Wednesday, May 21st 2014
From the First Direct Arena in Leeds, Yorkshire, United Kingdom.
Time: 7:30 PM BST, 11:30 PM PDT, 2:30 PM EDT
TV: Sky Sports 2 HD (UK)
Josh Warrington 17(2)-0 vs Martin Lindsay 21(8)-2
12 rounds for the British commonwealth featherweight title
Warrington, going into his fight with Samir Mouneimne last November, had never stopped an opponent. Mouneimne was tough, unorthodox, and came in with a win over Lee Selby. It seemed highly unlikely that Warrington would stop Mouneimne, let alone get past him. What unfolded was an entertaining fight where Warrington showed off his boxing skills and Mouneimne made everything difficult. Warrington was able to hurt Mouneimne in the final round and force a stoppage. He followed that up by beating Rendall Munroe into submission after 7 rounds. Warrington now has 2 consecutive stoppage wins and is looking to add to the total.
Warrington has sharp boxing skills and they’ll definitely get tested by Martin Lindsay. Lindsay is 32 and has never been stopped. I like Warrington to show he’s capable of adapting and winning by any means necessary.
Gavin McDonnell 11(4)-0-1 vs Josh Wale 16(9)-6-1
12 rounds for the BBBofC British super bantamweight title
McDonnell is making a quick turnaround after stopping super bantamweight prospect Leigh Wood in February. He now faces Wale in a rematch of their fight last September (which I thought McDonnell won an easy decision.)
Stephen Smith 18(11)-1 vs Mauricio Javier Munoz 28(13)-4
10 rounds for the vacant WBC international silver super featherweight title
Stephen looks to ride the wave of success his brothers celebrated this weekend as he faces Munoz this Wednesday. Originally slated to face Fernando Saucedo of Argentina until a mouth injury forced Saucedo to withdraw, now he faces another Argentine, Mauricio Javier Munoz. Those who are fans of Zou Shiming (which is all of you) will recognize Munozfrom his fight with Evgeny Gradovich. Munoz gave a good fight, but was thoroughly outclassed by the Mexican Russian. I like Smith here and I think this would be a good win for him. The thing that concerns me is that Lee Selby was able to stop Smith. If Selby can stop you, I gotta question your ability to take a punch.
Kal Yafai 10(7)-0 vs Yaqub Kareem 13(8)-2-1
12 rounds for the vacant British commonwealth super flyweight title
Those who’ve seen Yafai are high on him. He’s got an impressive amateur background and when you watch him you can see he’s a natural mover, he punches well in combination, and he’s got some pop. The opposition he’s faced hasn’t been anything to raise an eyebrow over, but the potential is easy to see. Kareem represents a nice step-up for Kal.
Tommy Coyle 18(8)-2 vs Michael Ansah 9(7)-3-2
8 rounds in the lightweight division
Tommy Coyle is one of my favorite fighters out of the UK and I’ll always have a space for him on these previews. Even if they don’t televise his fight. Coyle was in a ridiculous fight of the year contender earlier in the year against Daniel Brizuela and his fight with Dirty Derry Mathews last year was also pretty damn good.
Thursday, May 22nd 2014
From The Shimazu Arena, Tokyo, Japan
Time: 11:00 PM JST, 7:00 AM PDT, 10:00 AM EDT, 3:00 PM BST
TV: Fuji-TV (Japan)
Ryota Murata 3(3)-0 vs Jesus Angel Nerio 12(6)-3
10 rounds in the middleweight division
There are few middleweights out there calling out Gennady Golovkin. One of them is this guy right here. 2012 Olympic gold medalist and 2011 runner-up at the World Amateur Championship, Ryota Murata. Murata has at least a few fights to go before any legitimate title shot, especially when he’s taking a step back in quality of opposition as he is here. Murata has been a slow starter in his fights, but I’ve liked his adjustments he made in the middle rounds. This fight shouldn’t be too difficult for him. Nerio has been used to test prospects before and has come up short every time.
