Weekend Preview: Two ‘A’-rated fights
The Super Six World Boxing Class showdown between Mikkel Kessler and Carl Froch (pictured) in Denmark and the Chris Arreola-Tomasz Adamek heavyweight matchup give boxing fans two first-rate fights on Saturday night. Photo / Tony Brochner
ENRIQUE ORNELAS vs. JULIUS FOGLE
Rounds / weight class: 8 rounds / super middleweights
Location: Los Angeles
Television: Fox Sports Net; live stream on RingTV.com at 7 p.m.
The backdrop: Ornelas (29-6, 19 KOs) is coming off his one-sided loss to Bernard Hopkins in a light heavyweight bout in December. The Mexican-born resident of Los Angeles hopes to get back into the 168-pound title picture after losing a split decision to Marco Antonio Rubio in a title eliminator in 2008. Fogle (15-3, 10 KOs) was an accomplished amateur, having won a U.S. title, and started his pro career 15-0. However, now 38, he has lost three consecutive fights (with one no-contest).
Also fighting: Deon Elam vs. Andre Hemphill, six rounds, cruiserweights.
Rating the card: C-. Ornelas is always fun to watch but Fogle might not have much left.
CARL FROCH vs. MIKKEL KESSLER
Rounds / weight class: 12 rounds / super middleweights
Location: Herning, Denmark
Television: Showtime, 9 p.m. ET / PT (tape delay)
The backdrop: Kessler (42-2, 32 KOs), one of the favorites going into the Super Six World Boxing Classic, can’t afford to lose again if he hopes to win the tournament. He was thoroughly outboxed and lost a decision to Andre Ward in his first fight in the competition. The fact this fight is in his home country certainly doesn’t hurt. Froch (26-0, 20 KOs), strong, but seemingly flawed, is perpetually trying to prove he’s an elite fighter in spite of his record. A victory on Saturday would all but silence his critics. He rallied to beat Andre Dirrell in his first fight in the tournament, after which Dirrell dominated Arthur Abraham.
Also fighting: Edmund Gerber vs. Samir Kurtagic, 8 rounds, heavyweights.
Rating the card: A. The fight is important and the drama is thick. Can Kessler bounce back from his loss to Ward? Or is he in decline? Is Froch better than we think he is? Or will Kessler prove what we’ve believed all along? It doesn’t get much better than this.
CHRIS ARREOLA vs. TOMASZ ADAMEK
Rounds / weight class: 12 rounds / heavyweights
Location: Ontario, Calif.
Television: HBO, 8:15 PT / 11:15 ET
The backdrop: Very few heavyweight fights are worth watching these days. This one is. Arreola (28-1, 25 KOs) wants to remain in the title picture while Adamek (40-1, 27 KOs) is fighting to get into it. Arreola has the size and strength advantage but Adamek is somewhat more skillful and quicker, which makes this a fairly even matchup on paper. Arreola bounced back from his crushing TKO loss to Vitali Klitschko in September by stopping a much smaller Brian Minto in four rounds in December. The Riverside, Calif., product is more athletic and a better boxer than some give him credit for. Adamek, a titleholder at light heavyweight and cruiserweight, is 2-0 as a full-fledged heavyweight after beating Andrew Golota and Jason Estrada. Arreola represents a step up in competition. Adamek is known to have a good chin. He’ll probably need it on Saturday. Adamek has dedicated the fight to his fellow Poles who perished in the recent plane crash.
Also fighting: Alfredo Angulo vs. Joel Julio, 12 rounds, junior middleweights.
Rating the card: A. Arreola and Adamek are true fighters, guys who will take risks all fight long in order to hurt the other man. That’s all we want from our fighters. The Angulo-Julio fight also should be entertaining. They have a combined 45 knockouts in their 52 victories. Don’t look away.
JORGE ARCE vs. CECILIO SANTOS
Rounds / weight class: 12 rounds / bantamweights
Location: Ciudad Obregon, Mexico
Television: Fox Sports Net / Fox Sports en Espanol
The backdrop: Arce (53-6-1, 40 KOs) will get a shot at Eric Morel’s interim title in June if he beats Santos (24-13-3, 14 KOs), which shouldn’t be a problem. Arce, from the boxing hotbed of Los Mochis, Mexico, remains one of the most-popular fighters in the world even as he nears the end of his career. The Morel fight probably will be a make-or-break fight for him. If he wins, he’ll stick around. If he loses, he might retire. Santos, from Mexico City, has lost four of his past five fights and would appear to be no threat to Arce.
Also fighting: Miguel Beltran vs. Joksan Hernandez, 10 rounds, junior lightweights.
Rating the card: C. Arce is worth watching regardless of his opponent but this opponent would seem to be particularly weak.
Also: Saturday — J├╝rgen Br├ñhmer defends his light heavyweight title against Mariano Nicolas Plotinsky in Hamburg, Germany.