I can’t promise you that this week’s fights will be as adorable as the one in the video above. In fact, it seems downright unlikely. Still, there are a lot of them, so maybe it’s possible. Sergio Martinez seems pretty popular with the female fans and his opponent in this Saturday’s St. Patrick’s Day middleweight championship bout, Matthew Macklin, has that Irish accent that the womens seem to love.
Apart from that, there’s an awful lot going on across the puglistic world. British welterweights Kell Brook and Matthew Hatton are doing battle in Sheffield, Mexican lightweight Antonio DeMarco is fighting in Los Mochis and cruiserweight Giacobbe Fragomeni has a local derby against Silvio Branco. Too much headpunching is never enough.
- Sergio Martinez vs. Matthew Macklin, Saturday, HBO, New York City. It says a lot about both Sergio Martinez and the middleweight division that even in a fight with Ring Magazine’s number three contender, he’s a prohibitive favourite. Tim will have the full preview of the week’s biggest fight later. Macklin (28-3) is about as good a challenger as you’ll find in the division right now. He’s coming off a very competitive, close loss to Felix Sturm in Germany, where he showed his usual grit and drive. Macklin is extremely strong on the inside, digs to the body and won’t take no for an answer as long as he’s still standing. It’s just that Martinez (28-2-2) is an awkward, fast lefty who punches even harder. He showed against Paul Williams that he doesn’t wilt under pressure and can still get outside for long enough to land hard shots. Macklin will make this fun, but I think he’s going to walk into something really big, maybe before the fight is even halfway done. Rising super middleweight prospects Edwin “La Bomba” Rodriguez (20-0) and Don “Da Bomb” George (22-1-1) are fighting the televised undercard, in a bout that should test both young men, as well as the appropriateness of bomb-related nicknames. Rodriguez won a very questionable unanimous decision against fellow prospect Will Rosinsky in a fight last year which showed that he can be gritty, but is still a work in progress. George might be even cruder and is pinning his hopes on turning the bout into a toe to toe war in which he can use his big time power. Whatever happens, it should be an entertaining support bout. Also, very entertaining Dominican junior lightweight Argenis Mendez (19-2) faces the tough Daniel Attah (26-9-1), who he should be much better than.
- Kendall Holt vs. Tim Coleman, Friday, ESPN2, Cabazon Calif. This is probably a cut above recent Friday Night Fights main events. Neither Holt nor Coleman is at the elite level, Coleman never having made it and Holt having gained a title and lost it years ago. But both men are fun fighters and both needs to win this fight. Holt (27-5) is mainly famous for having crazy, fight-ending power. Coleman (19-2-1) is an elite level trash talker who does everything pretty well, but got stopped by Vernon Paris in a tough fight on FNF last year. Coleman can sometimes hang back and counterpunch but he’d be smart to be throw punches here. Holt hurts himself by being very inactive while looking to land big bombs. Also televised will be a lightweight bout between prospects Abraham Lopez (16-0) and Gabe Tolmajyan (12-1-1).
- Randy Caballero vs. Jose Luis Araiza, Friday, Showtime, Indio Calif. Unlike Friday Night Fights, this Shobox is not much better than recent offerings. Shobox is meant to be about prospects in tough tests against veterans and one another, and that’s not what this week offers. Junior featherweight Randy Caballero (13-0) is facing Jose Luis Araiza (29-5-1) who is 0-4-1 from his last five. There’s a fair bit of buzz around Caballero, a pretty classy boxer-puncher who should probably step up pretty soon. This is fight is as bad as his “Caballero” version “Black and Yellow.” Lightweight Omar Figueroa (14-0-1) is facing a better opponent in Ramon Ayala (23-2-1), possibly because he’s already a little further on in his development as a pro. He’s an awkward, powerful switch hitter who stopped the touted prospect Michael Perez last year. He’ll likely be too good and too strong for Ayala.
- The Rest. It’s also a big week for the little guys. Former top flyweight Luis Concepcion (23-3) is trying to bounce back from two spectacular losses to Hernan Marquez by fighting Oscar Gallardo (12-3-1) on Thursday in Panama City, Panama. The Ring’s number two junior flyweight, Nicaragua’s Roman Gonzalez (30-0)m takes on Ramon Hirales (16-3-1) in Culiacan, Mexico on Saturday… Telemundo will show the junior bantamweight brother of Nonito Donaire, Glenn (18-4-1), facing Omar Salado (23-4-2) in Mexico City on Friday… Unrelated to little men, TQBR’s Andrew Harrison will be previewing an covering the fight between British welterweights Kell Brook and Matthew Hatton in his British Beat column this week. Impressive looking Polish middleweight Grzegorz Proksa is fighting on the undercard… Lightweight action hero Antonio DeMarco (26-2-1) is staying busy after stopping Jorge Linares in October last year, fighting veteran Miguel Roman (37-9) on Saturday… Cruiserweight veterans Giacobbe Fragomeni (29-3-1) and Silvio Branco (62-10-2) are doing a nice little local derby in Italy on Saturday.