Happy New Year boxing fans. Here we are, back again like the people who line up in Times Square wearing adult diapers every year just to see the ball drop, grimly determined that it will be worth it and this year will be different from the last.
Whoa, is that a bit of a downer to start the schedule for 2015? Well don’t worry, there is a lot of boxing on US television screens this weekend (in fact, there’s a card on almost all the second-tier networks), even if there aren’t any really big names in action. Let’s get to it.
- Darleys Perez Vs. Jonathan Maicelo, Friday, ESPN2, Santa Ynez Calif. Friday Night Fights wastes no time getting back on the air in 2015 with this clash of once-beaten lightweights. Colombia’s Perez (31-1, 20 KO) is most notable for a snooze-inducing loss to Yuriorkis Gamboa in 2013 (which was mainly Gamboa’s fault, to be fair). The pug-nosed Maicelo (21-1, 12 KO), hails from Peru and has featured on a couple of FNF telecasts. They’re both solid fighters who can box a bit but can also mix it up. Perez has a tendency to wait too much, but I think his superior combination punching and head movement may win the day down the stretch. Despite the fact that these guys are (very) fringe contenders, for some reason they’re fighting for an interim alphabet belt. Sigh.
- Ivan Redkach Vs. Yakubu Amidu, Friday, Showtime, Cabazon Calif. With Eastern Europeans increasingly dominating the top levels of the sport, you can see why people might think Ukraine’s Redkach (17-0, 13 KO) is the next big thing. He throws combinations and keeps his hands high, which will take you pretty far in the lower levels of the sport. Whether he’s actually any good remains to be seen, and the lanky Amidu (21-5-2, 19 KO) should at least show his something he hasn’t seen before.
- Dusty Hernandez-Harrison Vs. Tommy Rainone, Friday, Fox Sports 1, New York. D.C. area welterweight prospect Hernandez-Harrison (24-0, 13 KO) takes on NY local Rainone (22-5-1, 4 KO). Hernandez Harrison is generally fun, so it could be quite entertaining. Twitter fave (and up-and-coming middleweight) Tureano Johnson fights on the undercard.
- Jessie Magdaleno Vs. Erik Ruiz, Saturday, UniMas, Las Vegas. Undefeated junior featherweight prospect Magdaleno (19-0, 15 KO) continues his slow ascent to the top levels of the sport against Ruiz (13-1, 6 KO), who has never even come close to fighting anyone of Magdaleno’s quality.
- Javier Mendoza Vs. Mauricio Fuentes, Saturday, beIN Sports Espanol, Tijuana. If last year was anything to go by, beIN Sports will be one of the networks to watch in 2015. They start the year with a decent clash of junior flyweights, with Colombia’s Fuentes (17-3, 11 KO) travelling to Mexico to take on Mendoza (22-2-1, 18 KO).