by Matthew Blankenship, JarryPark.com Contributor
This weekend has left a lot of fight fans with a real tough decision: double welterweight title clashes on HBO or double light heavyweight title clashes on Showtime? Well, let’s see what each card has to offer and then make an educated decision.
The HBO event features, without a doubt, two highly contested fights in one of boxing’s best weight classes. In the main event, Puerto Rico’s WBA Champion, Miguel Cotto (31-0), faces “The Contender” alumnus, Alfonso Gomez (18-3-2), in a scheduled 12-round affair. The undefeated champion is returning after a great battle with “Sugar” Shane Mosley where he showed that beyond his bullish strength, he can also box better than most people give him credit. His opponent, Gomez, looks to continue his journey to the title since leaving “The Contender” reality show (he defeated Arturo Gatti in the seventh round last July as well as Ben Tackie this past October). Both fighters are brimming with confidence as they continue their rise to the top of the 147 lbs division.
The opening bout of the televised card features Kermit Cintron (29-1, 52 KO) looking to avenge his only loss to Antonio Margarito (35-5) in a title fight scheduled for 12 rounds. After losing to Margarito via knockout in an April 2005 showdown, Cintron came back stronger than ever en route to capturing a title. Margarito, on the other hand, is looking to add another title to his resume. All signs point to the winner of this point facing Miguel Cotto assuming he defeats Gomez (and most would assume so).
Over on Showtime, a light heavyweight doubleheader will look to thrill and captivate with a main event featuring IBF light heavyweight champion, Clinton Woods, against IBO light heavyweight champion, Antonio Tarver. This fights marks UK’s Clinton Woods second foray into the United States and he’ll hope to have a better showing this time around as his first fight on this side of the pound was a TKO loss to Roy Jones Jr. in 2002. It’s safe to say that Tarver is facing his first credible opponent since his loss to Bernard Hopkins and will look to prove that he still has what it takes to be a champion. Basically, both fighters have a lot to prove tomorrow: Woods that he belongs at the top and Tarver that he STILL belongs.
In the co-main event fight, undefeated WBC light heavyweight champion, Chad Dawson, will defend against journeyman Glen Johnson. Dawson is a slick young fighter looking to continue his path to becoming Undisputed champion. Dawson has all the tools to make this a lopsided affair. Meanwhile, Johnson has good enough power and will look to put Dawson on his back but don’t hold your breathe on that one. All four fighters have a chance to shine tonight with the winners likely facing each other in a unification bout this coming Fall.
So, which show should you watch? The HBO card has two highly contested bouts featuring fighters in the prime of their respective careers. Meanwhile, the Showtime card has two bouts showcasing a couple of fighters in the twilight of their career. I’d go with the HBO card live and Showtime on Tivo. Overall, Cintron-Margarito is the must-watch fight of the night as it will surely be full of fireworks. Here’s hoping Cotto calls out Floyd Mayweather Jr. too.
Cotto def. Gomez via TKO in Rd 9
Cintron def. Margarito via TKO in Rd 10
Woods def. Tarver via UD
Dawson def. Johnson via UD