I don’t have anything nice to say about this week’s boxing schedule. So the Emily Flake cartoon is quite appropriate. Stand by for the clever but devastating one liners.
My problem this week (get used to the carping, there’s nothing good coming up for a while) is that there’s virtually nothing to watch but mismatches. There’s the odd competitive fight here and there, but the week’s two biggest main events, on HBO and ESPN, are likely to be one sided beatdowns. Sigh.
Adrien Broner vs. Gavin Rees, Saturday, HBO, Atlantic City
Wales’ Rees (37-1-1, 18 KO) is either a brave soul or a silly sausage. Nothing in his past suggests he’ll be able to defeat Cincinnati’s Broner (25-0, 21 KO) on Saturday. The Ohioan lightweight is one of the most fancied boxers in the world right now, coming off a dominating win over Mexican hardcase Antonio DeMarco. Later in the week Tim Starks will have a full preview of what should be a short night’s work for Broner. On the undercard, Cameroonian/Australia wild man Sakio Bika (30-5-2, 21 KO) will attempt to punch, slap and foul his way back into super middleweight title contention against Montenegro’s Nikola Sjekloca (27-0, 7 KO). Maybe Sjekloca’s dad hoped that by calling him Nikola, he’d turn him into a total badass, Boy Named Sue style. It kind of worked, since Sjekloca’s probably the one of the baddest men in Montenegro. Unfortunately for him though, that doesn’t count for much in Atlantic City. Sjekloca will’ve fought tougher men, but I doubt he’ll be able to remember when. He’s too slow, too weak and too inexperienced to bother Bika.
Delvin Rodriguez vs. George Tahdooahnippah, Friday, ESPN2, Uncasville Connecticut
I don’t even know why I’m writing about this. Rodriguez (26-6, 14 KO) is a legit former junior middleweight world title contender who can really box. Tahdooanippah (31-0-1, 23 KO) is a flashy surname with a record that has been heavily padded in the soft rings of Oklahoma. Mongolian warlord/pressure fighter Bayan Jargal (17-3-3, 11 KO) fights Chris Howard (14-2-1, 6 KO) on the undercard, in what should be clash of crude but entertaining lightweights.
Alejandro Lopez vs. Jonathan Romero, Saturday, UniMas, Tijuana
Possibly the saving grace of the weekend, this clash of under-the-radar junior featherweights should be entertaining and evenly matched. Neither Lopez (24-2, 7 KO) nor Romero (22-0, 12 KO) is a big puncher, but both make up for it in different ways. Lopez is a pure boxer with an educated jab, while Romero alternates hooking aggression with defence. It’ll likely be a contest of footwork, with Romero looking to get into position and his Mexican opponent attempting to step back, make him fall short and punish him. I couldn’t pick it, but I’d totally watch it.
The Rest. Not much to speak of. Some British title fights on Friday night and a Fox Deportes televised bout between Mexican junior welterweight prospect Robert Ortiz (27-0, 22 KO) and Fidel Monterossa Munoz (29-6, 23 KO) from Cancun.