Prepare for the storm at StubHub Center (No, seriously. Prepare for it)
There’s an 80 percent chance of rain in Carson, California, tonight, where WBO featherweight champion Oscar Valdez faces Scott Quigg in an ESPN main event (10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT) that figures to be a fan-friendly fight.
It’s actually a well-rounded card, from top to bottom, filled with anticipated grudge matches (Andy Vences-Erick De Leon), crossroads bouts (Mike Reed-Arnold Barboza Jr.) and prospects (Alex Saucedo, Maxim Dadashov and Esquiva Falcao).
Hey, it can rain to a point where I see animals marching in pairs to an ark. I’ll still be there at ringside. Word I’ve gotten from Top Rank is that contingency plans are place in case the wet stuff comes down during the fight card. But the show will go on, rain or shine, regardless.
This is why I’ve prepared myself and bought this a couple of days ago:
The StubHub Center is my favorite local boxing venue but there is one problem with it – since it’s outdoors, it still at the mercy of Mother Nature. My recommendation to promoters has always been to be very careful between November and March, as weather will most likely come into play. The only time this scribe can recall it raining on a fight day at this facility was on November 1, 2008, when Vic Darchinyan faced Cristian Mijares. A couple of hours before Showtime went live, it literally poured as hard as I’ve ever seen, as the rain drops looked as big as baseballs, as they came down on my windshield. I sat in my car for about 15 minutes, waiting for the deluge to end.
Eventually the weather cleared up but there’s no doubt that the rain killed the walk-up attendance on that evening.
The coldest night I can recall at StubHub Center was on March 16, 2013, when Tim Bradley and Ruslan Provodnikov engaged in their memorable slugfest. It actually became difficult to type on press row, as your fingers started to feel like they were frostbitten (OK, a Southern California version of it – yeah, we’re soft when it comes to weather). As it is, even on warm sunny days, you should bring a sweater to the StubHub Center because, with that marine layer, the temps drop rapidly as the sun sets.
Yeah, I know some of you will opt to just stay home and not risk it (and also watch the Showtime telecast) but as I told Mario Lopez on “The 3 Knockdown Rule” earlier this week, it can rain like that scene in “Caddyshack,” in which Bishop Fred Pickering decides to get a quick round of golf in as it’s coming down and eventually gets struck by lightning. You’re still gonna see me in press row. (Geez, I hope I don’t catch a cold).
But Tony! Toni! Tone! lied:
Meanwhile Showtime (10:15 pm, ET/7:15 pm, PT) has a card that takes place from the newly renovated Freeman Coliseum in San Antonio, Texas (and it wouldn’t surprise me to hear that Stephen Espinoza is doing a rain dance, as we speak), that features Mikey Garcia going for his fourth major world title in as many weight classes, as he takes on IBF 140-pound beltholder Sergey Lipinets.
Lipinets is a pretty good fighter but his last bout versus Akihiro Kondo – which was a tougher than expected 12-round decision victory back in November – didn’t really give any real indication that he is ready to pull off the upset. Garcia is one of the sport’s elite technicians and I can’t imagine a fighter with as few fights as Lipenets, 13-0 (10), really competing with him unless his name was Vasyl Lomachenko.
Leading off this Showtime broadcast is the rematch between Rances Barthelemy and Kiryl Rilikh, this time for the vacant WBA 140-pound title.
Victor Conte joined Gabe Montoya and me on this week’s edition of “The Next Round” to talk about the situation surrounding Saul Alvarez and his positive test for clenbuterol.
Ringstar Sports will stream the Cedric Vitu-Brian Castano fight card, starting a 12 p.m. PT on Ringstar.com. This broadcast will also feature junior middleweight prospect Money (yeah, that’s his actual name) Powell IV…Luis Arias has parted ways with RocNation Sports…I like the April 21 tripleheader on Showtime (Adrien Broner-Jessie Vargas, Gervonta Davis-Jesus Cuellar and Jermall Charlo-Hugo Centeno). It looks like a fun card…360 Promotions has announced that the inaugural “Hollywood Fight Nights” at the Avalon, in Hollywood, will feature Ryan “Blue Chip” Martin, Serhii Bohachuk and Brian Ceballo, among others…Seriously, the weather out here this week was perfect from Monday to Friday…I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and I tweet (a lot) at twitter.com/steveucnlive. I also share photos of stuff at instagram.com/steveucnlive and can also be found at tsu.co/steveucnlive.