t have the natural speed or power of Khan (30-3, 19 KO). The junior lightweight fight on the undercard, between Dominican puncher Javier Fortuna (27-0-1, 20 KO) and pugnacious Costa Rican Bryan “Tiquito” Vasquez (34-1, 18 KO) promises more action. Fortuna is a blue chip prospect who hasn’t quite made the leap to contendership yet, and Vasquez will be a stern test — just ask much-hyped Mexican prospect Jose Felix, Jr., whose bubble he burst last year.
  • Kell Brook vs. Frankie Gavin, Saturday, London. Quite a decent card here from Old Blighty, headlined by welterweights Brook (34-0, 23 KO) and Gavin (22-1, 13 KO). You get the sense that Gavin, a nifty type who’s been down a few times already in his career, might not be sturdy enough for Brook, a solid welterweight if ever there was on. On the undercard, local boy Kevin Mitchell (39-2, 29 KO) takes on Venezuelan “Golden Boy” Jorge Linares (38-3, 25 KO). Linares is a beautiful boxer and should be able to deal with Mitchell from the outside, but he also has a highly suspect chin, which makes this an even money fight. Even further down the bill, Welsh combination puncher Lee Selby (20-1, 8 KO) takes on Evgeny “The Mexican Russian” Gradovich (19-0-1, 9 KO) at featherweight. Though neither guy is a knockout artist, both throw punches in bunches. It should be lots of fun, even without the promise of a conclusive ending. Finally, British heavyweight hope Anthony Joshua (12-0, 12 KO) stays busy and takes a step up against Kevin Johnson (29-6-1, 14 KO), a tough journeyman who may take him the distance for the first time.
  • Lateef Kayode vs Nick Kisner, Friday, CBS Sports Net, Memphis. The best thing Nigerian cruiserweight Kayode (20-0, 16 KO) has done in boxing is yell “I fuck he up” after losing to Antonio Tarver (a result later changed to a No Contest due to a positive drug test from Tarver). He was knocked out last time out by Luis Ortiz (which was also changed to a No Contest because of a positive drug test). Kisner (14-1-1, 5 KO) isn’t as good as Tarver or Ortiz, but he too can dream of taking part in a No Contest.
  • Javier Mendoza vs Milan Melindo, Saturday, beIn Sports Español, Ensenada Mexico. Junior featherweight’s #3 and #9 contenders, respectively, meet in a very respectable fight just south of the border. Mendoza (23-2-1, 19 KO), who hails from Tijuana, an hour up the road, is a macho, Mexican-style southpaw who isn’t afraid to go to the body. For his part, Melindo (32-1, 12 KO) is no slouch, has great hand speed and puts punches together. Could be a good one.
  • Saul Rodriguez vs. Antonio Capulin, Saturday, UniMas, Hollywood. A slightly misleading clash of undefeated prospects on UniMas; Capulin (14-0, 6 KO) has a fairly padded resume compared to Rodriguez (16-1, 13 KO).