It’s another busy week in boxing, led by Deontay Wilder’s return to action and HBO’s return to boxing, kinda-sorta.
Monday, May 13
YouTube, 6:55 am ET, Moruti Mthalane vs Masayuki Kuroda. Live from Korakuen Hall for Mthalane’s IBF flyweight title. South Africa’s Mthalane has been a real player in this division since he beat Hussein Hussein in an IBF eliminator in 2008, and he hasn’t lost since Nov. 2008, when Nonito Donaire stopped him in six. Over that time he’s beaten a lot of good fighters. Kuroda is a veteran who challenged Juan Carlos Reveco for a WBA belt in 2013, coming up short. BLH will have live coverage.
Tuesday, May 14
HBO, 8:00 pm ET, What’s My Name | Muhammad Ali. Hey, remember HBO? They’re out of the live boxing game these days, but on Tuesday they’ve got a two-part Ali documentary directed by Antoine Fuqua and executive produced by Fuqua, Maverick Carter, and LeBron James, among other people you’ve never heard of who are no doubt at least as important all the same. I got a chance to watch an early screener of this last Thursday, and I’ll keep it simple: if you’re a fan of Ali or just interested at all, tune in. It’s going to air back-to-back, essentially making it a three-hour sit. But it’s worth it. It’s very, very well-done.
Thursday, May 16
RingTV.com / Facebook, 10:00 pm ET, Romero Duno vs Juan Rodriguez, Manny Robles III vs Rigoberto Hermosillo. Golden Boy DAZN Thursday Night Fights returns, and still, no, this show does not stream on DAZN. It does stream for free at RingTV and on Facebook, and listen, I know these fights aren’t for everyone, not for the weaklings and half-fans, but this series has actually been pretty entertaining so far, and Duno-Rodriguez figures to keep that going. Travell Mazion, Carlos Morales, Genaro Gamez, Tenochtitlan Nava, Sean Garcia, and Kevin Anton will also be in action. BLH will have live coverage.
Friday, May 17
YouTube, 1:30 pm ET, Wilder-Breazeale weigh-in. You know what a weigh-in is. BLH will have live coverage.
ESPN+, 3:00 pm ET, Ryan Burnett vs Jelbirt Gomera, Marco McCullough vs Declan Geraghty. Former bantamweight titleholder Burnett got unfortunately bounced from the WBSS last November, losing to Nonito Donaire because his back gave out in the fourth round, with Burnett leaving the ring on a stretcher. This is his comeback fight at super bantamweight. It’s pure tune-up material, but that’s understandable. Several prospects are set for the undercard in Belfast. BLH will have live coverage.
UFC Fight Pass, 8:30 pm ET, Mykquan Williams vs Rickey Edwards. Broadway Boxing returns to Fight Pass. This card will also see Marco Huck and Toka Kahn Clary in action, among others. BLH will have live coverage.
Saturday, May 18
DAZN, 2:00 pm ET, Josh Taylor vs Ivan Baranchyk, Naoya Inoue vs Emmanuel Rodriguez. Sky Sports will air the show in the UK. Two semifinal fights for the WBSS at 140 and 118, respectively, live from Glasgow. Taylor-Baranchyk is a good fight and the winner moves on to face Regis Prograis. Inoue-Rodriguez is a good fight and the winner moves on to face Nonito Donaire. It’s just that simple. BLH will have live coverage.
ESPN+, 2:30 pm ET, Billy Joe Saunders vs Shefat Isufi, Joe Joyce vs Alexander Ustinov, Brad Foster vs Ashley Lane. To show Billy Joe Saunders how seriously they take Drugs Cheats, the WBO have essentially gift-wrapped their 168-pound title for him in this matchup with Isufi. Joyce-Ustinov is a heavyweight fight of some note, and Foster-Lane will unify British and Commonwealth titles at 122. BLH will have live coverage.
YouTube / Facebook, 6:30 pm ET, Wilder-Breazeale prelims. Showtime’s jumping into the prelim game again, which is good. I’m going to die on my shield fighting alongside all these outlets trying to get boxing fans to care about prelims and prospects. Anyway, we’ll see Deon Nicholson vs Brian Howard (cruiserweights), Robert Alfonso vs Iago Kiladze (heavyweights), and Richardson Hitchins vs Alejandro Munera (junior welterweights). Hitchins is the best prospect of the group. We’ll have the stream for you on Saturday. BLH will have live coverage.
SHO, 9:00 pm ET, Deontay Wilder vs Dominic Breazeale, Gary Russell Jr vs Kiko Martinez, Juan Heraldez vs Argenis Mendez. This is about as good as Showtime is getting on a Saturday night in 2019, it seems. Wilder-Breazeale — again, I’ve crapped on myself for trying to take this route on it already, but I’ll do it again anyway: I know this isn’t what anyone asked for, but it has a good chance of at least being an explosive heavyweight fight. Both big boys can punch. Russell-Martinez is your Mr. Gary Russell Jr fight for 2019, probably, unless he can actually get a big fight, and Heraldez-Mendez is a nice matchup of an unbeaten but unproven guy against a still-solid veteran. BLH will have live coverage.