It’s an absolute monster of a week in the boxing schedule. Not only is Kazakh menace Gennady Golovkin headlining his first pay-per-view, there are four (4!) “Premier Boxing Champions” cards on four different networks (seriously, that’s nuts) and much more besides.
- Gennady Golovkin vs David Lemieux, Saturday, HBO PPV, New York. Everyone’s favourite adorable/terrifying Kazakh middleweight, Golovkin (33-0, 30 KO), headlines a PPV for the first time, which is really a testament to his management’s hard work and the marketing power of being a total badass knockout artist. He’s in against Canada’s Lemieux (34-2, 31 KO), who can punch a bit himself. Still, he’s nowhere near Golovkin in terms of punch variety and skills. I think he’ll be out of there within four rounds. The undercard figures to be a treat as well, with flyweight king Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez (43-0, 37 KO), perhaps the only offensive fighter in the sport better than Golovkin. He’s taking on former champ Brian Viloria (36-4, 22 KO), who isn’t so bad himself. It’s a really mouthwatering fight, though you have to have Gonzalez a heavy favourite based on his domination of the division and Viloria’s age and relative inactivity against quality opposition.
- Lamont Peterson vs Felix Diaz, Saturday, NBC, Fairfax Va. A somewhat interesting fight here, with proven welterweight contender Peterson (33-3-1, 17 KO) looking to bounce back from a highly disputed loss to Danny Garcia by facing Dominican Olympic gold medalist Diaz (17-0, 8 KO). It’s weird, though, because Diaz hasn’t faced anyone, really, and Peterson is a hell of a step up (quite literally, he’s nearly five inches taller than Diaz). If Peterson can keep Diaz on the outside he’ll have an easy night, but Diaz will be working hard to get inside. If he can get there things could get awkward, given the height difference, southpaw/orthodox combination and Diaz’s sometimes wild punches.
- Devon Alexander vs Aron Martinez, Wednesday, ESPN/ESPN Deportes, Glendale Ariz. I find it really hard to get excited for an Alexander (26-3, 14 KO) fight. Especially when the hugging, barking welterweight contender is fighting a journeyman like Martinez (19-4-1, 4 KO). Don’t hold your breath for spectacular action. At least the featherweight fight on the undercard between Wales’ Lee Selby (21-1, 8 KO) and Mexican veteran Fernando Montiel (54-4-2, 39 KO) should be entertaining. Though Selby should a large favourite, Montiel always comes to fight.
- Andrzej Fonfara vs Nathan Cleverly, Friday, Spike TV, Chicago. I reckon workmanlike Polish-American light heavyweight Fonfara (27-3, 16 KO) will have a relatively easy time with his British opponent here. Cleverly (29-2, 15 KO) has fast hands and relatively fast feet but in the end isn’t that hard to find.
- Gerald Washington vs Amir Mansour, Tuesday, Fox Sports 1/Fox Deportes, Shelton Wash. Forty-three-year-old heavyweight contender Mansour (22-1, 16 KO) is fun, so it’s good to see him back on TV. To be honest, I don’t think he’ll have much trouble with Washington (16-0, 11 KO), an athletic-looking guy who’s only fought the usual suspects and has holes in his defence you could drive a truck through.
- Seanie Monaghan vs Donovan George, Friday, TruTV, New York. A crossroads fight between light heavyweight fringe contenders. Luckily for “Irish” Seanie Monaghan, a lot of the time in boxing being white and a ticket seller can take you further than more tangible attributes.
- David Carmona vs Richard Rodriguez, Friday, Telemundo, Mexico City. A nice junior bantamweight rematch here. Rodriguez came out of the gate hard in the first fight but Carmona, the more experienced fighter, swept the final rounds. A year’s worth of experience could work in Rodriguez’s favour.
- Jessie Magdaleno vs Vergel Nebran, Saturday, UniMas, Phoenix Ariz. Magdaleno will aim to do better than big brother Diego, who got pancaked in England by Terry Flanagan on the weekend. Shouldn’t be too much of a risk against Nebran, who’s lost five of his last 10.