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The First Quarter

(Happy New Year from all of us at MaxBoxing)
(Happy New Year from all of us at MaxBoxing)

There is a big multi-title fight card in Japan taking place today but for the most part, we can turn the page on 2012 and look ahead to the New Year. And the early schedule for the networks has been formulated. Here’s a look ahead to what we have in store for the first quarter of 2013...
JANUARY 19th (HBO) - Gennady Golovkin vs. Gabe Rosado, Orlando Salido vs. Mikey Garcia and Rocky Martinez vs. Juan Carlos Burgos: OK, this card at the Theater at Madison Square Garden is creating a lot of buzz from the hardcore fan and tickets are selling well. You get the sense that this will be a good, solid night of prizefighting.

Golovkin is a guy who is being hyped as the next big thing. He might be but he still has much to prove and has been unable to get any of the marquee middleweights to face him. This is why he is facing Rosado, the resurgent junior middleweight from Philly who had a very productive 2012. Salido-Garcia is a great match-up; not much else needs to be said about it. And Martinez and Burgos figure to make a good fight. Martinez is a guy who is never in a bad one.
RATING: 4 Gloves (out of 5)
JANUARY 26TH (SHO) - Lucas Matthysse vs. Mike Dallas Jr. and Selcuk Aydin vs. Jesus Soto Karass: Originally, the headliner was the bout between Devon Alexander and Kell Brook and this card was slated for January the 19th. But as the Andre Ward-Kelly Pavlik fight was pushed from this date, Showtime moved this telecast. Everyone knows I’m a big advocate of “The Machine” from Argentina; he’s a human wrecking ball and always makes for good TV. Originally, he was scheduled to face Hank Lundy but there was a problem as Lundy gave out his autographs to seemingly every manager, adviser and promoter who put a piece of paper in his face. Now he faces Dallas Jr., who should have had to be more durable in the past to have any chance of success versus Matthysse.
Also on this bill from the Hard Rock in Las Vegas is Aydin, who was last seen losing a tough decision to Robert Guerrero. He takes on Karass, who was on the short end of a slugfest versus Marcos Maidana in his last outing. This could be a good scrap. Bottom line, this card is about continuing to showcase Matthysse before he gets a truly meaningful fight.
RATING: 2.5 Gloves
FEBRUARY 9TH (SHO) - Danny Garcia vs. Zab Judah, Peter Quillin vs. Fernando Guerrero and Danny Jacobs vs. TBA: OK, I actually don’t mind seeing Garcia face the local Brooklyn guy, Judah, at the Barclays Center. But I’ll say this: Zab, this is absolutely your last, last, last – seriously - your last chance. Nine strikes and you’re outta here. You gotta come up big here. I just hope the fight is as half as good as their opening press conference. Thankfully, in the co-feature, “Kid Chocolate” will not be facing Jermain Taylor but the much more respectable Guerrero, who, at one point, was a highly regarded prospect and is in the prime of his career. Jacobs continues his comeback and it’ll be interesting to see how he is matched.
RATINGS: 3.5 Gloves
FEBRUARY 16TH (HBO) - Adrien Broner vs. Gavin Rees and Johnathon Banks vs. Seth Mitchell II: “The Problem” continues to stay as active as any world-class fighter. With a fight against Ricky Burns evaporating, he is now paired with another fighter from the U.K., Rees, who, while not a world-beater, is certainly a respectable foe. I get the feeling that the real challenges for the flamboyant young man from Cincy won’t come till he’s residing at 140. As for the Banks-Mitchell rematch, uh, yeah…why exactly did HBO accept this?
RATINGS: 2.5 Gloves
FEBRUARY 23RD (SHO) - Devon Alexander vs. Kell Brook and Cornelius Bundrage vs. Ishe Smith: Well, there’s no way this Alexander bout can be as unwatchable as his bout with Randall Bailey, right? Brook is a good young fighter who had a stern test versus Carson Jones in July. Not sure how much entertainment this fight will provide but, at the very least, it should be competitive. As for “K9” and Smith, well, they’re certainly getting into it on Twitter; aren’t they?
RATING: 2.5 Gloves
MARCH 2ND (SHO) -  Daniel Ponce de Leon vs. Jayson Velez and Sharif Bogere vs. Richie Abril: Ponce de Leon and Velez could provide some fireworks. As for Bogere-Abril, yeah, have low expectations.
RATING: 1.5 Gloves
MARCH 9TH (HBO)- Tavoris Cloud vs. Bernard Hopkins: No, “B-Hop” simply will not go away and he’s taking on a guy in Cloud who is the very example of why you sign with Don King nowadays at your own peril. Can Hopkins be in a good fight anymore? Well, if there is a guy who will try and force one, it’s the aggressive Cloud. But it has to be asked: What is the upside of HBO showcasing a 47-year-old boxer? Well, Hopkins does pull solid ratings for the network.
