The Week’s Boxing Schedule Featuring Wladimir Klitschko, Tyson Fury, Erislandy Lara And James DeGale

Puerto Rico and Mexico had their superfight last week, now it’s Germany and the UK’s turn. Tens of thousands will pile into a football stadium to see heavyweight champ Wladimir Klitschko (pictured sparring with brother Vitali, now a Ukrainian politician) fight buffoon/possibly legit contender Tyson Fury on Saturday, US time. Saturday also sees a free replay of Saul “Canelo” Alvarez’s victory over Miguel Cotto on HBO. Apart from that there are basically a whole shitload of mismatches (it’s up to you as to whether you put Klitschko/Fury in that category).

Wladimir Klitschko vs Tyson Fury, Saturday, Dusseldorf. Heavyweight kingpin Klitschko (64-3, 53 KO) takes on big-mouthed (and just plain big) Brit Fury (24-0, 18 KO) in the biggest fight of the week. It’s perhaps the Ukrainian’s biggest challenge for a while, not that that’s saying much. Still, Klitschko rarely fights anyone taller than him or with a longer reach, so in that sense at least this match-up offers something new. Will it make any difference? I doubt it. Fury is no Floyd Mayweather in the defence stakes and Klitschko is ridiculously heavy handed. He might get touched up a bit more than usual this time out, but the ending will be the same.

Erislandy Lara vs Jan Zaveck, Friday, ESPN/ESPN Deportes, Hialeah Fla. This one is just a total mismatch. Lara (21-2-2, 12 KO), one of the best pure boxers in the world, fights tough Slovenian Zaveck (35-3, 19 KO). The visitor is getting a bit long in the tooth at 39, and wasn’t all that great to begin with.

James DeGale vs Lucien Bute, Saturday, Showtime, Quebec City. Coming off a breakout US win over Andre Dirrell, British super middleweight DeGale (21-1, 14 KO) heads north to Quebec to take on one of its adopted sons, Bute (32-2, 25 KO). Unfortunately, Bute is no longer the destroyer he seemed to be four or five years ago. In fact, he seems downright fragile after a pair of losses to Carl Froch and Jean Pascal. DeGale, seemingly in the ascendancy, might have a very easy time of it.

Jermall Charlo vs Wilky Campfort, Saturday, NBC, Dallas.  Another”Premier Boxing Champions” mismatch, with junior middleweight contender Charlo (22-0, 17 KO) matched with the relatively unproven Wilky Campfort (21-1, 12 KO). Though he sounds like a weird hot beverage your gran might keep in the cupboard, Campfort is actually pretty tough. It’s just he doesn’t have the experience, the size or the skill of Charlo. PS: Anointed welterweight star Errol Spence fights on the undercard.