It’s a middling week for boxing, but it’s a bumper week for fighters who could be minor character from Dune: Ankrah, Taras Shelestyuk, Tra-Kwon Pettis, Rakhim Chakhkiev and Bela Juhasz are all fighting. But the punches must flow, and we’ve got it all previewed for you.
- Erislandy Lara vs. Vanes Martirosyan, Saturday, Showtime, Las Vegas. This biggest show of the week hasn’t exactly got me hot under the collar. Junior middleweights Lara and Martirosyan fought to an aesthetically challenging draw in 2012. I don’t see why this fight should be much different. Maybe Martirosyan will be more fluid in attack, but Lara will no doubt be his fleet-footed self. On the undercard, the junior middleweight Charlo twins have fights they should win. Jermall, the stronger of the pair, takes on Austin Trout, who hasn’t faced an elite fighter since two losses in 2013. Jermell faces John Jackson, whose power might make it interesting, but can probably be picked apart from the outside.
- Joseph Parker vs Carlos Takam, Saturday, Auckland. NZ heavyweight Parker fights his first genuine contender in Takam. The Cameroonian can punch a bit and while Parker should win it might not be easy.
- David Haye vs Arnold Gjergjaj, Saturday, London. One-time heavyweight contender Haye fights a no-hoper in an effort to keep his name out there for a big fight at heavyweight. It’s what he does.
- Raymundo Beltran vs Ivan Najera, Saturday, UniMas, Laredo. In a puzzling piece of matchmaking one-time prospect Najera is being thrown to the wolves after two losses on the trot. Beltran, a hard dude and veteran of the sport, is a tough night for anyone.
- Hanzel Martinez vs. Propser Ankrah, Friday, CBS Sports Net, Tucson. Mexican junior featherweight Martinez pads his record against Ghana’s Ankrah.
- Eddie Gomez vs. John Karl Sosa, Friday, Estrella TV, Indio Calif. A clash of once-beaten welterweights in the main event pails in comparison to the return of immortal Chinese heavyweight Taishan Dong on the undercard.
- Arif Magomedov vs. Andrew Hernandez, Saturday, CBS Sports Net, Las Vegas. Unbeaten Russian middleweight prospect Magomedev faces journeyman Hernandez. Magomedev should be ready to step up to the next level soon.