Saturday Night (Fight) Fever
While most of the attention this weekend in boxing will focus on Showtime’s (9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT) broadcast of the intriguing junior welterweight contest between Mikey Garcia and Adrien Broner from the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York, there is plenty of other televised boxing.
So yeah, set your DVRs.
Here’s a look at what else is scheduled for Saturday and Sunday evenings:
– ESPN2 (Saturday – Midnight ET/9 p.m PT): Another edition of “Golden Boy Boxing on ESPN” takes place from the Casino Del Sol from Tucson, Arizona and it will feature a main event between welterweights Sadam Ali and Johan Perez and the return of Patrick Teixeira.
“Sadam Ali is coming back, fighting a former world champion. It’s going to be a good, entertaining fight,” said Eric Gomez, the president of Golden Boy Promotions. “Now, if you remember, Johan Perez has a win over (Yoshihiro) Kamegai, who’s fighting (Miguel) Cotto (on August 26). Johan’s no slouch; he’s always in good fights. It’s a real test for Sadam.”
Last year, Ali was stopped in nine rounds by Jessie Vargas for the vacant WBO welterweight crown. Since then, he has bounced back with victories over Saul Corral and Jorge Silva in carefully hand-picked fights. “Look, Sadam’s made a pretty good comeback after the loss he had and he’s ready. He says, he gets past this one, he’s ready to fight anyone,” stated Gomez.
Last year, it was announced that GBP had entered a deal with ESPN to televise a series of fight cards. Recently Top Rank has partnered up with them and it’s believed that the “Worldwide Leader” is now fully committed to the sport.
“It helps us; it helps boxing. There’s going to be more opportunities out there,” says Gomez, who believes a rising tide lifts all vessels. “We’re very happy; we have a contract with them and we’re going to work with them to continue to develop these fighters and I just think it brings more opportunities and I’m glad that they’re 100 percent in boxing.”
– CBS Sports Network (Saturday – 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT) – It’s the second “Rumble on the Water” from the Queen Mary in Long Beach (but not on the actual boat). The main event features featherweight hopeful Tramaine Williams, whose career was sidetracked a few years, as he spent time in prison for narcotics and weapons charges. Williams, who reminds one of Pernell Whitaker inside the ring, will face veteran William Gonzalez. Also on this telecast is unbeaten young light heavyweight Junior Younan who is paired with Mike Guy.
Yes, I’ll be on the call for this broadcast alongside Sean Wheelock.
– FS1 (Sunday – 7 p.m. ET/4 p.m PT): From the Rabobank Theater in Bakersfield, California, Ringstar Sports presents a card headlined by Victor Ortiz. The card is really an opportunity for young prospects such as Eimantas Stanionis, Money Powell and the Balderas brothers (Jose and Carlos) to showcase their skills. There’s also a solid junior middleweight match-up between Justin DeLoach and Nate Gallimore.
Richard Schaefer says the location is ideal for building a fan-base for the Balderases, who hail from nearby Santa Maria. “I’m very excited; it’s really selling very well. We have priced it very well. We’re going to have a sell-out there and Bakersfield is really one of those markets which, quite frankly, are getting a bit ignored and so are some of the other Northern California markets, talking about the Modestos, the Stocktons and the Fresnos – and Fresno, not so much, because Top Rank goes back there with (Jose) Ramirez,” said Richard Schaefer, the head of Ringstar Sports, who plans on hitting these cities consistently with his young crop of boxers he recently signed.
“There is a hotbed in Southern California and it seems that everybody always focuses on L.A. and really ignores these other markets,” he continued. “But when you bring your talent like this – that’s what I want to do – I want to bring the fights to the fight fans. And it’s not only in L.A. (where) we have fight fans. There are fight fans in other parts of California, as well. It’s a hotbed.”
The venue this weekend has a capacity of around 3,100 and Schafer stated with confidence, “I think we’re going to sell it out.”
Jorge Linares will defend his WBA lightweight title on September 23 versus Luke Campbell at the Forum on HBO…Nigerians Efe Ajagba and Efetobor Apochi have signed with Ringstar Sports and will be making their pro debuts on Sunday. The pair are managed by Shelly Finkel. (He’s back!…uh, did he ever leave?) and trained by old pro Ronnie Shields…It looks like the Diego De La Hoya-Randy Caballero grudge match is looking more and more like it’s coming to fruition for the Canelo Alvarez-Gennady Golovkin pay-per-view undercard on September 16…Trainer Abel Sanchez says he’d like to experiment with Denis Shafikov at 130…The Oleksandr Usyk-Marco Huck bout, which is part of the quarterfinals of the “World Boxing Super Series” will take place on September 9 in Berlin…Speaking of which, Schaefer says he is confident that they will be able to find an American television platform for the WBSS…Is there a better line-up on television right now than HBO on Sunday nights? That’s like the Troy Aikman/Emmitt Smith/Michael Irvin threesome in Dallas in the ’90s with “Ballers,” “Insecure” and “Game of Thrones”…Sooo, how are Floyd Mayweather Jr.-Conor McGregor tickets moving?…Duke Johnson moving to slot for the Browns? That would be interesting…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.