Whoa, there’s a lot of boxing on this week. After a slow start to the year, things are looking up. Yew!
- Errol Spence, Jr. vs Chris Algieri, Saturday, NBC, New York. A solid network TV card here, headlined welterweights Spence and Algieri. Spence, graduating from prospect status, seems to be the whole package but Algieri’s movement and length might offer a challenge, at least early on. After that it might be another opportunity for Algieri to show his toughness (not the kind of opportunity you want to get to many of). On the undercard, Polish cruiserweight Krzysztof Glowacki faces veteran contender Steve Cunningham. Again, I think Cunningham will have his moments but won’t be able to deal with the Pole’s strength and relative youth down the stretch.
- Gary Russell, Jr. vs Patrick Hyland, Saturday, Showtime, Mashantucket Conn. It’s been a whole year since Russell pancaked Jhonny Gonzalez, and his Irish opponent on Saturday is a sideways step at best. He’s tough, though, and might bring out the best in Russell.
- Jesus Soto-Karass vs Yoshihiro Kamegai, Friday, Estrella TV, LA. In what’s likely to be a barnburner, slightly faded Mexican bruiser Soto-Karass meets Japan’s Kamegai, whose windmill technique is complemented by his absurd ability to absorb punishment. You suspect Soto-Karass still has the edge in power and technique, but if he’s not in shape he’s in for a long, long night.
- Felix Verdejo vs Jose Luis Rodriguez, Saturday, UniMas, San Juan Puerto Rico. Classy Puerto Rican lightweight Verdejo faces late replacement Rodriguez, who seems unlikely to disrupt plans for a match with Mexico’s Jose Felix in June.
- Nikolay Potapov vs Stephon Young, Friday, Showtime, Verona N.Y. A ShoBox card headlined by two untested bantamweights.
- Steve Claggett vs Chris van Heerden, Saturday, CBS Sports Net, Las Vegas. Canadian clubfighter Claggett takes on van Heerden, who was knocked out by Spence in September last year.
- Josh Warrington vs Hisashi Amagasa, Saturday, beIN Sports Español, Leeds. British featherweight prospect Warrington takes on Japan’s Amagasa, whose career highlight was to twice knock down Guillermo Rigondeaux.