This weekend HBO and Showtime will once again host competing cards. Showtime will be televising a ridiculously stacked quadruple-header which is arguably their best card of the year, while HBO will be airing a less hyped triple-header headlined by Guillermo Rigondeaux. Boxing fans who don’t have access to Tivo or DVR will be put in a tough spot and inevitably both shows will suffer. Either way, we are in for one epic night of fights!
The night will be kicked from Stuttgart, Germany as Darren Barker puts his IBF middleweight title on the line against former champion Felix Sturm. Barker is fresh off his upset win over Daniel Geale and will be looking to make another statement, while Sturm will be looking to silence his growing list of critics. If you can find a way to watch it, this should be a solid fight.
The HBO fight card from Atlantic City, New Jersey, will begin with James Kirkland making his long awaited return to the ring to face up and coming star Glen Tapia. Kirkland has managed to squander his once promising career although his return to long time trainer Ann Wolfe may be enough to help him get by Tapia. Look for action in this fight.
The co-feature took a big hit due to injury; Matthew Macklin was scheduled to face Willie Nelson, who pulled out with an elbow injury and was replaced by the unknown Lamar Russ.
In the main-event, Guillermo Rigondeaux will put his unified super bantamweight title on the line against former champion Joseph Agbeko. This will be Rigondeaux’s first fight since facing the toughest challenge of his career, HBO’s insane bias. Earlier this year following his dominating performance against Nonito Donaire, HBO ridiculously announced they would no longer be showing Rigondeaux’s fights. Jim Lampley even went as far to verbally bash Rigondeaux on his show “The Fight Game”, which seems to be only loosely based in reality. Rigondeaux will be out to make a statement in this fight and Agebko is always ready for a war. Be ready for this one.
128 miles away, from Brooklyn, New York; Showtime will be staging their own exciting night of fights. The evening will begin with Sakio Bika making the first defense of his WBC super middleweight title against Anthony Dirrell. Dirrell, a cancer survivor, will be taking a big step up in class as he challenges for his first world title.
Next up, in one of the most anticipated fights of the year, former champion Austin Trout will take on Cuban standout Erislandy Lara. The winner of this fight could be in line for a fight with Floyd Mayweather next year. Both Lara and Trout will be looking to make a statement in this fight; expect fireworks.
In the co-featured bout of the evening, Devon Alexander will defend his IBF welterweight title against Shawn Porter. Alexander was hoping to land a big fight against Amir Khan but will have to settle for a high risk, low reward match-up against Porter. There has been no shortage of trash talking between the two camps, who have history dating all the way back to the amateurs, when a 12 year old Alexander defeater and 11 year old Porter.
The main event, which is arguably the least meaningful fight, features two of the biggest trash talkers in the business. Zab Judah will face Paulie Malignaggi in the unofficial battle for Brooklyn. Both men are coming off narrow defeats to big stars and the loser of this fight will be left with very few options moving forward. Expect a very good effort from both former champions, this is a true 50/50 fight.
Which telecast will you be watching? What fight are you most looking forward to? Let me know in the comments section below. Also look out for predictions later in the week.