Dan Rafael of ESPN was nice enough to use his blog entry for today to spell out exactly what HBO had planned for the second quarter of 2010. At this point, just about anything would be better than the network's first quarter boxing schedule, though the cancellation of its biggest fight (Shane Mosley-Andre Berto) was obviously not HBO's fault.
Here are my thoughts on what is supposedly on tap:
I was a little surprised to see that Berto will be matched with Carlos Quintana on April 10. There have been quite a few names kicked around for Andre, including everyone from Paul Malignaggi to Zab Judah. Berto himself sounded off on Twitter about a week ago and didn't seem too interested in either one of those guys. Also on that card will be personal favorite Tavoris Cloud facing Glen Johnson in what should be an action-packed fight. I like Cloud in that one, but Johnson will make it a tough night as always.
The next week on April 17 is planned to be a split-site doubleheader that features Lucian Bute-Edison Miranda in Montreal and Kelly Pavlik-Sergio Martinez in Atlantic City. Miranda is always dangerous and should be good for some entertaining trash talk if nothing else, but the most recent version of Bute we saw was also the best one. He should win. Pavlik-Martinez is a fascinating study in contrasts; I'm withholding my thoughts on the outcome until both guys actually sign on the dotted line.
Tomasz Adamek-Chris Arreola is apparently official for April 24, much to my dismay. Don't get me wrong, because I like the match-up. But Showtime just moved the Super Six fights to that date, and now HBO is putting a card on that date. That is bad for fans and the sport in general. Alfredo Angulo vs. Joel Julio is the co-feature, which doesn't do a whole lot for me.
Paul Williams will be the headliner on May 8. Rafael says his most likely opponent will be Kermit Cintron at 154 pounds. I'm biased toward Cintron because he hails from a town about 30 minutes from the hometown of the BoxingWatchers. Nevertheless, I give the edge to The Punisher if he brings his 'A' game. Assuming Martinez really does face Pavlik, this is a good bout for Williams, so I hope it gets made.
Amir Khan-Paulie Malignaggi on May 15? Yes, please! Frankly, Malignaggi never made much sense to me as a foe for Berto, and even though I was intrigued by the possibility of Khan taking on Juan Manuel Marquez for the obvious "youth versus experience" storyline, this is better. Khan seems to be on the fast track to superstardom, but we've seen what can happen to young boxers who are tagged as the next big thing. Speaking of those guys, Victor Ortiz is likely to be in the co-feature against Nate Campbell. That's not too shabby either.
There's nothing official for June as of yet. But there is growing talk about Miguel Cotto and Yuri Foreman fighting, either on June 5 in Yankee Stadium or June 12 at Madison Square Garden. I wrote about that potential title fight in more detail elsewhere, but to sum up, it should be one of those rare matches where we learn something about both men. If Cotto's losses to Antonio Margarito and Manny Pacquiao took something out of him permanently, Foreman seems good enough to let us know. Regardless, NYC is the perfect spot for this fight, indoors or out.
Posted by The Franchise