|There's going to be some bright fights in the big city this weekend|
The week ahead should prove to be an interesting one. We've got one major bout on our hands, one highly under-rated bout and one showcase featuring a rising star, among others. Of course we're not going to cover all the fights coming up this week - boxing's a vast and international sport, after all. We are, however, going to be taking a glimpse at the major ones.
First up is the next PBC card, which will be aired on Spike TV this Friday night live from the UIC Pavillion in Chicago. Artur Bieterbev will be facing Alexander Johnson in a light heavyweight scrap. With an 8-0 record, Bieterbev is someone Adonis Stevenson may want to keep an eye on. The fact that the man has won each of his fights by destructive knockout and is now clearly being fast tracked for success means Stevenson may want to be wary, as well.
The main event of the evening will feature the unnecessarily unpopular Erislandy Lara, a walking, talking, junior middleweight skill set. Lara's opponent will be Delvin Rodriguez, my fellow Connecticut native whose had a tough go of it in the ring lately. This is arguably a showcase fight for Lara, but I think that's fine. After all, his last opponents have had names like Smith, Alvarez, Angulo and Trout. Cut the poor guy some slack, people!! He's a talented dude.
Saturday should prove interesting as HBO and Showtime will both be broadcasting cards on their respective networks, cards which are sure to overlap. Showtime is hoping it's main event will draw some eyeballs. It focuses on knockout king (and partial heavyweight title holder) Deontay Wilder as he takes his championship belt home to the Bartow Arena in Alabama to face to Eric Molina, a fighter who, let's face it, no one is giving much of a chance to.
Needless to say, the event is a slap on the shoulder showcase bout if ever there was one. Also on the card that night in Birmingham will be undefeated featherweight Jose Pedraza, who will be squaring off against Russia's Andre Kilmov for IBF World super featherweight title. Truth be told, this isn't a bad card, it's just up against some serious competition.
And that competition features Nicholas Walters, the hard hitting 25-0 World super featherweight champ of the WBA (I know, I know, the organizations and titles can be confusing). Walters is something to behold, a power punching action fighter who carries a large wooden axe into the ring.
Yet Walters opponent this Saturday at Madison Square Garden is no mere tuneup. For Colombia's Miguel Marriaga boasts a record of 20-0...with 18 knockouts to his credit. With a huge potential fight with Vasyl Lomachenko on the horizon for the winner, fireworks can be expected on HBO this weekend.
But the card doesn't end there. Rising Puerto Rican star Felix Verdejo will also be on had to fight Ivan Najera in a super lightweight throwdown. It's being implied that Verdejo is being groomed to be one of Top Rank promotions big stars, so the man is definitely worth a look.