This weekend offers great options in combat sports with Al Haymon’s Premier Boxing Champions, HBO Boxing from the Theater at MSG and Cain Velasquez returns to action in Mexico City.
Premier Boxing Champions
Premier Boxing Champions returns tonight from the UIC Pavilion in Chicago live on Spike TV. Erislandy Lara headlines the event vs. Delvin Rodriguez where belts are on the line keeping the champion component alive in the PBC ring.
Lara hasn’t seen action since December when he beat Mayweather Promotions fighter, Ishe Smith, retaining the WBA (Regular) Light Middleweight title. This set up the battle against Dominican boxer, Delvin Rodriguez for Lara’s current title and the vacant IBO Light Middleweight title.
Rodriguez’ last two fights produced lackluster results with one being a loss coming via a third round TKO by Miguel Cotto in 2013 and the latest being a draw against Joachim Alcine in May 2014.
Cuban born Lara is one of the most entertaining fighters today and just needs to compile a few more wins and titles before he can return back to the higher caliber opponents. One thing is for certain about Premier Boxing Champions, if Lara impresses on the main stage then he will be matched expertly in his next bouts.
HBO Boxing After Dark:
HBO gives us two internationally meaningful fights Saturday night, reaching across Jamaica, Columbia, Puerto Rico and the U.S.
The main event features featherweight titlist Nicholas Walters (25-0, 21 KOs) of Jamaica defending his world championship against Columbia's Miguel Marriaga (20-0, 18 KOs) in a 12-round fight. Walters captured his first world title in 2012 by knocking out Daulis Prescott and has successfully defended his belt three times, all by knockout. Walters jumped into the spotlight last October when he knocked out former five-division world champ Nonito Donaire. Marriaga is looking for his first world title.
The night before the National Puerto Rican Day parade in New York City, fast rising prospect from San Juan, Puerto Rico, Felix Verdejo (17-0, 13 KOs), faces off against Ivan Najera (16-0, 8 KOs) of San Antonio, Tex., in a ten-round lightweight contest.
The action is on HBO starting at 10pm EST.
The Ultimate Fighting Championships brings its traveling show to Mexico City to coronate the return of Heavyweight Champion, Cain Velasquez. Velasquez’, who has been out of competition for over a year due to a torn meniscus and sprained MCL in his right knee, last fight was a rematch against Junior Dos Santos, his only loss. Velasquez emerged victorious finishing the former champion in the 5th round.
While he was out of competition the UFC marched on and Brazilian Fabricio Werdum KO’d Mark Hunt last November at UFC 180 to become the interim UFC Heavyweight Champion. The jiu-jitsu specialist looks to change his interim status to permanent when he faces Cain Velasquez in hostile Mexican territory.
In the co-main event former Strikeforce Lightweight Champion and UFC veteran Gilbert Melendez faces off against former Bellator Lightweight Champion, Eddie Alvarez.
Melendez, who is Mexican, will have the crowd on his side as he attempts to get back in the winner’s column after his submission loss last September to Anthony Pettis for the UFC Lightweight Championship.
Philadelphia’s Blackzillian, Eddie Alvarez, makes his sophomore effort in the UFC also attempting to rebound back into the winner’s circle after losing to Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone for his UFC debut. Alvarez famously walked away from his Bellator Lightweight belt to enter the bigger stage of the UFC and has been trying to prove that the decision was spot on since he signed the contract.
UFC 188 is live on pay-per-view .
Fight fans, get comfortable tonight and tomorrow as combat sports are on your set!