Nothing amusing to head up this week’s schedule, just a weird pic of Rhianna beater Chris Brown and nobody-really beater Anthony Mundine. Well, my head exploded anyway. Nobody’s head should explode over this week’s boxing schedule, which is alright but not amazing. Abner Mares and Anselmo Moreno are fighting guys who aren’t each other and Jermain Taylor is on the comeback trail. That’s about it really. Yeah.
- Abner Mares vs. Eric Morel and Anselmo Moreno vs. David De La Mora, Saturday, Showtime, El Paso. This junior featherweight/bantamweight card on Showtime is easily the best of the weekend, but still manages to frustrate. Gritty Mexican-American Mares was the winner of the Showtime bantamweight tournament and is now looking to move up to 122 lbs., where there seems to be more action (read: Nonito Donaire). It would have been nice if Mares (23-0-1) stayed at bantamweight to settle who gets all the marbles with Panama’s Moreno, but it seems unlikely that fight will happen now. Instead, Mares is facing worst person in the world, Puerto Rico’s Eric Morel (46-2-0), who’s supposedly on the comeback trail. Mares is going to be a small junior featherweight at 5′ 4 ½”, but it’s not like Morel, a former bantamweight himself, is much bigger than him. Apart from that, I don’t see how Morel bothers Mares, who’s faster, younger and generally finds a way to win. In the co-feature, the aformentioned Moreno (32-1-0) takes on Mexican contender David De La Mora (24-1-0). Moreno is a defensive wizard who completely bamboozled Vic Darchinyan in his last fight, while De La Mora’s shiny record hides the fact that the only time he faced anybody of note, he lost to Koki Kameda. No points for guessing how this one goes. Two elite level fighters in two “just OK” kind of fights.
- Jermain Taylor vs. Caleb Truax, Friday, Showtime, Biloxi Mississippi. Much has been made of the poor programming on Showtime under its new regime. This is why. Former middleweight champ Taylor (29-4-1) has the right to try to comeback to the sport, however ill-advised that may be. He doesn’t have a right for his squash matches against the likes of Truax (18-0-1), who has never fought outside Minnesota, to be broadcast on premium cable. That’s all I have to say about that matter. Also fighting is Cuban junior middleweight Erislandy Lara (15-1-1) who probably does deserve to be on premium cable after being robbed against Paul Williams last year. The same cannot be said for his opponent, Ronald Hearns (26-2-0), who brings little but his father’s name to the table, coming off a loss and more than a years inactivity. Maybe that’s a little harsh, but Showtime can spend its dollars a lot better.
- Adonis Stevenson vs. Noe Gonzalez Alcoba, Friday, ESPN2, Montreal. In the context of this year’s Friday Night Fights cards, let’s file this under “middling.” Super middleweight prospect Stevenson, like Jean Pascal, is an adopted Quebecois, originally from Haiti. Stevenson (17-1) came unstuck against hard punching litmus test Darnell Boone five fights ago, but has since reclaimed some shine with victories over Aaron Pryor Jr. and Jesus Gonzalez. Alcoba (28-1) bills himself as Uruguay’s best boxer, pound-for-pound. Perhaps not much of a distinction, but despite only average competition, his only loss came in the shape of a UD against Felix Sturm five years ago. He’s a hard puncher and well-conditioned. I’m going to make a cheeky call and say that this could be the fight of the weekend, entertainment-wise.
- The Rest. Saturday, the second episode of the Floyd Mayweather/Miguel Cotto 24/7 debuts. The first episode was surprisingly good, despite Floyd’s schtick getting old and Cotto having a personality bypass… Cotto brother Jose Miguel (32-3-1) fights on TeleFutura at welterweight in Puerto Rico Saturday night… Junior featherweight Christian Mijares (44-6-2) stays busy in Morelia, Mexico on Saturday in advance of a bout against Nonito Donaire in July… In Argentina the same night, Omar Narvaez (35-1-2) returns to junior bantamweight to fight Jose Cabrera (20-2-2) after a non-effort against Donaire last year… And in England the likeable Anthony Crolla (23-2) defends his British lightweight title against Derry Matthews (29-6-1) on Saturday.