Go and look back to most of your big fights this past generation; a majority of boxing’s biggest events have taken place between February and May and then between September and December. Sure, you have your anomalies such as the first match-up between Antonio Margarito and Miguel Cotto (which took place in July of 2008) but for the most part, the summer months are usually barren.
But the sport comes back strong in the fall months of 2013 with a schedule that’s as busy as any in recent memory. Other than September 21st, there is a show of some sort on HBO, Showtime or pay-per-view all the way up till the middle of December.
Here’s a look ahead to the upcoming boxing schedule...
- September 7th (SHO): Chris Arreola vs. Seth Mitchell, Rafael Marquez vs. Efrain Esquivias: This is a “special edition” of “ShoBox” from the Fantasy Springs Casino featuring a crossroads bout between two heavyweights advised by Al Haymon. You get the sense that Haymon is making a decision on which big man he will be moving forward with. Arreola-Mitchell should be a fun fight. Say what you want about Arreola but he’s usually in good fights and Mitchell can punch but is fragile.
Not sure what to make off Marquez-Esquivias. If Marquez can’t beat Esquivias, what’s the point of going forward with this career? Of course, Esquivias is probably thinking the same thing.
GRADE: 2.5 gloves (out of five)
- September 14th (SHO PPV): Saul Alvarez vs. Floyd Mayweather, Danny Garcia vs. Lucas Matthysse, Ishe Smith vs. Carlos Molina, Ashley Theophane vs. Pablo Cesar Cano: Quite simply the most anticipated event of the year. Not only is Alvarez-Mayweather the biggest fight that could be made but Garcia-Matthysse, in its own right, is a fight that could realistically stand on its own. As the third fight of a pay-per-view card, Smith-Molina is pretty solid. This is a pay-per-view card that is a rarity, one that attracts the casual viewers of the sport while satisfying the hardcore followers.
GRADE: 5 gloves
- September 28th (HBO): Adonis Stevenson vs. Tavoris Cloud, Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. vs. Brian Vera, David Haye vs.Tyson Fury: I love the fact that HBO is going more toward three-fight broadcasts. Hey, as an HBO subscriber, I want more boxing, not less. Stevenson-Cloud figures to be a light heavyweight slugfest from the Bell Centre in Montreal, Quebec. Chavez Jr.-Vera should be a fun fight from the StubHub Center and Haye-Fury is a meaningful heavyweight bout from the U.K. And yeah, it may not be shown live out here but let’s be honest; like many of you, I’ll be watching college football in the afternoon anyway. I can’t hold off till the evening.
GRADE: 4 gloves
- October 5th (HBO): Miguel Cotto vs. Delvin Rodriguez, Terence Crawford vs. Andrey Klimov, Wladimir Klitschko vs. Alexander Povetkin: Cotto is back home on HBO and it’ll be interesting to see how he looks with Freddie Roach in his corner. A prime version of Cotto would’ve dominated Rodriguez but the question is, just how much does he have left in the tank? Crawford continues his development against the undefeated Klimov. As for Klitschko-Povetkin (from Olimpiyskiy, Moscow, Russia), will this be another Klitschko fight devoid of any drama?
GRADE: 3 gloves
- October 12th (HBO PPV): Juan Manuel Marquez vs. Tim Bradley, Orlando Cruz vs. Orlando Salido, Vasyl Lomachenko vs. Jonathan Oquendo, Sean Monaghan vs. Anthony Smith: An intriguing fight tops this pay-per-view card. Marquez-Bradley is not only a good match-up but just as importantly, one we haven’t seen before. Can Marquez get up for someone not named “Manny Pacquiao” and how damaged is Bradley in the aftermath of his grueling bout with Ruslan Provodnikov?
Cruz-Salido isn’t a bad fight for the vacant WBO featherweight title and in a fight that ties in with this one, Lomachenko making his pro debut with a 10-round bout. If he wins that, he will most likely face the winner of Cruz-Salido. Frankly, Monaghan-Smith doesn’t belong on the televised portion of a major pay-per-view card.
GRADE: 4 gloves (based mostly on the main event)
- October 19th (HBO): Mike Alvarado vs. Ruslan Provodnikov: Simply put, if there is a “can’t-miss” fight on the upcoming ledger, it’s probably this match-up from the First Bank Center just outside of Denver. Quick, tell me the last time either of these guys has been in an uneventful fight. It’s been awhile. And now you get them together? Should be an electric night on HBO, despite only televising one live bout on this evening but they are airing the “Legendary Nights” featuring Arturo Gatti and Mickey Ward and the replay of Bradley vs. Marquez.
