Four months into the year and we’re starting to get some decent fights. Sure, there’s only two cards of note this weekend, but they’re both intriguing in different ways. First up, chronologically speaking, is a clash of heavyweight up-and-comers Anthony Joshua (pictured, in cringeworthy tattoo form) and Charles Martin on Showtime. Then, later the same day, pound-for-pound veterans Manny Pacquiao and Tim Bradley clash on HBO Pay-Per-View. You wouldn’t say the build-up to the fight has been feverish, but it’s still a clash between two of the best in the world. We’ll have a full preview later in the week.
The Manny Pacquiao Vs Tim Bradley Undercard
- Arthur Abraham vs Gilberto Ramirez. German/Armenian super middleweight veteran Abraham returns to the US for the first time since 2011 to face Ramirez, a gangly Mexican lefty. It’ll be a good test for Ramirez, who has beaten the usual suspects but hasn’t always looked elegant doing so. With his height and reach advantage he has the tools to beat the compact Abraham, and I suspect he’ll get the nod in a decision.
- Oscar Valdez vs Evgeny Gradovich, 10 rounds, featherweights. In a bout that promises non-stop action, Mexican Olympian and blue-chip prospect Valdez meets Evgeny “The Mexican Russian” Gradovich, a come-forward volume puncher. I figure that Valdez’s power, body punching and superior technical skills will carry the day, but Gradovich will make him work for every second of the bout.
The Rest Of The Week’s Boxing Schedule
- Charles Martin vs Anthony Joshua, Saturday, Showtime, London. Some see this as an interesting fight, but I have an extremely low opinion of Martin, which makes it significantly less so. The big Canadian is just so ungainly and slow — I don’t think he’ll be much of a test for the athletic Joshua. Which isn’t to say Joshua is all that, just that Martin is even less. On the undercard featherweight Lee Selby faces Philadelphia’s Eric Hunter. It shouldn’t be too difficult a fight for the Welsh wizard, even if Hunter is a rough customer. Also fighting are junior middleweights Brian Rose and Matthew Macklin. Macklin seemingly has very little left in the tank.