There’s not much boxing on this week, so it’s possible that you’ll be reduced to watching praying mantises fight. That’s okay, though, they do look pretty cool with their dukes up. There are really only two fights of significance this week, with junior flyweight #2 contender Kazuto Ioka moving up to flyweight to face Amnat Ruenrong and heavyweights Chris Arreola and Bermane Stiverne facing off on ESPN. There’s also the replay of Floyd Mayweather vs. Marcos Maidana Saturday on Showtime (which is having a free preview weekend), as well as the epilogue to the All Access documentary series, which should be interesting what with all the glove controversy and everything. Let’s just get straight down to it.
- Chris Arreola Vs. Bermane Stiverne II, Saturday, ESPN2, Los Angeles. The first fight between these two men a little over a year ago was highly entertaining, if not particularly competitive. I think it’s fair to have high hopes that the do-over will also be fun, but you’d have to buy into Arreola (36-3, 31 KO) and his constant redemption narrative to believe it was going to be competitive. Sure, Arreola was fighting with a broken nose and wasn’t in shape last time, but the same factors that gave Stiverne (23-1-1, 20 KO) the edge then (straighter punches, a jab, consistency) will give him the edge this time too and see him take home a decision
- Kazuto Ioka Vs. Amnat Ruenrong, Tuesday, Osaka. The Bodymaker Coliseum (still the best venue name in the boxing world) plays host to an interesting clash between the sensational Ioka (15-0, 9 KO) and slick but underpowered Thai Ruenrong (12-0, 5 KO). Ruenrong certainly has the moves to stay away from Ioka, but I don’t see how he wins this. Sure, he can stink out the joint, but if he stops to engage Ioka will match him for speed and win every exchange with his heavier hands. Give me Ioka by late stoppage.
- Donnie Nietes Vs. Moises Fuentes II, Friday, Pasay City Philippines. Not a bad little rematch here between the Transnational Boxing Rankings Board‘s #3 and #9 junior flyweights. The first one was an intense game of cat and mouse, with Fuentes (19-1-1, 10 KO) playing the cat and Nietes (32-1-4, 18 KO) receiving a euphemistically “controversial” decision at home. Hopefully things are fairer this time, but just as fun.
- The Rest. There are a few other little things, but that’s pretty much it. Have a shower or hang out with you family this weekend for a change.