I’m getting old and grumpy. I don’t understand this “Harlem Shuffle” or “Harlem Shake” or whatever the kids are doing these days. I do understand Azealia Banks, though. She’s almost enough to cheer me up.
I warned you last week that you might have to put up with my carping about the lack of good fights on the schedule, and that you might have to put up with it for quite a while. So you should be ready. I’m going to do it again.
Sure, there are some curious fights this week, some head scratchers, even. There are lots of fights too. But do you look forward to the weekends that offer curious fights? The weekends where you can’t move from your couch but for low quality boxing? No. You look forward to the big fights between guys at the tops of their divisions. There’s none of that here. Intriguing fights get their own write ups, other stuff gets confined to the rest.
Lamont Peterson vs. Kendall Holt, Friday, ESPN2, Washington D.C. On paper, this is easily the best Friday Night Fights main event of the year so far. You have two good, fun junior welterweights who have something to prove. Peterson (30-1-1, 15 KO), a street kid turned in-ring mugger, is coming off a positive performance enhancing drug test that stopped the career momentum he earned by beating Amir Khan in 2011. Holt (28-5, 16 KO), a brutally concussive puncher who is not without skills, hasn’t turned up to some of the most important fights of his career. If the best Holt turns up Friday, then this is going to be a real slugfest. Peterson doesn’t seem to mind getting hit, so hopefully Holt will oblige him. Looking at their respective careers, however, you’d have to favour Peterson’s track record of stick-to-itiveness. Tim Starks will have a fuller preview.
Cornelius Bundrage vs. Ishe Smith, Saturday, Showtime, Detroit. Junior middleweights Bundrage (32-4, 19 KO) and Smith (24-5, 11 KO) are honest fighters, you can say that for them. Bundrage is a guy who has overachieved considering his relative crudeness, winning a belt and making some money from it. Smith is the veteran who’s too tough for his own good, constantly frozen out of the junior middleweight merry-go-round. Now Smith, long a favourite with boxing writers, has the very powerful backing of Floyd Mayweather. I think he might finally reach his potential here. He’s better and hungrier than Bundrage and his commitment to the body will pay off against the 39-year-old Midwesterner. Fellow Mayweather protégé, middleweight J’Leon Love (14-0, 8 KO) fights Derrick Findley (20-8, 13 KO) on the undercard.
David Price vs. Tony Thompson, Saturday, Wealth TV, Liverpool. A pretty solid heavyweight fight here between two very big boys. Price (15-0, 13 KO), who stands at 6’8”, has cut through British heavyweight ranks like a hot knife through butter. Now he turns his attention to the other side of the Atlantic, with the eventual aim of fighting one of those pesky Klitschko brothers (one assumes). Thompson (36-3, 24 KO), a comparatively petite 6’5”, seems like a logical step, having been knocked out twice by the younger of the Ukrainians. Awkward and lanky, Thompson figures to be the best opponent of Price’s young career, though at 41, I doubt the Washington D.C. fighter will have the legs or the guile to avoid Price’s heavy artillery for long in front of his home crowd. Andrew Harrison will have a fuller preview.
The Rest. NBC Sports continues its commitment to American heavyweights on Saturday, by airing a fight between Philadelphia’s Malik Scott (35-0, 12 KO) and Ukrainian prospect Vyachslav Glaskov (14-0, 10 KO). Junior welterweight/interesting dude Chris Algieri (15-0, 7 KO) fights on the undercard… Bantamweight Jose Nieves (21-2-3, 10 KO) fights Danny Flores (14-2, 8 KO) in Florida on Telemundo the night before… There’s also a Shobox card that night, headlined by Armenian-American lightweight Art Hovhannisyan (15-0-2, 8 KO) who’s fighting Alejandro Perez (16-3-1, 11 KO)… UniMas is showing a junior featherweight fight between Chris Avalos (20-2, 15 KO) and Jose Luis Araiza (29-7-1, 20 KO) on Saturday, with Las Vegas junior featherweight prospect Jesse Magdaleno (13-0, 9 KO) continuing his agonisingly slow career progress against Leivi Brea (19-10-3, 10 KO) on the undercard… Other Saturday fights are televised on WAPA America and streamed on gofightlive.tv. There’s also one of those Prizefighter tournaments in Britain again (does it seem like they’re happening more and more, or is it just me?). This time it’s heavyweights.