There is some talk of adding the bout between Chad Dawson (who HBO seemingly has a strange fascination with) and Jean Pascal to this broadcast. But nothing has been set in stone.
RATING: 3 Gloves
-  A rematch between Brandon Rios and Mike Alvarado has been discussed by everyone involved and it would take place sometime in March on HBO.
-  Tim Bradley will be back in action in March and Top Rank and HBO are sifting through possible opponents.
-  With Andre Ward’s lingering shoulder injury, his March 2nd fight with Kelly Pavlik has been scratched, meaning Pavlik needs a new foe for the spring ( Ward’s status for the first half of 2013 is up in the air. As for that date, there is a lot of talk of the heavyweight bout between Chris Arreola and Bermane Stiverne (which was to open up the Ward-Pavlik broadcast on HBO) staying on that date as a reformulated “Boxing After Dark.” As a result, Keith Thurman would move into the opening TV slot.
Hey, Haymon’s gonna Haymon.
-  Nonito Donaire is most likely expected to return in April and there is talk (again) of Bob Arum staging this in Macau or some other exotic locale in Asia. A new name has emerged to face the “Filipino Flash” in longtime featherweight beltholder Chris John. But John makes a lot of money to face whoever he wants in Indonesia and the economics just may not work out. I think most boxing fans would be bitterly disappointed if Donaire - the 2012 “Fighter of the Year,” according to most pundits - didn’t face Abner Mares and/or Guillermo Rigondeaux in the upcoming campaign.
-  There is still the specter of WBA welterweight beltholder Paulie Malignaggi facing Shane Mosley on Showtime. Yeah, the less said about this the better.
-  Sergio Martinez is slated to defend his middleweight championship in his country of Argentina on April 27th on HBO against the rugged Martin Murray.
Finally, there is the May 4th card featuring Floyd Mayweather. According to a tweet from L.A Times scribe Lance Pugmire, Saul Alvarez will be on this bill. The assumption is that “Money” will square off with Robert Guerrero. Now, will “Canelo” go fishing for Austin Trout? Also, which network will distribute this card?
Here’s the early slate for “ShoBox” according to its executive producer, Gordon Hall…
JANUARY 11TH: Ronny Rios vs. Rico Ramos and Daquan Arnett vs. Brandon Quarles
JANUARY 25TH: Demetrius Andrade vs. Freddy Hernandez and Raymond Serrano vs. Emmanuel Taylor
FEBRUARY 22ND: Art Hovhannisyan vs. Logan McGuinness and Tureano Johnson vs. Willie Fortune
And here’s the early schedule for ESPN2 and “Friday Night Fights”...
JANUARY 4TH: Rances Barthelemy vs. Arash Usmanee and Jonathan Gonzalez vs. Derek Ennis
JANUARY 11TH: Dannie Williams vs. Johnny Molina and Brandon Gonzalez vs. Don Mouton
JANUARY 25TH: Sergiy Dzinziruk vs. Brian Vera and Tony Luis vs. Miguel Gonzalez
FEBRUARY 2ND: Carlos Molina vs. Cory Spinks and Jose Luis Castillo vs. Antwone Smith
FEBRUARY 9TH: David Lemieux vs. Jose Torres, Kevin Bizier vs. Samuel Vargas
FEBRUARY 15TH: Delvin Rodriguez vs. George Tahdooahnippah
And here is what is in line for NBC Sports Network, according to Kathy Duva of Main Events:
JANUARY 19TH: Sergey Kovalev vs. Gabriel Campillo
(Duva notes that if/when the NHL lockout is resolved, they will know more about their schedule for the rest of the year)
I recently did my year-end awards, the highly coveted “K9s” (part one: and part two: but I did have a glaring omission in the “Round of the Year” category, the fifth stanza between Brandon Rios and Mike Alvarado. This was no worse than the third best round of 2012, in my opinion.
Yet, somehow I forgot to list it.
Larry Merchant says I should be pistol-whipped for this. I don’t disagree.
Other significant fights that are scheduled internationally: January 30th: Daniel Geale-Anthony Mundine, Feb. 2nd: Felix Sturm- Sam Soliman, Feb. 9th:Carl Frampton-Kiko Martinez, Feb. 23rd:, David Price-Tony Thompson, March 2nd: Marco Huck-Ola Afolabi II...Has anyone noticed just how bad Kobe Bryant’s defense is nowadays?...So the AFC has to come through Denver? Look out...Is it just me or have the bowl games been really bad this season, thus far?...So “Nightline” is being moved back an hour? Say it ain’t so!...And Newsweek is no longer going with its print edition? What’s the world coming to?!...Adrian Peterson is a monster, the MVP in my book, but I’m glad he didn’t break Eric Dickerson’s single season rushing mark of 2,105 yards. As a kid, #29 was one of my favorite athletes and that record will always be special to Rams fans of that era...My Super Bowl pick? I like the Broncos and, quite frankly, I haven’t made up my mind in the NFC just yet...I can be reached at and I tweet at We also have a Facebook fan page at, where you can discuss our content with Maxboxing readers as well as chime in via our fully interactive article comments sections.

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