Friday, May 23rd 2014
From Turning Stone Resort & Casino, Verona, New York
Time: 9:00 PM EDT, 6:00 PM PDT, 2:00 AM BST
TV: ESPN2 (USA) ESPN Deportes (USA) DigiSport (Hungary)
Petr Petrov 34(16)-4-2 vs Fernando Carcamo 17(13)-5
10 rounds in the lightweight division
We’ve reached the finals of the Boxcino tournament. I’ll admit, I didn’t predict this final match-up. Each has scored a stoppage and a decision victory in route to the fight with each other.
Brandon Adams 14(9)-0 vs Willie Monroe Jr 17(6)-1
10 rounds in the middleweight division
This is the middleweight final of the other Boxcino tournament. Adams was my favorite going into the tournament and I thought if someone could possible benefit and have a breakout moment, it would be him. He’s going to have to get over his height disadvantage and somehow rough Monroe Jr up. Here’s why I don’t think that will happen. Monroe has taken a loss to Darnell Boone. Losing to Boone usually means you’ve got some talent.
Saturday May 24, 2014
From The Convention Center, Acapulco, Mexico
Time: 12:00 AM PDT, 3:00 AM EDT, 8:00 AM BST
TV: Fox Deportes (USA) Televisa (Mexico)
Jhonny Gonzalez 55(47)-8 vs Clive Atwell 12(7)-0-1
12 rounds for the WBC featherweight title
After brutally knocking out Abner Mares in the 1st round last summer, this is not what I expected for Gonzalez next fight. I thought Mares would invoke his rematch clause and look to avenge his loss in a fight of the year candidate. My fantasy was derailed when an injury to Mares derailed that train. Gonzalez now finds himself defending his title against Guyanian Clive Atwell.
Gonzalez is trained by Nacho Beristain and the advantage you carry with a legendary trainer like Beristain was evident in the fight with Mares. Gonzalez was able to do almost exactly what Marquez did in the 4th Pacquiao fight. He got Mares to fear his body punch, feinted with a body punch, Mares dropped his hands, and down went Mares. Because of the Beristain X factor, I’m not high on Atwell’s chances. He’s been impressive, but his opponents have been nowhere near the quality of Jhonny Gonzalez. Should Gonzalez get past Atwell, there are plenty of fights at featherweight for him. A rematch with Mares, Gary Russell Jr if he gets past Vasyl Lomachenko, and possibly Nicaraguan Rene Alvarado (who headlines a Fox Sports 1 card May 26th.)
Saturday May 24, 2014
From the Bell Centre, Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Time: 9:00 PM EDT, 6:00 PM PDT, 1:00 AM BST
TV: Showtime (USA) BoxNation (UK) Indigo (Canada, starts at 7:00 PM EDT) Showtime Extreme for Undercard (USA)
Adonis Stevenson 23(20)-1 vs Andrzej Fonfara 25(15)-2
12 rounds for the WBC and lineal light heavyweight championship of the world
Emanuel Steward once said that Adonis Stevenson was the hardest puncher he’d ever worked with. Not Tommy Hearns, not Mike McCallum, but Adonis Stevenson. You’d have to look back to 2007 to find someone that Stevenson didn’t fail to knockout. All of his opponents have felt one of the most devastating left hands in sport. When Stevenson throws it, it almost looks like he’s throwing a cinder block. Stevenson’s aggression, his power, his ability to box when he’s not hurting his opponent (like in the fight with Cloud) should make Stevenson one of the fan favorites in the sport, but outside the ring Stevenson’s choices have made him a villain.
