Get excited, there are some good fights this week. There is also a ridiculously cool Game of Thrones poster at the top of this post, designed by Saul Bass and available for $40. We’d really like to see someone do something similar for some vintage fight posters – how cool would that be?
Anyway – from Moscow to Cancun, let’s get to the fights.
Lamont Peterson vs. Lucas Matthysse, Saturday, Showtime, Atlantic City. This might be the highlight of the spring boxing calendar. A full preview will be along later in the week, but briefly – I think this will be a scorcher. Junior welterweight Matthysse (33-2, 31 KO) is fast becoming the sport’s #1 action hero. Peterson (31-1-1, 16 KO), one fight removed from a positive drug test, is as gutsy as they come, preferring to mix it up at close range. Matthysse is the kind of puncher who likes a bit of separation, so it’ll be interesting to see how he deals with Peterson being all up in his grill. That said, I think he bloodies him up and stops him. On the undercard, welterweight Devon Alexander (24-1, 13 KO) faces Essex’s Lee Purdy (20-3-1, 13 KO). Alexander was meant to fight Purdy’s compatriot Kell Brook, but that fight was cursed and rescheduled about eleventy-billion times before being cancelled. Purdy is a tough dude with a head down, bum up attitude and a good variety of punches, but I don’t think he’ll be able to hang with Alexander’s speed. That’s not to say that I think that Alexander is all that and a bag of chips, just that the faster and more skilled fighter here. There’s also a good prospect vs. prospect match-up in there, too, that will air on Showtime Extreme beforehand, with welterweights Shawn Porter (20-0-1, 14 KO) and Phil Lo Greco (25-0, 14 KO) leading off that portion of the televised undercard. Look for Porter to make a statement after a controversial draw (that he probably should have lost) with Julio Diaz in December. Also: Right before the main Showtime broadcast, the network will air the Floyd Mayweather-Robert Guerrero All Access docu-marketing series epilogue.
Shane Mosley vs. Pablo Cesar Cano, Saturday, Fox Deportes, Cancun. This welterweight match-up is gross. Shane Mosley (46-8-1, 39 KO) should be retired. Listening to him slur his words as he speaks tells you that, along with the punches he’s taken in recent years. For that reason, the worst thing about this fight is that Mosley could win. Cano (26-2-1, 20 KO) is fun, but he’s slow and very, very hittable. Even a shot Mosley should be able to connect with him, and they say that your power is the last thing that goes. For that reason, I really hope Cano takes this one; it might convince Mosley to retire for good. Junior lightweight Sergio Thompson (26-2, 24 KO) fights on the undercard against Rocky Juarez (29-10-1, 21 KO), who should probably also be retired. Thompson is basically a windmill, but never underestimate the ability of Juarez (who’s coming off a rare win) to lose when the chips are down.
Giovani Segura vs. Edgar Sosa, Saturday, Zitacuaro Mexico. Now this is a good fight and will hopefully wash the bad taste of Mosley/Cano out of our collective mouth. Flyweight Giovani Segura (29-2-1, 25 KO) is a typical Mexican Aztec warrior. So much so, in fact, that it’s his official nickname. Edgar Sosa (29-2-1, 25 KO) could easily go by that moniker as well, but chooses to go without a nickname. Maybe he figures he doesn’t need it. He certainly didn’t against old fellow vet Ulises Solis, who he knocked out in two rounds in March. Here’s the thing about this fight, though – Segura has never shown the power at flyweight that he did down at junior flyweight. As tough as Segura is, Brian Viloria demonstrated that at this weight, you can withstand his onslaught and hurt him. I think Sosa is crafty enough to do that, and I think Segura is going to end this fight looking pretty beat up (though not as gross as he did against Viloria).
Alexander Povetkin vs. Andrzej Wawrzyk, Friday, Moscow. Alexander Povetkin is considered by many to be the heavyweight with the best chance of dethroning one of the Klitschko brothers -- which is to say, he has no chance. After an extraordinary $23 million purse bid, Povetkin (25-0, 17 KO) should face Wladimir in his next bout. First he’ll have to deal with Poland’s Andrzej Wawrzyk (27-0, 13 KO), though, which shouldn’t be too much trouble. I can’t imagine the Pole troubling Povetkin at all – he’s not particularly powerful and slow as molasses. The real highlight in Moscow is the supporting bout between cruiserweights Guillermo Jones (38-3-2, 30 KO) and Denis Lebedev (25-1, 19 KO). Jones is 41 and has only fought three times since 2007 – which is perhaps why Lebedev picked him. The Russian really has a thing for old dudes, having beaten the husks of James Toney and Roy Jones, Jr. “El Felino” certainly isn’t in that class of old, with a lengthy jab and a sledgehammer right hand. I just doubt he can keep it up for 12 rounds against the younger Lebedev, despite an enormous size advantage.
The Rest. English super middleweight James De Gale (14-1, 9 KO) faces the dreaded TBA in Montreal on Friday, broadcast by WealthTV… Saturday brings a UniMas show from Puerto Rico headlined by junior lightweights Gamalier Rodriguez (20-2-3, 14 KO) and Alicio Castenada (15-1, 6 KO)… Gofightlive.tv is broadcasting another card the same night from Washington, D.C. headlined by local welterweight Dusty Hernandez Harrison (14-0, 8 KO), whose whole name has a certain cultural dissonance.