Weekend Boxing Preview

As a boxing fan, days like this coming Saturday are always complicated. Showtime is airing Arthur Abraham’s IBF Middleweight title defense. HBO is televising fast-rising light welterweight prospect Victor Ortiz. And to top it off, Top Rank is offering a four-fight pay-per-view headlined by Juan Manuel Lopez’s WBO Super Bantamweight title defense. Three separate fight cards in one night. With so many options to choose from this weekend, let Inside Fights help you choose just which fight to watch.

Arthur Abraham vs. Mahir Oral
Showtime 9pm ET

The Setup
by Corey Willinger

Arthur Abraham is fighting on Showtime once again, but this will apparently be the last time he fights on any network as a middleweight. Unable to make weight properly, Abraham has made plans to move up to 168 pounds, which is unfortunate because he hasn’t been able to to lure Middleweight Champion Kelly Pavlik or WBA titlist Felix Sturm into a megafight. Now, the announcement could also be a ploy by Abraham, with the hope of earning a fight with either champion in his next fight. Abraham defends his IBF title against Mahir Oral, who has only lost once, which was five years ago. The feeling here is that Abraham knows he needs a big performance to get the big fight at middleweight and that he’ll mix his shell-like defense with his explosive power to produce a show worth seeing.

The Selling Point
by Trent Pusey

Arthur Abraham is the best boxer fighting this weekend. If you want to see the best fighter then this is your fight to watch. Abraham is making the tenth defense of his IBF Middleweight title, and quite possibly his last. His punching power and courage make Arthur Abraham an easy guy to root for. Mahir Oral is not the middleweight we want to see Abraham fight. However, an opportunity to see one of the best middleweights in the world in action is difficult to pass up.

Victor Ortiz vs. Marcos Maidana
HBO 10pm ET

The Setup
by Corey Willinger

Victor Ortiz gets the show to himself on HBO, with Chris John pulling out of his rematch with Rocky Juarez due to illness. The good news is 24 of Maidana’s 25 wins have come by knockout, and he’s only lost once. The bad news is that loss was his last fight – against Andrys Kotelnik – in February. That isn’t a bad loss, but coming off a loss is significant. Ortiz is a terrific fighter to watch and seems to have all the tools to set himself up for big success in boxing. This could potentially be the most competitive of the three fights, and it’s a chance for Ortiz to show how soon he could realistically become a champion. For now, though, he makes for a very good appetizer but not quite the main course.

The Selling Point
by Trent Pusey

Victor Ortiz has a lot of buzz right now. We know he is going to be good but we’re just not sure how good. This fight has more of a thrilling appeal. The reason to watch is to see just what, in fact, Victor Ortiz will do to his opponent. Will he outwork him? Outbox him? Maul him into Maidana meat? It’s always intriguing to watch a fighter with a lot of potential grow into his potential. That’s what this fight is about: To say that you saw Victor Ortiz before he hit the big time. If you want to witness a boxer realizing his potential, then this is the fight for you to watch.

Juan Manuel Lopez vs. Olivier Lontchi
Top Rank PPV 9pm ET

The Setup
by Corey Willinger

All fighters say going into a fight that they will win. But Juan Manuel Lopez says he’s going to win by knockout. Mike Tyson used to do the same thing, because that’s the way boxers with this kind of power win. And they always make for quality entertainment as they chase the knockout. This weekend, Lopez will chase a knockout against Olivier Lontchi, who is unknown but undefeated, having drawn twice in 20 fights. Undefeated unknowns generally either stand their ground to defend their “0” or turn out to be overprotected and fold under the first real pressure they face. Let’s hope Lontchi fights back when he starts getting hit because nothing he’s faced can prepare him for Lopez. It seems like a stay-busy fight for Lopez as he waits for more thrilling competition in the near future, and he certainly has plenty of options.

The Selling Point
by Trent Pusey

If you want to see knockouts at any cost, then this is the fight for you. Actually, the cost would be $40. Yes, this is a pay-per-view fight but there are four fights on the live event. The undercard features Jorge Arce, Vanes Martirosyan, and a light middleweight eliminator pitting Yuri Foreman against Cornelius “K-9” Bundrage. Lopez’s last 13 fights have ended early, including the stoppage of Gerry Penalosa for the first time in his career. This fight will undoubtedly produce fireworks, it just may not be a very long display. If you get some friends together, the $40 price tag shouldn’t be a deterrent from what should be a solid night of action.

So, boxing fans, what fight will you be watching this weekend?

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