A relatively quiet schedule this week, with a strange HBO show and not much else. The strangeness at HBO is a prospect-oriented tripleheader, reportedly the leftovers from an aborted attempt to establish a ShoBox competitor. Apart from that, things are thin, with only heavyweight Alexander Povetkin’s deplorable fight with the shell of Hasim Rahman really worth mentioning, and for all the wrong reasons. Get your fix of unprofessional and rather pathetic violence from the above video.
- Edwin Rodriguez vs. Jason Escalera, HBO, Saturday, Mashantucket Conn. Super middleweight prospects Rodriguez and Escalera are only the tip of the tripleheader iceberg this Saturday on HBO; the broadcast will also feature junior featherweights Luis Orlando Del Valle and Vic Darchinyan, as well as welterweights Alex Perez and Antonin Decarie. The best fight of the card would have been between light heavyweights Isaac Chilemba and Zsolt Erdei, but Erdei withdrew with an injury, as he is wont to do. Rodriguez (21-0) and Escalera (13-0-1) will hopefully try to pick up the slack, though I suspect Rodriguez will box circles around the largely untested Escalera. Rodriguez is more of a contender than a prospect at this stage, while Escalera is coming off an unconvincing draw with an unconvincing Nick Brinson on Friday Night Fights in May. Darchinyan (37-5-1) is moving yet another weight class away from the power that made him a force to be reckoned with at flyweight and junior bantamweight. Having lost three out of his last five, I don’t see any good reason to think he’ll beat his young, motivated and skillful challenger, Del Valle (16-0). The Armenian villain will probably manage to make it awkward and ugly, though. Quebec’s Decarie (26-1) should be considered the favourite against the 30-year-old Perez (16-0). But despite his relatively advanced age, “The Brick City Bullet” is a 6 foot tall southpaw with boxing pedigree (he’s the cousin of lightweight prospect Michael “The Artist” Perez) and an awesome nickname, and therefore shouldn’t be written off. Especially since Decarie can get a bit wild, despite not having the power to back it up. Our Karl Greenberg will be ringside to report.
- Alexander Povetkin vs. Hasim Rahman, Epix, Saturday, Hamburg. This fight is icky and I don’t know why Epix want to touch it. An Olympic gold medallist, Povetkin (24-0) has been as frustrating as they come as a pro, avoiding fighting the Klitschkos, gaining weight and most recently putting in a lazy performance against blown up cruiserweight Marco Huck. Why he would now choose to fight a 40-year-old, overweight former contender in Rahman (50-7-2) is anybody’s guess. On the undercard you’ve got undefeated contenders Kubrat Pulev (16-0) and Alexander Ustinov (27-0), which might be worth the price of admission. At 6’7”, Ustinov is similar in size to a Klitschko, so perhaps that’s what the heavy handed Pulev is gunning for eventually. Good luck to him.
- The Rest. Friday’s only televised show, on Telemundo from Mexico City, is headlined by a flyweight rematch between Julian Rivera (12-6) and Edgar Jiminez (15-7-1)… Welterweights Julio Diaz (39-7) and Hector Sanchez (19-2) grace TeleFutura on Saturday… Featherweight Chris John fights someone or other in Singapore the same day… Saturday also brings a gofightlive.tv card from Atlantic City, headlined by middleweights Patrick Majewski (19-1) and Latif Mundy (10-4).