Andre Ward? Now there’s a name I haven’t heard in a long time. Sometimes being a boxing fan feels like being a forgotten jedi master, but never fear — TQBR is here to keep you updated with the latest developments in the boxing galaxy.
Andre Ward vs Sullivan Barrera, Saturday, HBO, Oakland. A full nine months since his fight with the disinterested and uninteresting Paul Smith, super middleweight champion Ward moves up to light heavyweight to face the unproven Sullivan Barrera as a warm-up for a planned bout with Sergey Kovalev. Some seem to think that Ward’s legendary inactivity might give Barrera, a legitimate light heavy, a chance. I’m not among them. Ward is simply too good. He won’t give Barrera the room he needs, and the Cuban will become increasingly dispirited (as might you, if you’re not the type that appreciates Ward’s mauling tactics). On the undercard 2012 US Olympian and featherweight prospect Joseph Diaz takes a step up against Jayson Velez, a Puerto Rican fringe contender who’s definitely a level above his previous opposition.
Regis Prograis vs Aaron Herrera, Friday, Showtime, Miami OK. Junior welterweight prospect Prograis takes a slight step up against Mexico’s Herrera on ShoBox.
Antonio Orozco vs Miguel Acosta, Friday, Estrella TV, Indio Calif. Welterweight contender Orozco faces Venezuala’s Acosta in a stay-busy kind of fight. Acosta, once a titlist, can still box a little, but his savage loss at the hands of Brandon Rios in 2011 obviously took something out of him. He’s lost four of his five fights since.
Kell Brook vs Kevin Bizier, Saturday, Sheffield England. Top welterweight Brook is treading water here, after he missed out on a big domestic fight when Amir Khan opted to fight Saul “Canelo” Alvarez instead. Canada’s Bizier isn’t quite on his level.