If you’re a boxing fan you know where it’s at this weekend: Francisco Vargas vs Orlando Salido on HBO. Everything else seems a little underwhelming by comparison.
- Francisco Vargas vs Orlando Salido, Saturday, HBO, Carson Calif. In what seems to be a surefire fight of the year candidate, rugged Mexican junior lightweight Vargas takes on hard-as-nails veteran Salido. Sure, Vargas has youth and length on his side, but you can never really count out a guy as crafty and as tough as Salido. Don’t think about it too much, just appreciate.
- Artur Beterbiev vs Ezequiel Maderna, Saturday, Montreal, ESPN/ESPN Deportes. Highly fancied light heavyweight prospect-turned-contender Beterbiev makes his return to the ring after a year off due to a shoulder injury. He’s one of the new breed of skilled, big-punching Eastern Europeans, and Maderna, who has previously campaigned at super middleweight, has never seen the likes of him before. Few have.
- Rances Barthelemy vs Mickey Bey, Friday, Spike, Hollywood Fla. In a fight that’s sure not to be a fight of the year, lanky Cuban lightweight Barthelemy takes on underwhelming Mayweather protege Bey. Barthelemy shouldn’t have too much trouble, I reckon.
- Ronny Rios vs Efrain Esquivias, Friday, Los Angeles, Estrella TV. Rios, a featherweight, takes on veteran Esquivias on one of Golden Boy’s club cards in LA. Esquivias has lost a couple on the trot.