Mayweather/Pacquiao is over, baby, and we’re riding into a new fight week like Saul “Canelo” Alvarez riding a stallion on a Mexican beach. You might have heard boxing is dead, but whoever told you that is dead wrong; there are so many fights on this week I hardly know where to start. I guess Alvarez fighting Texas’ James Kirkland in front of an expected 30,000 people in Houston is as good a place to start as any. But before I do, I ought to remind you that replays of the fight I mentioned at the start of this post will air on both HBO and Showtime on Saturday night.
- Canelo Alvarez vs. James Kirkland, Saturday, HBO, Houston. This bout his a 16 fight undercard. Think about that for a sec. You could get to Minute Maid Park in Houston before midday and watch boxing until practically midnight. I’m sure you’d be very “refreshed” and possibly sunburned by the end, but what a day out! Anyway, we’ll have a proper preview of the main event later in the week. But basically, #1 junior middleweight contender Canelo (44-1-1, 34 KO) should be way too good for the inconsistent Kirkland (32-1, 28 KO) unless the absolute best, most animal-mode Kirkland shows up. If he does, we’ll have a hell of a fight on our hands. On the televised undercard, top Golden Boy junior welterweight prospect Frankie Gomez (18-0, 13 KO) takes on veteran contender Humberto Soto (65-8-2, 35 KO) in a fight that will be a brawl until Soto wilts.
- Omar Figueroa vs. Ricky Burns, Saturday, CBS, Hidalgo TX. “Premier Boxing Champions” makes its return to CBS with a lightweight headliner between Figueroa (24-1, 18 KO) and Scotland’s Burns (37-4-1, 11 KO). Burns, a lanky boxer, has lost two (and should have lost three) of his last four. It seems he just can’t hack at the elite level, and I suspect Figueroa will be too much for him. The undercard features an intriguing bantamweight clash between England Jamie McDonnell (25-2-1, 12 KO) and Japan’s Tomoki “El Mexicanito” Kameda (31-0, 19 KO). Both are unusually tall for their division, though it should be Kameda who puts the pressure on and makes the fight. I don’t think McDonnell will be able to do enough to dissuade him from coming forward.
- Amir Mansour vs. Joey Dawejko, Friday, ESPN2, Philadelphia. Friday Night Fights brings you a clash between heavyweight fringe contender Mansour (21-1, 16 KO) and journeyman Dawejko (14-3-2, 7 KO), who’s riding a six fight winning streak. He could make it fun, but Mansour is the better boxer and has heavier hands.
- Glen Tapia vs. Michael Soro, Friday, TruTV, Newark N.J. Middleweight banger Tapia (23-1, 15 KO) takes on France’s Soro (25-1-1, 15 KO), who’s more of a boxer but has only fought twice outside of his native country. He doesn’t look to me like he’ll be able to keep Tapia off him for long.
- Manuel Avila vs. Erik Ruiz, Friday, Fox Sports 1/Fox Deportes, Los Angeles. Golden Boy’s club fight dream in LA continues, this time headlined by junior featherweight prospect Avila (16-0, 7 KO), who’s taking on Ruiz (13-2, 6 KO), who went the distance with Jessie Magdaleno but has otherwise faced unexceptional opposition.
- Jose Ramirez vs. Robert Frankel, Saturday, UniMas, Fresno Calif. A US Olympian (Ramirez) takes on a tough journeyman with 15 losses (Frankel). You know how this goes.