How do you say, “Hadouken!” in Cat? Anyone know? At any rate, we find ourselves with a stacked weekend, and not for the first time this year. 2018 is turning out quite nicely thus far. Let’s hope it continues unabated.
- Julius Indongo vs Regis Prograis. Friday, Showtime, 10 p.m. EST, Deadwood, S.D. Indongo (22-1, 11 KO) is fighting for the first time since getting starched by Bud Crawford last August, and it’s tough comeback bout for the 35-year-old Namibian. He’ll be facing Regis Prograis (20-0, 17 KO) in a junior welterweight 10-rounder to be aired on ShoBox from Deadwood, South Dakota, of all places. Hopefully no one becomes dinner for Mr. Wu’s pigs. It’s hard to call the 29-year-old Prograis young, but he looked at the peak of his powers starching Joel Diaz, Jr. last summer. This fight has the makings of an excellent scrap, as both need a win to stay, or get to, the top of the division. The undercard features a great sleeper as junior welterweight Petr Petrov (38-5-2, 19 KO) is stepping in late against Ivan Baranchyk (17-0, 10 KO) in the chief supporting bout.
- Mikey Garcia vs Sergey Lipinets. Saturday, Showtime, 10 p.m. EST, San Antonio, Tex. If you wondered who the two best fighters at 140 pounds are, apart from the aforementioned Bud Crawford, it’s these guys. Garcia (37-0, 30 KO) is coming off an excellent 2017, which saw him return to form against Dejan Zlaticanin and then embarrass sometime-fighter, all-the-time moron Adrien Broner. We know how good Garcia is. That Lipinets (13-0, 10 KO) is near the zenith of their division in only 13 bouts is a testament to his talent and ambition. Now we find out just how good he really is. I’d be hard pressed to pick against Garcia, but Lipinets may turn this into a real fight. The chief supporting bout Rances Barthelemy (26-0, 13 KO) against Kiryl Relikh (21-2, 19 KO) for some sort of junior welterweight alphabet strap. It’s a solid fight.
- Oscar Valdez vs Scott Quigg. Saturday, ESPN, 10:30 p.m. EST, Carson, Calif. The fight I’m most interested in this weekend is the featherweight clash between unbeaten Oscar Valdez (23-0, 19 KO) and Scott Quigg. Quigg (34-1-2, 25 KO) largely shat the bed in his biggest fight to date (Carl Frampton), but has otherwise been consistently entertaining. Valdez (23-0, 19 KO) is an excellent young featherweight that we know can hit and doesn’t mind being hit back. Look for these two to go at it with intensity throughout.
- The Rest. Ronny Rios (29-2, 13 KO) faces Azat Hovhannisyan (13-2, 10 KO) in a 10-round junior featherweight bout Friday on ESPN Deportes/ESPN2.