While the rest of us get ready for the holiday season, boxing isn’t taking a break. It’s doing the same (shit) job it’s been doing all year, with fights happening, but little to capture the imagination. Boxing, you get coal in your stocking. You’ve been a bad sport to follow. Anyway, read on to hear about what’s happening this weekend. The photo, via r/boxing, is a rather touching photo of Thailand’s Kwanpichit Onesongchaigym (last seen losing to Zou Shiming) posing with a photo of himself and his hero/facial hair inspiration Manny Pacquiao.
- Adonis Stevenson vs. Dmitry Sukhotsky, Friday, Showtime, Quebec City. If you’ve never heard of Sukhotsky (22-2, 16 KO), don’t feel too bad — few had before he signed for this bout with Stevenson (24-1, 20 KO), the light heavyweight champion of the world. Stevenson, one of the biggest punchers in the sport, looks set to make short work of the Russian. On the undercard, former top super middleweight contender Andre Dirrell (23-1, 16 KO) continues his comeback against Derek Edwards (27-3-1, 14 KO), best known for his upset KO over Badou Jack in February. Dirrell will completely overwhelm his man. Russian amateur star Artur Beterbiev (6-0, 6 KO) is also in action after impressing many in his knockout win over Tavoris Cloud in just his 6th pro fight. He’s up against Kansas’ Jeff Page, Jr. who… well, he’s not in Kansas anymore, Toto. I’m sorry, I had to make that joke.
- Jesus Cuellar vs. Ruben Tamayo, Saturday, Showtime Extreme, Shelton Wash. A little extra from Showtime here, with tough-as-nails Argentine featherweight Cuellar (25-1, 19 KO) taking on Mexico’s “Canelito” Tamayo (25-4-4, 17 KO) in what promises to be a fun, if not particularly high-level fight. Noted lightweight ball-puncher Anthony Peterson (34-1, 22 KO) is up on the undercard against Ghana’s Yakubu Amidu (21-5-2, 19 KO), who’s a bit of a hot mess but comes to fight.
- Andy Ruiz vs. Sergey Liakhovich, Saturday, UniMas, Phoenix. Ruiz (23-0, 17 KO), a heavyweight with fast hands and a wobbling gut, takes on another gatekeeper in Liakhovich (26-6, 16 KO). Only in the heavyweight division could the Belorussian claim even that modest title, his last win of note having come in 2006.
- Bryan Vasquez vs. Sergio Thompson, Saturday, Fox Deportes, Cancun. In one of the better fights of the week, Mexico’s Thomspon (30-3, 26 KO) fights Costa Rica’s Vasquez (33-1, 17 KO), a surprise package who upset lauded prospect Jose Felix earlier in the year. Vasquez is active and knows how to use his diminutive stature to his advantage, but I see Thompson’s heavy, wide-slung punches winning the day here.