Puerto Rico and Mexico had their superfight last week, now it’s Germany and the UK’s turn. Tens of thousands will pile into a football stadium to see heavyweight champ Wladimir Klitschko (pictured sparring with brother Vitali, now a Ukrainian politician) fight buffoon/possibly legit contender Tyson Fury on Saturday, US time. Saturday also sees a free replay of Saul “Canelo” Alvarez’s victory over Miguel Cotto on HBO. Apart from that there are basically a whole shitload of mismatches (it’s up to you as to whether you put Klitschko/Fury in that category).
Wladimir Klitschko vs Tyson Fury, Saturday, Dusseldorf. Heavyweight kingpin Klitschko (64-3, 53 KO) takes on big-mouthed (and just plain big) Brit Fury (24-0, 18 KO) in the biggest fight of the week. It’s perhaps the Ukrainian’s biggest challenge for a while, not that that’s saying much. Still, Klitschko rarely fights anyone taller than him or with a longer reach, so in that sense at least this match-up offers something new. Will it make any difference? I doubt it. Fury is no Floyd Mayweather in the defence stakes and Klitschko is ridiculously heavy handed. He might get touched up a bit more than usual this time out, but the ending will be the same.
Erislandy Lara vs Jan Zaveck, Friday, ESPN/ESPN Deportes, Hialeah Fla. This one is just a total mismatch. Lara (21-2-2, 12 KO), one of the best pure boxers in the world, fights tough Slovenian Zaveck (35-3, 19 KO). The visitor is getting a bit long in the tooth at 39, and wasn’t all that great to begin with.
James DeGale vs Lucien Bute, Saturday, Showtime, Quebec City. Coming off a breakout US win over Andre Dirrell, British super middleweight DeGale (21-1, 14 KO) heads north to Quebec to take on one of its adopted sons, Bute (32-2, 25 KO). Unfortunately, Bute is no longer the destroyer he seemed to be four or five years ago. In fact, he seems downright fragile after a pair of losses to Carl Froch and Jean Pascal. DeGale, seemingly in the ascendancy, might have a very easy time of it.
Jermall Charlo vs Wilky Campfort, Saturday, NBC, Dallas. Another”Premier Boxing Champions” mismatch, with junior middleweight contender Charlo (22-0, 17 KO) matched with the relatively unproven Wilky Campfort (21-1, 12 KO). Though he sounds like a weird hot beverage your gran might keep in the cupboard, Campfort is actually pretty tough. It’s just he doesn’t have the experience, the size or the skill of Charlo. PS: Anointed welterweight star Errol Spence fights on the undercard.