Boxing Preview For Late June

In the last year or more, I've tried to become a more serious and knowledgeable fan of boxing. Aiding me in this journey has been the SB Nation boxing blog Bad Left Hook, which seems to be a calmer, smarter place to discuss boxing than most corners of the Internet; most of the other boxing blogs and forums I've found are full of ridiculous drama, bias, overreaction, and even racism (to be fair, this describes a lot of sports message boards).

The site is managed by Scott Christ, who sometimes puts out a weekly viewing guide. Here's an example of one.

Scott Christ has already forgotten more about boxing than I will ever know, and I've already established my appreciation for Bad Left Hook, but I find the viewer's guide sorely lacking.

For one, it used to run most weeks, with only the sparsest weeks on the schedule being missed. Now, it has run just thrice over the last nine weekends. Secondly, for the lesser TV cards he often says nothing at all, and for the bigger fights he may spare a sentence at most on the undercards. Not that I expect him to break down a stay-busy fight between a blue-chipper and a 16-25 journeymen, but most TV cards have at least two bouts where the questions, "Why should I care? What's the angle here?" can be asked.

That said, I decided to light a candle rather than curse the darkness. Last week, I started my own boxing preview blog — plug, plug — that looks more like the kind of previews I want to see — a little more in-depth, a little more comprehensive.

This week in the Slant Pattern, I'm going to break down this weekend's fights the way I intend to do them as a matter of course on my boxing blog. TV information is gathered from two indispensable sources, BoxRec and Grabaka Hitman.

Friday, 5 AM ET, (free): Jai Opetaia vs. Kurtis Pegoraro

This is for the IBF Pan-Pacific Cruiserweight Title, in Brisbane. The undefeated Opetaia will be the strong favorite. He's knocked out his last 11, including 9 before the fourth round. Pegoraro (11-3) is coming off a nice win off of a previously undefeated fighter, but his resume beyond that doesn't come close to Opetaia's.

On the undercard, the best match seems to be a lightweight fight between Matt Casboult (5-1) and Pino Geracitano (4-2-1). They have very similar resumes with both of them coming off of close losses to undefeated fighters. In Casboult's case, however, that was in 2016.

Friday, 1:15 PM ET, (free): Eva Naranjo vs. Davinia Perez

From Spain, which is not typically a strong boxing country, we have a pair of minor title fights. First, the WBC International (as opposed to the more prestigious World) Female Bantamweight Championship is up for grabs between the 11-0 Naranjo and the 6-1 Perez. Perez's loss was in her last fight, and both of them have few KOs on their record, so this one is probably going to be decided by the judges.

Also on the line is the WBC Silver (another euphemism for "minor") Bantamweight Title between the undefeated Narek Abgaryan of Armenia and Jesus Galicio of Mexico (Abgaryan is the reason this is being shown on the Armenian-centric Galicio has 10 losses, came up empty in his last two trips to Spain, and while he's coming off three straight decision wins against nice fighters, none of them were unanimous.

Friday, 9:00 PM ET, ESPN: Rashidi Ellis vs. Alberto Mosquera

If you're interested in the undercard, it starts at 7:30 PM ET on ESPN3. Of the last six fights on the card, the worst record among all 12 fighters is 6-2-2, so good job by Golden Boy Promotions for putting together a nice card after a clunker last week.

"Speedy" Rashidi Ellis is 19-0 and Mosquera is 25-3-2, but in reality, this is a glorified stay-busy fight for Ellis; only two of Mosquera's fights have come outside of Panama, and his only other time in the U.S., he was knocked out in the first round.

The better fight on this night in Cancun might be between a pair of 17-3-1 super bantamweights, Francisco Horta and Davis Reyes. Horta hasn't lost since 2014. Reyes has lost twice in the same span of time but they were both close decisions.

Saturday, 12:30 PM, ESPN+: Michael Conlan vs. Adeilson dos Santos

This is another outstanding card, featuring three fights between undefeated fighters. The headliner, Conlan vs. dos Santos, is not one of them. Conlan won flyweight Gold for Ireland in the 2012 Olympics, and as a pro he's been ceaselessly and annoyingly hyped by the British and Irish press. Dos Santos is not likely to be the one to hand him his first loss; he's 19-4, but has lost two of his last three.

The biggest title fight on the line on this card is for the IBF Inter-Continental Super Featherweight Title, and features the top two ranked Irishman in that weight class: Jono Carroll, who is undefeated, and Declan Geraghty, who's 17-2, but has a pair of nice wins in the last 12 months. Between these two's 32 wins, they've knocked out their opponents 6 times, so this one is going the distance.

Saturday, 9 PM ET, ESPN: Gilberto Ramirez vs. Roamer Angulo

The undercard starts at 6:15 on ESPN3. This is the only honest-to-goodness world title fight on the line this weekend, as Ramirez looks to defend his WBO Super Middleweight title for the fourth time. Twice he has done so against undefeated fighters, and Angulo is undefeated himself with plenty of KO power, but Ramirez' resume is miles better and Angulo is around a 12-1 dog at most of the sportsbooks.

The better fight might be between Leonardo Zappavigna (37-3) and Alex Saucedo (27-0). "Lenny Zappa's" only loss since 2011 was an eighth-round KO at the hands of the excellent Sergey Lipinets when two of the judges had the bout tied. Saucedo, however, is undefeated, has a longer reach, and will be fighting at home in Oklahoma City.

Saturday, 11 PM ET, Azteca: Pedro Campa vs. Domicio Rondon

You can put a cap on the weekend of boxing on the outskirts of Mexico City, where 28-1 super lightweight prospect goes against the Venezuelan lefty Rondon, 15-3 on his career, whose never fought in Mexico and is unlikely to trouble Campa.

Campa's lone loss was an upset TKO at the hands of a then-11-8-1 Carlos Jimenez, who is also on this card going up against Miguel Angel Gonzalez, who has fought for a number of regional and minor titles, but has lost four of his last five.

Leave a Comment

Featured Site