GRADE: 4.5 gloves
- October 26th (SHO): Bernard Hopkins vs. Karo Murat: Hopkins is a purist’s delight, which means a very small segment of the viewing audience will enjoy watching Hopkins do what he does. The semi-main for this Showtime telecast still hasn’t been announced, although a fight between WBC super middleweight titlist Sakio Bika and Andre Dirrell and an appearance by WBO middleweight beltholder Peter Quillin have been mentioned by Golden Boy Promotions CEO Richard Schaefer.
GRADE: 2 gloves
- November 2nd (HBO): Gennady Golovkin vs. Curtis Stevens: Hey, as far as I’m concerned, anytime “GGG” is on, it’s a good thing. Now, he faces brash-talking and heavy-hitting Stevens. Does Stevens have a legitimate “puncher’s chance”? That’s the question. There will be another fight on this undercard but nothing has been finalized.
GRADE: 3 gloves
- November 2nd (SHO): OK, Schaefer has made it clear that he is planning to do a card with Showtime on this date, leading up to a November 9th pay-per-view card. He wanted to match Robert Guerrero against Keith Thurman but it looks like “The Ghost” has passed on that opportunity. So stay tuned for details...
* no grade
- November 9th (HBO): Mikey Garcia vs. Rocky Martinez, Nonito Donaire vs. Vic Darchinyan II, Vanes Martirosyan vs. Demetrius Andrade: Garcia is as talented as any young fighter today and Martinez seems to bring a very favorable style to the table. As for Donaire-Darchinyan II, this is a rematch that is about four years too late. And yeah, Martirosyan-Andrade might be a better fight on paper than on the canvas.
GRADE: 3 gloves
- November 9th (SHO PPV): Adrien Broner vs. Marcos Maidana?: OK, not finalized but Schaefer has also discussed this at length. Also, there is the possibility that the likes of Leo Santa Cruz could be on this card at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. Also, do Golden Boy and Showtime really want to do a pay-per-view on a night when HBO has a card? Let’s see how this plays out.
* no grade
- November 16th (HBO): Andre Ward vs. TBA: I guess Edwin Rodriguez is still being mentioned as a possibility here but honestly, I’m not sure any cares too much at this point. Ward continues his campaign to be the most unlikeable fighter on the planet. Seriously, name me a fighter who’s done less in the ring while doing more damage to himself outside of it in recent months. But we’ll see how much HBO respects his injury.
* no grade
- November 23rd (HBO PPV): Manny Pacquiao vs. Brandon Rios: There is great intrigue to this match-up in the wake of Pacquiao’s devastating knockout loss to Marquez last December. He will either shatter in a million pieces or we’ll have an entertaining affair between two fighters who always make for good fights. As of now, the undercard from Macao has not been officially announced.
GRADE: 4 gloves
Nothing is set in stone for November 30th to December 14th but from what I’m told, HBO plans to go with a card on November the 30th (or at the very least, a replay of Pacquiao-Rios). Perhaps the return of Sergey Kovalev could be in order here (but that’s just me blatantly speculating).
As for December, a bout on Showtime between IBF welterweight titlist Devon Alexander and Amir Khan has been discussed for December 7th for a couple of months now. Regarding December 14th, the rematch between newly-crowned WBC featherweight champion Jhonny Gonzalez and Abner Mares could be part of a show on this evening.
Main Events CEO Kathy Duva says their next NBC show will be broadcast (on “regular” NBC, no less) on November 16th…It was announced that the bout between unified super middleweight beltholder Carl Froch and George Groves would take place on November 23rd, most likely meaning HBO will not be televising it. HBO has never had a live boxing event on the same day they it has done a pay-per-view event...Don’t forget this Saturday afternoon on WealthTV (or whatever they are calling it now), you have the WBO lightweight title fight between Ricky Burns and Ray Beltran...Tonight, FoxSports 1 has another card from San Antonio, Texas, featuring Luis Collazo and Alan Sanchez...The WBO has set an title eliminator between Hernan Marquez and Giovani Segura for November 2nd with the winner to face Juan Francisco Estrada...Was Clemson-Georgia great or what?...“Beamer Ball” is dead. VA Tech’s special teams are now a liability for the Hokies...Showdown at High Noon next Saturday, the ‘Canes vs. Gators (and yes, the Kimster will be there)...