Who knew that Disney movies had such badass characters? Maybe they could make an animated movie about Marcos Maidana. It could be called “The Ballad Of El Chino.” I’d watch, but I guess it might scare the children.
Apart from The Ballad Of El Chino (AKA his welterweight fight with Adrien Broner), there’s a fair bit going on this week. The undercard of that fight has a fair bit going on and there are also fights from Australia, California, Puerto Rico, Germany and England.
- Marcos Maidana vs. Adrien Broner, Saturday, Showtime, San Antonio. I will have the full preview of the main event from this card later in the week, but I think it’s safe to say that it’s one of the more anticipated bouts of the second half of 2013. That has something to do with the fact that lots of fans want to see Broner’s mouth shut and the fact that Maidana (34-3, 31 KO) is a professional mouth-shutter. I suspect that Broner (27-0, 22 KO) will be a little too sharp for the Argentine and may even run away with the fight in the late rounds, but he’s never faced anyone as good or as big as Maidana, so you just never know. Showtime continues the various promotional activities we mentioned last week, including replays of Maidana and Broner fights on Sho Extreme and the premiere of episode two of the docu-mercial All Access series on the pair on Friday night. I thought the first episode was pretty fun, so I’ll be tuning in for the second. The undercard of the fight seems likely to offer plenty of action, with welterweights Keith Thurman (21-0, 19 KO) and Jesus Soto Karass (28-8-3, 18 KO) almost guaranteeing it. If Soto Karass wasn’t coming off the best win of his career, a knockout of Andre Berto, I’d be tempted to write him off here. He’s had a long career and has soaked up a lot of punishment. But maybe he has a little bit more punishment to soak up. Thurman is pretty sharp for a big puncher, and he’ll need to keep his wits about him if he doesn’t want to get dragged into some rock ‘em, sock ‘em shit with the Mexican — that way lies madness. Give me Thurman by a close decision (but I say that with absolutely no confidence). Then we’ve got junior bantamweight whirlwind (or earthquake, if you want to go by his nickname) Leo “El Terremoto” Santa Cruz (25-0-1, 15 KO), who fights Cesar Seda (25-1, 17 KO) in a fight that no-one was really clamouring for. Basically Santa Cruz is going to chop Seda down with his volume. He’s done it to much better fighters before and I dare say he’ll do it again. Finally there’s a light heavyweight fight between Kazakhstan’s Beibut Shumenov (13-1, 8 KO) and Slovakia’s Tamas Kovacs (23-0, 14 KO). Why is a Kazakh fighting a Slovakian in Texas? Shumenov just signed with Golden Boy Promotions and I think it’s reasonable to suspect they want to set him up with their main man at light heavyweight, Bernard Hopkins. Shumenov’s crude style would be grist for the Hopkins mill, but he hasn’t fought for over a year so needs a tune up. Kovacs’ record is built in Hungary and Slovakia, which I’m sure are lovely countries, but they’re not exactly world centres of boxing. Still, Shumenov’s aforementioned style and power punching might make it fun while it lasts. Jermain Taylor also fights off-TV but but I’m not going to mention it any further because it makes me feel icky.
- Josesito Lopez vs. Mike Arnaoutis, Friday, Fox Sports 1, Indio Calif. A nice comeback fight here for Lopez (30-6, 18 KO) after two losses in a row to better fighters. Arnaoutis (24-9-2, 11 KO) is no Saul Alvarez or Marcos Maidana, though. With Lopez’s activity, experience and toughness he should pretty easily be able to outpoint the at times tentative Greek. On the undercard junior lightweight prospect Francisco Vargas (17-0-1, 13 KO) fights Texas’ Jerry Belmontes (18-2, 5 KO). Belmontes is plenty tough but his problem is going to be that he’s really slow compared to Vargas. Before that junior middleweight prospect Jermall Charlo (16-0, 12 KO) has an uncompetitive match with Joseph De Los Santos (17-11-3, 9 KO). US Olympians Errol Spence and Joseph Diaz, Jr. are also fighting.
- Sam Soliman vs. Les Sherrington, Wednesday, Melbourne. This all-Australian middleweight clash looks to be something of a showcase for Soliman (42-11, 17 KO), who’s fighting for the first time since his victory over Felix Sturm was ruled a no contest after a positive test for an illegal stimulant. Soliman maintains it was from an energy drink and I certainly consider the avowed health freak and unlikely drug cheat. No matter, he tested positive whether it was his fault or not. Sherrington (33-6, 19 KO) is a tough guy who’s been around the (local) traps a bit. Most of his losses came early in his career, but he’s still not exactly a polished product. I reckon Soliman; with his awkwardness, skills and volume has this one in the bag.
- The Rest. Wednesday brings the return on gfl.tv of tough-as-nails Ugandan junior middleweight Kassim Ouma (27-8-1, 17 KO), who should have a much easier time against Rahman Mustafa Yusubov (9-12, 7 KO) than he did against Gennady Golovkin in 2011… All the rest of the fights are on Saturday night — Unimas has a card from Puerto Rico headlined by featherweight Gamalier Rodriguez (22-2-3, 15 KO) and Aldimar Silva Santos (19-5, 10 KO)… NBC Sports Net has a clash of aged heavyweights in Atlantic City, with Amir Mansour (19-0, 4 KO) taking on Kelvin Price (14-1, 6 KO). Their combined age is 79… Transnational Boxing Rankings Board #8 light heavyweight Juergen Braehmer (41-2, 31 KO) fights undefeated Don King-promoted prospect Marcus Oliveira (25-0, 1 KO) in Germany on Saturday night… And finally, there’s a big British card from East London headlined by lightweight Kevin Mitchell (35-2, 25 KO), who fights Italy’s Brunet Zamora (25-1-2, 11 KO). Also fighting are welterweight Lee Purdy and middleweight Olympian Anthony Ogogo.