Saul “Canelo” Alvarez vs. Austin Trout, Saturday, Showtime, San Antonio. This fight excites me in ways I’m not sure I understand. There will be lots of coverage of it here on TQBR this week. Two boxers in their prime, at the top of their weight division are fighting – something that doesn’t happen all that often, sadly. My two cents, briefly – Alvarez (41-0-1, 30 KO) will win this one. I think the kid from Jalisco is something special – a true boxer-puncher. Trout (26-0, 14 KO) impressed against Miguel Cotto, but Alvarez is bigger, meaner and stronger than Cotto. His combinations are things of beauty. I think Trout will have moments of success on the outside, but Canelo will do more damage and win more rounds on his way to a decision.
Javier Fortuna vs. Miguel Zamudio, Friday, ESPN2, Atlantic City. There was a time when featherweight prospect Javier Fortuna (21-0, KO 15) was the talk of the town. The Dominican prospect is a huge puncher and through 2011 and 2013 knocked out a succession of increasingly impressive gatekeepers and fringe contenders. Then he fought Snooki-managed presumed no-hoper Patrick Hyland on the undercard of Manny Pacquiao vs. Juan Manuel Marquez III and did not shine as expected. Perhaps it was a blip, or maybe “El Abejon” is just limited. I don’t think we’ll find out against Sinaloa’s Miguel Zamudio (25-1-1, 13 KO). There’s no doubt the Mexican is tough (Everlast should probably change its slogan from “Nothing Soft Comes Out of the Bronx” to “Nothing Soft Comes Out of Sinaloa”), but he’s wild and slow. Fortuna’s fast wide punches are going to land before his slow wide punches and it’s going to be lights out. Tune in to see a highlight reel knockout.
Tyson Fury vs. Steve Cunningham, Saturday, NBC, New York. It’s the most obvious analysis in the world, but I think Steve Cunningham (25-5, 12 KO) is just too small a heavyweight to threaten Tyson Fury (20-0, 14 KO). Fury is half a foot taller than the Philly fighter. Yes, Fury at times seems like he’s all over the shop in terms of footwork and basic skills, but I can’t imagine how Cunningham will be able to get to him without getting his head punched off. Add to that Cunningham’s at times iffy punch resistance a lack of punching power and if you can work out a way for him to win, post it in the comments.
Nathan Cleverly vs. Robin Crasniqi, Saturday, Epix, London. Light heavyweight Nathan Cleverly (39-2, 15 KO), a mathematician by trade, has rather cleverly (see what I did there?) got himself a belt and used it as a tool to fight a procession of no-names. Germany’s Robin Crasniqi (39-2, 15 KO) is absolutely no exception. Meh. Lovable rogue/madman Dereck Chisora (15-4, 9 KO) fights Hector Alfredo Avila (20-12-1, 13 KO) in a heavyweight clash on the undercard. This is an easy one for Chisora, who probably deserves considering his punishing recent schedule – losing to Robert Helenius, Vitali Klitschko and David Haye on the trot.
Victor Terrazas vs. Cristian Mijares, Saturday, UniMas, Mexico City. This could be the hidden gem of the week, friends – a clash between Victor Terrazas (36-2-1, 21 KO) and Cristian Mijares (47-6-2, 22 KO), the Transnational Boxing Ranking Board’s #4 and #7 junior featherweights, respectively. There’s a nice Mexican rivalry going on, with Terrazas hailing from Guadalajara while Mijares calls Mexico City home. Terrazas is the fresher here, but will have to deal his southpaw countryman’s awkwardness. “El Vikingo” lost to a similarly awkward lefty in Rendall Munroe back in 2010. I like him to win this time, but he’ll have to keep Mijares on the back foot.
The Rest. Already covered most of it, but there are a few more un-televised offerings, the most notable being the junior middleweight fight between Brian Rose and Joachim Alcine in Blackpool, England. Featherweight Lee Selby fights on the undercard… Episode two of Showtime’s All Access documentary/infomercial on Floyd Mayweather vs. Robert Guerrero premieres on Wednesday.