It all began last year when Stevenson knocked out Chad Dawson in the first round. Stevenson found himself at the top of a division without any real immediate competition. Two months later Sergey Kovalev made his HBO debut. He’d been a Youtube sensation to that point, and got his first exposure to the mainstream audience against WBO champion Nathan Cleverly. Kovalev blitzed through Cleverly and the gears began to turn. The prospect of Stevenson and Kovalev meeting was as juicy as Pacquiao and Mayweather. HBO saw it and put the 2 on a card a few months later. It was a clever move to make sure everyone was on board with the potential super fight between Stevenson and Kovalev. The card would feature Stevenson against Tony Bellew while Kovalev would meet Ismayl Sillakh. There fans would get a sense of the explosiveness of a match between them.
As everyone clamored for the fight a story by Gabriel Beland of LaPresse.ca came out that said Stevenson wanted Bernard Hopkins after Bellew. Slowly people began turning on Superman. When Kovalev called out Stevenson after brutally finishing Sillakh in 2 rounds, Stevenson did not return the sentiment in his post-fight interview. Instead, Stevenson offered up the ol’ “it’s up to my promoter” line we’ve heard since 2009 (wink.)
Earlier this year, it appeared that maybe the 2 were actually going to fight. In an interview with BoxingScene.com Stevenson said the following:
“We talked to HBO and we are working on a three fight deal and Kovalev is part of that. We have a three fight deal and he is definitely part of that. Like I said I never had a problem fighting him.” Stevenson told BoxingScene.com
Here’s where things start to get messy. HBO waited out on the deal because they may not have liked Stevenson’s May opponent, Al Haymon joined the fold, HBO wanted Stevenson to guarantee a fight with Kovalev, Stevenson’s team supposedly rejected, HBO waited some more, Stevenson shocked the world by joining forces with Showtime essentially icing the Kovalev fight. That may not be the exact order, but the end result is that Stevenson is now with Showtime and it appears we may not get the Kovalev fight after all.
It’s easy to see it as Stevenson avoiding Kovalev, but as someone who thinks Stevenson should rightfully be the favorite should they ever get in the ring together, I see it as a ploy to get as much money as possible. I can’t imagine Stevenson and Kovalev signed tomorrow pays as much as it does a year from now after if Stevenson holds a win over Bernard Hopkins.
Back to Saturday night. Andrzej Fonfara will come in with a height and 5 inch reach advantage. Should he maintain his distance and take away Stevenson’s straight left, Fonfara could make this a real interesting fight. Fonfara’s stopped 13 of the last 14 he’s faced and from my observation his defense isn’t bad at all. I don’t see this fight reaching past 8 and it’s definitely not going the distance.
Just for your own record keeping, Bovada.lv has Stevenson at -1600.
David Lemieux 31(29)-2 vs Fernando Guerrero 26(19)-2
12 rounds for the vacant NABF middleweight title
You may remember Guerrero from his fight with Peter Quillin and you may remember Lemieux from his fight with Marco Antonio Rubio on Friday Night Fights. Going into the Rubio fight it appeared like Lemieux was on the cusp of entering the title picture at middleweight… then the bubble burst. Lemieux lost that one as well as his next one. He’s since been on the rebuild and I expect this one to steal the show. One thing I really like about Lemieux is that you know he’s not showing up to outbox anyone.
Jermell Charlo 23(11)-0 vs Charlie Ota 24(16)-1-1
10 rounds in the junior middleweight division
Jermell could have been the IBF junior middleweight champion of the world, but the cancellation of his fight with Carlos Molina scheduled for the Canelo-Angulo undercard has forced a plan B. Charlie Ota has a solid record, but Charlo is a blue chip prospect in the sport. He boxes beautifully and makes in-fight adjustments that show off an impressive level of maturity for a young prospect. He’s coming off a good win against Gabriel Rosado where he looked phenomenal. Jermell, in my opinion, has the more dynamic all-around game between him and his brother and I expect him to win a world title before the year is over.
Mikael Zewski 23(18)-0 vs Prince Doku Jr 18(12)-5
10 rounds in the welterweight division
I’m putting this here solely because I think it will be an entertaining fight.