It’s boxing, so of course after weeks and week of virtually nothing on television, there are head-to-head cards on the two major premium cable networks this weekend. When it rains…
- Carl Frampton vs Scott Quigg, Saturday, Showtime Extreme, Manchester. This long-awaited match-up of British junior featherweight contenders is easily the fight of the week, and thankfully Showtime have picked it up and are showing it live. The genial Frampton underperformed in his last fight, hitting the deck twice against the unknown Alejandro Gonzalez. Quigg, meanwhile, shocked many by knocking out the hard-headed Spaniard Kiko Martinez, with whom Frampton had tangled twice. Those results might be misleading. Though Quigg can whack a bit, he lacks the class of Frampton, who I like to take a decision.
- Terence Crawford vs Hank Lundy, Saturday, HBO, New York. A sideways step for junior welterweight talent Crawford. Though Philadelphia’s Lundy is a tough customer, it’s hard to imagine a scenario in which he beats Crawford, a defensively savvy boxer who turns into a nasty combination puncher when he has his man hurt. On the undercard, highly fancied Puerto Rican lightweight prospect Felix Verdejo faces Brazil’s William Silva, whose undefeated record won’t count for much in the ring.
- Leo Santa Cruz vs Kiko Martinez, Saturday, Showtime, Anaheim Calif. Meanwhile, over on Showtime, Mexican-American featherweight contender Leo Santa Cruz also takes a sideways step. His opponent is the aforementioned Martinez, who despite his awkwardness and stick-to-itiveness seems unlikely to threaten Santa Cruz. There could be some good exchanges, though. That also goes for the chief supporting bout between junior featherweights Hugo Ruiz and Julio Cesar Ceja. The pair fought an action-packed five rounder last year, with Ceja roaring back with a surprise knockout victory.
- Marco Huck vs Ola Afolabi, Saturday, Halle Germany. After being knocked out in an upset loss to Krzysztof Glowacki last year, cruiserweight veteran Huck returns to what he knows: fighting Ola Afolabi. The pair have already tangled three times. Maybe Afolabi will finally get a win if Huck was badly affected by the loss.