Wednesday, December 07, 2022  |


Weekend Preview



Rounds / weight class: 12 rounds / middleweight
Location: Montreal
Television: ESPN2 (8:30 p.m. ET/ 5:30 p.m. PT)
The backdrop: One of Quebec’s most popular up-and-comers, power-punching middleweight prospect Lemieux (22-0, 21 knockouts), makes his U.S. network debut in the main event of a Friday Night Fights broadcast from Montreal against crafty former title challenger Ayala (20-4-1, 9 KOs).
Also fighting: Sebastien Demers vs. Brian Vera., 12 rounds, super middleweights.
Rating the card: B+. This is a darn good card. The typically enthusiastic Montreal crowd will enhance the entertainment value that the 21-year-old KO artist should produce against a mobile but gutsy boxer who, on paper, appears to be his toughest test so far. The co-featured bout features two veterans — former title challenger Demers (31-2, 11 KOs) and hardnosed slugger-spoiler Vera (16-4, 10 KOs) — who should make for a fun scrap.

Rounds / weight class: 10 rounds / junior featherweights
Location: San Diego
Television: Telefutura (11:30 p.m. ET/PT)
The backdrop: Popular San Diego prospect Martin (17-0-2, 5 KOs) headlines this Solo Boxeo card in his hometown against the vastly more experienced but fast-fading Landeros.
Also fighting: Andrew Cancio vs. Cristian Favela, 8 rounds, lightweights.
Rating the card: B-. Martin appears to be the goods, which begs the question if Landeros, last seen getting starched in one round by Guillermo Rigondeaux in February, has enough left to give the 23 year old a decent fight. The hunch is that the once-rugged 30-year-old journeyman, who has lost seven of his last nine bouts, will probably go rounds with the young man but never threaten. Cancio (10-1-2, 10 KOs), a hard-punching prospect from Blythe, Calif., will be tested by Favela (19-26-6, 10 KOs), who might have the best chin among well-traveled journeymen.


Rounds / weight class: 12 rounds / junior flyweights
Location: New York City
Television: Fox Sports en Espanol/Fox Sports Net
The backdrop: Puerto Rico’s classy Calderon (33-0-1, 6 KOs), THE RING’s junior flyweight champ, is one of the sport’s most accomplished boxers. He’s won 19 title bouts in two weight classes but his profile is about as low as his KO ratio. Campaigning in the sport’s smallest divisions and lacking punch has kept Calderon out of the limelight, so his basic cable outing against Mexico’s tough Iribe (16-6-5, 10 KOs) on Saturday is something of a treat to boxing purists who appreciate his slick style and those who have never seen him.
Also fighting: Will Rozinsky vs. Victor Villereal, 6 rounds, light heavyweights.
Rating the card: B. The main event of this strong card should deliver. At age 35, Calderon is beginning to slow down. Iribe is no world-beater but he always gives world-class talent hard fights. Expect Calderon, who is coming off three consecutive technical decisions due to forehead cuts caused by accidental headbutts, to fight more aggressive than usual. The veteran wants to put on a show for the many Puerto Rican fans who will be in attendance and for the Fox Sports audience. Rozinsky (11-0, 6 KOs), the much-ballyhooed four-time New York Golden Gloves winner and national amateur champ, should handle Colorado journeyman Villereal (8-5-2, 4 KOs) but it the six rounder will likely be a competitive one for the Queens College grad.

Also: Friday — Paul McCloskey will attempt to defend his European junior welterweight title against Giuseppe Lauri in Belfast.

Saturday — Richie Mepranum will battle Julio Cesar Miranda for a vacant flyweight title in Pueblo, Mexico.

Middleweight fringe contender Marco Antonio Rubio will take on fellow banger Samuel Miller in a 12-round bout in Gomez Palacio, Mexico.