Well that’s just cruel -- kind of like coming off the Timothy Bradley/Ruslan Provodnikov high into a week without much on. Mind you, if old Ruslan taught us anything, it’s that we shouldn’t underestimate the potential of fights before they happen. That’s easier said than done and rather invalidates the whole point of the schedule, though.
So I, for one, will continue to make predictions based on the available evidence. I will be wrong sometimes. For that, I apologise to boxing’s all-knowing super-scribes, who always know the exact outcome of every fight before it happens but only sometimes deign to write it down.
This week’s boxing TV schedule isn’t packed, as previously mentioned. There’s the super middleweight rematch between Arthur Abraham and Robert Stieglitz in Germany as well as some other bits and bobs. May as well get to it.
Arthur Abraham vs. Robert Stieglitz, Saturday, Epix, Magdeburg Germany. You know, why not? Scary middleweight turned not so scary super middleweight Abraham (36-3, 26 KO) narrowly beat fellow German resident Stieglitz (43-3, 24 KO) last year. In many ways it was a typical fight for the Armenian, whose lack of activity will always give his opponents a chance. Stieglitz, who found a home for his right hand and showed tremendous heart in fighting through a truly ****** up face to make things very close. I expect this fight to be very, very similar to the first because I doubt either man has much of a capacity for change. In fact, after the Super Six tournament, I know Abraham doesn’t. Judges will again have to choose between Abraham’s harder, maddeningly fewer punches and Stieglitz’s activity.
Don George vs. David Lopez, Friday, ESPN2, Chicago. Not a strong headliner on Friday Night Fights. Chicago’s George (24-3-1, 21 KO) faces an aging journeyman who has fought once in the last year. Lopez (41-13, 23 KO) is a tough as nails southpaw, but he’s 35 and hanging with “The Bomb” physically is going to be a big ask. Provodnikov showed us that you never know, though. Junior middleweight Kermit Cintron (33-5-1, 28 KO) must be a little depressed to be the support act on an ESPN2 card after so long in the premium TV game. He’s facing Adrian Granados (11-2-1, 7 KO), who has done most of his fighting against average competition in Chicago. Never underestimate Cintron’s ability to lose, though.
The Rest. Thursday sees British middleweight titlist Billy Joe Saunders (16-0, 10 KO) face Matthew Hall (25-6, 16 KO) in London. I’d really like to see Saunders progress to the international stage soon, he’s good… On Wealth TV Friday super middleweight puncher Adonis Stevenson (19-1, 16 KO) rematches Darnell Boone (19-20-3, 8 KO), the chin checking journeyman who handed him his only loss back in 2010. Stevenson is less wild than he used to be, so he should win easily… Over on UniMas on Saturday, you’ll see flyweights Jonathan Gonzalez (11-0, 10 KO) and Joseph Rios (13-7-2, 4 KO) doing battle… Gangly South African junior featherweights Takalani Ndlovu (33-8, 18 KO) and Jeffrey Mathebula (26-4-2, 14 KO) will be fighting for the third time the same night. They’ve split a brace of fights, but expect to see the fresher Mathebula come away with the win this weekend.