These days it seems like Al Haymon is the only thing keeping boxing ticking along. Thanks to “Premier Boxing Champions” offerings on various networks, fans of the sport have avoided the kind of summer off season we’ve seen in past years, even if the fights haven’t always been dazzling. This week is a microcosm of summer, then, with two okay PBC shows and virtually nothing else.
- Antonio Tarver vs Steve Cunningham, Friday, Spike TV, Newark N.J. There’s intrigue on this card, but it doesn’t feel like a very exciting package. The main event features two small heavyweights in Tarver (31-6, 22 KO) and Cunningham (28-7, 13 KO). Tarver, 46, is ancient for a boxer, while Cunningham is merely old at 39. I think you have to favour the younger, faster, more dynamic Cunningham, though I don’t think there’s miles between these guys — while Tarver is old and slow and inactive, he’s also crafty and accurate. On the undercard, Serbian cruiserweight hardnut Marco Huck (38-2-1, 26 KO) makes his US debut against Krzysztof Glowacki (24-0, 15 KO), an undefeated but unheralded Pole. “Captain Huck” will be looking to impress.
- Lucian Bute vs Andrea Di Luisa, Saturday, NBC Sports Net, Montreal. Former super middleweight standout Bute (31-2, 24 KO) is looking to establish himself at light heavyweight after a loss to Jean Pascal by taking on the completely unknown Di Luisa (17-2, 13 KO), who has spent his entire career fighting (and sometimes losing to) unspectacular opposition in Italy. At least he gets a free trip to Montreal, which I hear is a beautiful town. Bellisimo!
- Jason Sosa vs Jerry Belmontes, Saturday, UniMas, Bayamon Puerto Rico. Junior lightweight Belmontes (19-7, 5 KO) travels to Puerto Rico to take on Sosa (16-1-3, 12 KO). Belmontes has lost six of his last seven, but they’ve been against solid opposition. Sosa hasn’t faced anyone on his level yet.