The above video of ducklings trying to cross a road, Frogger style, is nerve fraying. Watching, you don’t know the outcome, whether the ducklings and their mother will make it to the other side of the freeway. Looking at the week’s boxing schedule, you can’t say the same. The vast majority of the fights this week are likely to be one-sided.
Oh well, there’s always the replay of Juan Manuel Marquez’ emphatic victory over Manny Pacquiao airing on HBO on Saturday night, if you’re into something a bit more heart stopping than ducklings.
- Nonito Donaire vs. Jorge Arce, Saturday, HBO, Houston. Last week I predicted that Javier Fortuna vs. Patrick Hyland would be a live decapitation. It didn’t turn out that way. But this will. I’m sure of it. Junior featherweight action hero Arce (61-6-2, 46 KO) just doesn’t have the defence, nuance and youth necessary to hang with Donaire (30-1, 19KO). Arce is going to eat a left hook and his head is going to rotate 180 degrees. That’s all the prediction that’s necessary. The (more) interesting fight is the support bout, pitting junior featherweight standout Guillermo Rigondeaux (11-0, 8 KO) against Thailand’s Poonsawat Kratingdaenggym (48-2, 33KO). We like poon around these parts (hehe), but I think he’ll be the perfect showcase opponent for Rigondeaux on Saturday night. The Thai fighter is made of tough stuff and will plough forward no matter what, forcing Rigondeaux, who is prone to taking time off, to move his hands and do something spectacular. Poon is just too square, too open and too aggressive to prevail against a boxer as good as Rigondeaux, but his conditioning will make it entertaining (if one sided) while it lasts.
- Amir Khan vs. Carlos Molina, Saturday, Showtime, Los Angeles. Junior welterweight star Amir Khan (26-3, 18 KO) is on the comeback trail after a shock knockout loss to Danny Garcia earlier in the year. The Athens silver medallist will be looking to change some bad habits and pick up some new tricks from his new trainer, Virgil Hunter. Whether lightweight-moving-up Carlos Molina (17-0-1, 7 KO) will be a test is kind of anyone’s guess. Molina, the brother of Mexican Olympian Oscar, isn’t a bad fighter. But even at lightweight he’s not a big puncher and he’s giving away four inches in height. If Khan has got really bad punch resistance problems then Molina will exploit. If not, look for Khan to box effectively off the back foot and cruise to a wide decision. Junior middleweight banger Alfredo Angulo (21-2, 18 KO) continues his own comeback on the undercard, lining up against Jorge Silva (19-2-2, 15 KO) who shouldn’t expect to hear the final bell. Or even many round-ending bells. There’s also American heavyweight hopeful Deontay Wilder (25-0, 25 KO) against Kelvin Price (13-0, 6 KO) who, at 6’7” with an undefeated record, is easily Wilder’s best opponent to date.
- Jean Pascal vs. Aleksy Kuziemski, Friday, Wealth TV, Montreal. More comebacks! Light heavyweight Jean Pascal (26-2-1, 16 KO) hasn’t fought since 2011, coming off a bit the worse for wear in two scraps with Bernard Hopkins. Pascal and those around him will be hoping that Hopkins didn’t do his soul snatching routine and that the Haitian expatriate is still the confident, athletic fighter he once was. Aleksy Kuziemski (23-4, 7 KO) shouldn’t do much to get in the way of Pascal’s planned rematch with Chad Dawson. The pole doesn’t hit very hard and is as slow as molasses. Middleweight swatter and notorious T-Rex David Lemieux (27-2, 26 KO) faces Albert Ayrapetyan (20-3, 9 KO) on the undercard as part of his own comeback after a pair of losses.
- Leo Santa Cruz vs. Alberto Guevara, Saturday, CBS, Los Angeles. That’s right, CBS. Boxing is back on network TV, baby. That’s pretty much the only reason I bothered with a large style preview for this card as I see the bantamweight main event between Santa Cruz (22-0-1, 13KO) and Guevara (16-0) as being fairly one sided. Exciting banger Santa Cruz is one of the hottest young commodities in the sport, while Guevara is merely a shiny record. Don’t expect too much competition from the pro debut of U.S. Olympian Joseph Diaz, Jr. against the dreaded TBA, either.
- The Rest. Everyone’s favourite baby-faced killer, Argentine welterweight Marcos Maidaina (32-3, 29 KO), faces Mexico’s Angel Martinez (13-3-1, 9 KO) in a stay busy/homecoming fight on Tuesday… Super middleweights Paul Mendez (10-2-1, 4 KO) and Lester Gonzalez (12-7-4, 6 KO) headline a TeleFutura card from Salinas, Calif. on Saturday night… Top lightweight Ricky Burns (35-2, 10 KO) faces a yet to be named opponent after planned opponent Jose Ocampo fell through after his trainer died of a heart attack. Top British super middleweight George Groves (15-0, 12 KO) proves exactly nothing by facing aged road warrior and fan favourite Glen Johnson (51-7-2, 35 KO) on the undercard. Sensational British middleweight Billy Joe Saunders is also fighting… Super middleweight Arthur Abraham (35-3, 27 KO) stays safe in Germany on Saturday against Mehdi Bouadla (26-4, 11 KO)… Italian cruiserweight veterans Giacobbe Fragomeni (29-3-2, 12 KO) and Silvio Branco (62-10-3, 37 KO) are doing-over their entertainingly scrappy March draw on Saturday… Argentine super flyweight Omar Narvaez (37-1-2, 20 KO) faces David Quijano (15-2-1, 9 KO) in a safe fight down in South America… Showtime Extreme will air some Khan-Molina undercard action, while Showtime will air an "All Access" epilogue for the recent junior middleweight scrap between Austin Trout and Miguel Cotto... As previously mentioned, Saturday’s HBO fights will be preceded by a replay of the Manny Pacquiao vs. Juan Manuel Marquez pay-per-view from last week. If you don’t want to see it again then what’s wrong with you?