Boxing buffet Saturday: Klitschko, Thurman, Matthysse in action on ESPN, Showtime

Wladimir Klitschko towers over Alex Leipai at their weigh-in Friday in Germany.
Wladimir Klitschko towers over Alex Leipai at their weigh-in Friday in Germany. Photo:

SAN DIEGO, April 26, 2014 – Saturday’s boxing calendar offers a wide array of boxing contests for fan entertainment on ESPN and Showtime.

Unlike blockbuster events in other major sports, boxing’s major contests have moved for the most part to pay cable operations HBO and Showtime. It’s a pleasure when a fight of any significance takes center stage on a network most people can access without a monthly subscription fee beyond basic cable or satellite.

Fans in the U.S. have an opportunity to watch heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko (61-3, 51 KOs) in the ring against Alex Leipai (30-4-3, 24 KOs) on ESPN at 5 p.m. ET/2 p.m. The fight takes place at the Koenig Pilsener Arena in Oberhausen, Germany. PT. (NOTE: If college baseball runs over, the fight will be moved to ESPN2).

Klitschko is fortunate most Americans missed his last bout againast Alexander Potvetkin. The fight was frustrating and unpleasant to watch. Klitschko, by far taller than Povetkin, spent half his ring time leaning over on top of Povetkin thanks to a permissive judge. Klitschko pushed Povetkin to the canvas several times; he did score several legitimate knockdowns.

Leipai, who is a truck driver, is originally from Samoa and now lives in Australia. He is a fighter with big power but lacking in speed and defensive skills. Nevertheless he is the WBA mandatory challenger. The plot is simple: Leipai will be looking for that one lights-out lucky shot; Klitschko should be able to stay out of Leipai’s way while looking for his own opportunity to make it an early night.

You have time to enjoy dinner or happy hour on your break before taking in Showtime’s tripleheader tonight from Carson, California at 9:30 p.m. ET.

Keith Thurman and Julio Diaz face off in Los Angeles at Friday's weigh-in.
Keith Thurman and Julio Diaz face off in Los Angeles at Friday’s weigh-in. Photo: Esther Lin, Showtime

In his last bout in December, welterweight Keith Thurman (21-0, 19 KOs) put on a show, stopping the tough Jesus Soto Karass at 2:21 of the ninth round. Thurman should repeat the formula tonight against Julio Diaz of (40-9-1, 29 KOs) Mexico. “One Time” Thurman is a thoroughly entertaining boxer who is still building a fan base beyond hard core boxing heads. Diaz won’t make it easy for Thurman. He stood tough against Shawn Porter in a decision loss; Porter wiped the floor with Paulie Malignaggi last weekend.

Lucas Matthysse of Argentina needs to do a little repair work on his career after his loss to Danny Garcia last December. Matthysse’s (34-3-0, 32 KOs) comeback trail starts tonight against John Molina (27-3-0, 22 KOs). The pair boast a significant combined knockout percentage and both would like to add to that number.

Lucas Matthysse and John Molina at their weigh-in Friday in Los Angeles.
Lucas Matthysse and John Molina at their weigh-in Friday in Los Angeles. Photo: Esther Lin, Showtime

Matthysse is a hard punching fighter when he can find his target. Garcia kept out of Matthysse’s way while inflicting damage. Molina won’t be able to do the same. Still, just like Leipai against Klitschko, Molina is capable of landing the lucky shot if he seizes the opportunity.Matthysse and Garcia can both take a punch, so it may take a few rounds of accumulated damage before either can stop the fight.

The opening fight on Showtime matches Texas lightweights Omar Figueroa (22-0-1, 17 KOs) and Jerry Belmontes (19-3, 5 KOs). Figueroa and Beltmontes fought each other in their amateur days. Figueroa is an exciting offense oriented fighter who made our “Fight of the Year” list in 2013 in his bout against Nihito Arakawa. Given their history and Figueroa’s attitude, fans should enjoy this one.

Omar Figueroa and Jerry Belmontes face off with a friend looking on.
Omar Figueroa and Jerry Belmontes face off with a friend looking on. Photo: Esther Lin, Showtime

Showtime Extreme will televise the undercard fights starting at 7 p.m. ET. All Showtime events are also available to subscribers online and via mobiel devices via Showtime Anytime at

Gayle Lynn Falkenthal, APR, is President/Owner of the Falcon Valley Group in San Diego, California. She is also a serious boxing fan covering the Sweet Science for Communities. Read more Ringside Seat in Communities Digital News. Follow Gayle on Facebook and on Twitter @PRProSanDiego. Gayle can be reached via Google +

Please credit “Gayle Falkenthal for Communities Digital News when quoting from or linking to this story.  

Copyright © 2014 by Falcon Valley Group

Click here for reuse options!
Copyright 2014 Communities Digital News

• The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the editors or management of Communities Digital News.

This article is the copyrighted property of the writer and Communities Digital News, LLC. Written permission must be obtained before reprint in online or print media. REPRINTING CONTENT WITHOUT PERMISSION AND/OR PAYMENT IS THEFT AND PUNISHABLE BY LAW.

Correspondingly, Communities Digital News, LLC uses its best efforts to operate in accordance with the Fair Use Doctrine under US Copyright Law and always tries to provide proper attribution. If you have reason to believe that any written material or image has been innocently infringed, please bring it to the immediate attention of CDN via the e-mail address or phone number listed on the Contact page so that it can be resolved expeditiously.

  • I missed the Wladimir Klitschko bout.
    Appreciate someone enlightening me as to the highlights and lowlights.
    Thank you!