This weekend, boxing will be giving you probably the most boxing that they have given you all year all wrapped up. Between HBO and Showtime, all Saturday, boxing fans can have their screen with all boxing almost all the time. Numerous belts on the line, numerous reputations on the line, and numerous eyes will be watching so let’s get right to the fights that will be featured on both networks.
Terence Crawford (29-0 with 20 KOs) vs John Molina (29-6 with 23 KOs)
Terence Crawford is one of the best, and technical, fighters in the sport. He has dominated everyone that has stepped in the ring with him. His most recent fight was against Viktor Postol, who was considered by most the 2nd best 140 pound fighter in the world. After a Word Class effort, Crawford won with ease and now is ready for a bigger challenge. However with fighters like Manny Pacquiao looking elsewhere at the time, Crawford plans to unify all the belts at the junior welterweight division.
Crawford, in the meantime, will be facing John Molina Jr, who is coming off an impressive win over the “Monster” Ruslan Provodnikov. Molina is a hard hitter and goes all out, but skill-wise, he isn’t in the same country as Crawford. I expect this to be very similar, if not worse than the Postol fight. Crawford, known as a slow starter, should figure Molina out by round 3 or 4 and should be able to finish him, if he wants, by round 5 or 6.
Joseph Parker (21-0 with 18 KOs) vs Andy Ruiz Jr (29-0 with 19 KOs)
This fight will be shown on tape delay, but I’m sure boxing fans can find a way to see it live. Parker is one of the young rising heavyweights. At only age 24, he has fought as good of competition as some that currently being hyped more with a belt. Parker now has a chance to get a vacant belt against the also undefeated Andy Ruiz Jr. This is Ruiz’s 1st big step up, but eventually, you have to find out how good he is. He has gotten in better shape, but Parker is a very athletic heavyweight and one must wonder how long Ruiz can hang around before his stamina goes out on him. Give me Parker by 12th round stoppage.
Anthony Joshua (17-0 with 17 KO) vs Eric Molina 25-3 with 19 KOs)
Anthony Joshua is a star overseas. It would be great if he decides to come over to fight in the US soon, but right now, he is more than happy racking in bog paychecks and selling out arenas in the UK. He is looked at, along with Wilder and Parker, as the future of the Heavyweight division. All have tremendous power and all don’t mind fighting 3-4 times (Parker 5 times) a year. It’s a refreshing thing when you think of how some fighters now only step into the ring once or twice a year.
This fight will get the headlines because of Joshua, but in reality, this should be a mismatch. I honestly do nothing Molina will make it to the 6th. Joshua is just too skilled, too strong, and too athletic for me to see him get in trouble, much less lose this. Molina’s best showing in his career was lasting 9 rounds with WBC Champion Deontay Wilder and then beating Tomasz Adamek this April. I fully expect Joshua to make light work of Molina and move on to the rumored fight with Wladimir Klitschko on April 29th.
Jesus Cuellar (28-1 with 21 KOs) vs Abner Mares (29-2-1 with 15 KOs)
This fight goes the distance. Both have some pop, but I think both have good enough chins to withstand 1 or 2 shots from the other person. The problem with this fight is it could get very sloppy. Cuellar hasn’t fought in a year when he beat Jonathan Oquendo and Mares hasn’t fought in 16 months since his loss to Leo Santa Cruz, one fight in 21 months is not exactly how you stay sharp. A lot of people think Mares is done because of all the battles he’s had. This will either prove or disprove it. I’m picking Cuellar by split decision and could even see this as a draw.
Jermall Charlo vs Julian Williams
This is a fight between 2 young, hungry, top 10 junior middleweights. Charlo has a small reach advantage, but I don’t think it will be much of a factor in this. I feel this will be a slug it out fight where you’ll see more than 1 knockdown. It can go either way and could easily be the best fight of the day. No matter which way it goes, I see a stoppage, but I favor Charlo by a slightly because of his previous, tougher, opposition. This, more than any other bout today, is a “can’t miss” fight.
Other fighters on this big day of cards include: Raymundo Beltran, Seanie Monaghan, Mike Reed, Scott Quigg, Luis Ortiz, Josesito Lopez, Julio Cesar Chavez Jr, Kermit Citron, Krzysztof Wlodarczyk, Katie Taylor, and fights between Luis Concepcion and Khalid Yafai, and Dillian Whyte and Dereck Chisora. Needless to say, between HBO, Showtime, and what other stations you happen to get, no boxing fans should have a lack of anything they wish to see this Saturday. This is a stellar way to end the year and a great Christmas gift for the sport to just sit back, relax, and enjoy the numerous fights and very good fighters.