This weekend’s big, big main event has everyone dizzy with anticipation. So let’s clear the deck first before getting into staff roundtables and such.
- Sergey Kovalev Vs Andre Ward undercard, Saturday, HBO Pay-Per-View, Las Vegas. Matthew Swain will soon preview the main event, and the roundtable will cover the rest of the team’s views. The main undercard bout features junior welterweight prospect Maurice Hooker in a big step up, against Darleys Perez, who occasionally threatens and beats real fighters. Hooker says he emulates Aaron Pryor; although he doesn’t fight with that kind of energy, he does appear to have knockout power, keeping in mind his best opponent to date is the occasionally dangerous Ty Barnett. He’ll look at guys like Ricky Burns next if he wins. The most evenly-matched fight is probably the light heayweight contest against fast-moving 2012 Ukrainian medalist Oleksandr Gvodzyk and Isaac Chilemba. Gvodzyk has beaten a couple contender-level guys, and Chilemba looked solid in a loss last time out to Kovalev and has himself beaten some real contenders. For funsies, power-punching middleweight Curtis Stevens will be there, fighting a faded James De La Rosa.
- Mauricio Herrera Vs Pablo Cesar Cano, Friday, Estrella TV, Indio Calif. Herrera had a nice run, if you count getting screwed over by judges time and again in fights everyone thought you won. But he finally looked like he was on the decline against talented welterweight Frankie Gomez, who definitively beat him. Cano was a minor “thing” for a while, but isn’t anymore. If Herrera can’t handle him easily, we’ll know he’s done.
- The Rest. Unimas airs a card Friday, as does CBS Sports Net (with a main event featuring someone with a nickname that translates to “trampoline”). Also Friday, super middleweight George Groves gets back into the ring. Saturday, cruiserweight Marco Huck returns.