It seems appropriate to head the schedule with a “Gangnam Style” video, since the Korean pop sensation became YouTube’s most viewed video ever this week with 831 million views. We’re all terribly sick of it, but that Christmas lights display is pretty cool. Now let’s forget it ever happened, which we were probably going to do anyway.
There’s quite a bit of televised boxing on this weekend, and a lot of it has potential for fun. Miguel Cotto is always fun, which is why we love him so. But apart from that there’s Joan Guzman in an entertaining, tough match-up (WTF), some British heavyweight fights and a lot of low level, high entertainment potential stuff on the Spanish networks.
Migel Cotto vs. Austin Trout, Saturday, Showtime, New York City. Tim will have a proper, full length preview of the week’s biggest fight later in the week. I love to chuck in my two cents, though, so I will. Cotto (37-3, 30 KO) is going to be way too much for Trout (25-0, 14 KO) in this junior middleweight bout. Sure, Trout is a bigger guy with a height and reach advantage, but he doesn’t hit hard enough or box well enough to deal with Cotto’s pressure. If Floyd Mayweather can hardly keep Cotto off him, then Austin Trout can’t either. I see this as either a late stoppage or a wide decision win for Cotto, with Trout not looking so pretty by the end. On the undercard, Puerto Rican junior lightweight prospect Jayson Velez (19-0, 14KO) faces Salvador Sanchez, Jr. (30-4-3, 18 KO) in place of Billy Dib, who was forced off the card due to promotional machinations. Sanchez, despite his pedigree, ain’t all that and a bag of chips. It seems that all he got from his dad was a pair of red trunks and a Mexi-fro. Colour me “meh.” Middleweight prospect Daniel Jacobs is also continuing his comeback from cancer and a knockout loss to Dimitry Pirog.
Joan Guzman vs. Khabib Allakhverdiev, Friday, Bounce TV, Sunrise Fla. Russian Khabib Allakhverdiev (17-0, 8 KO), the Transnational Boxing Rankings Board’s #10 junior welterweight, is on a mission to clean out the division in 2009 -- which explains why he’s fighting Joan Guzman (33-0-1, 20 KO) this weekend, after defeating Nate Campbell and Kaiser Mabuza in recent outings. This hilariously Russian news report suggests that Allakhverdiev’s nickname is “The King” while Boxrec lists it as “The Hawk.” Neither nickname is as bad as Guzman’s “Little Tyson” -- in fact, I move that all Tyson related nicknames be removed from the sport, with the exception of Hernan Marquez’ “Tysoncito,” which he can keep because it’s cool and he’s totally badass. Anyway, back to the fight. Serial weight-misser Guzman hasn’t really fought great competition on his comeback, so Allakhardiev figures to be a good test of his seriousness. The Russian is a quick-gloved southpaw counterpuncher who seems to wait a little too much. Against Ignacio Mendoza, Allakharviev fired away with his chin aloft while his man was on the ropes, knocking him out eventually, but catching a lot in the process. That tendency may not serve him well against Guzman, who was always plenty happy to lay on the ropes, ducking shots and waiting for a pinpoint opportunity. It really depends whether Guzman lives up to anywhere near the potential he once showed.
The Rest. Locally popular Contender alum Peter Manfredo, Jr. (37-7, 20 KO) steps into the ring as a light heavyweight at Providence, R.I on Thursday against Rayco Saunders (22-18-1, 9 KO)… Colombian welterweight veteran Antonio Pituala (53-6-1, 47KO) headlines on Telemundo Friday night, against Pablo Munguia (15-3, 11 KO)… British heavyweight hope David Price (14-0, 12 KO) will face Matt Skelton (28-6, 23 KO) on WealthTV the same night, looking to line up a big money domestic showdown with Tyson Fury… Speak of the devil -- Fury (19-0, 14 KO) fights on the same network the next night against Kevin Johnson (28-2-1, 13 KO), whose chances are similar to those of Skelton… Junior featherweights Manuel Avila (10-0, 3 KO) and Ricky Lopez (9-1, 4 KO) pad out the rest of the week’s TV schedule of TeleFutura Saturday… Episode three of Pacquiao/Marquez 24/7 debuts on HBO Saturday night. HBO have been doing lots of different things this time round for Manny Pacquiao vs. Juan Manuel Marquez IV, so expect the unexpected.