Preview: Showtime tripleheader boxing buffet, Saturday 9 p.m.

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Rances Barthelemy hopes to make a good showing and remain undefeated Saturday. Photo: Courtesy Iron Mike Productions
Rances Barthelemy hopes to make a good showing and remain undefeated Saturday. Photo: Courtesy Iron Mike Productions

SAN DIEGO, October 4, 2014 – Whether you like the speed of the smaller weight class fighters, a well-matched pair of punchers, or the spectacle of the bigger men in the ring; whether you like the prospects or the veterans, Saturday’s Showtime tripleheader hopes to offer something tasty from the boxing buffet from the Foxwoods Casino venue in Connecticut.

But as with many buffets, there is variety but no real standout dish on the menu. It’s much the same for this fight card. But sometimes fight fans just have to make do until a bout with serious entertainment value comes along.

The fight with the most potential for being competitive is junior middleweights Vanes Martirosyan (34-1-1, 21 KOs) vs. Willie Nelson (23-1-1, 13 KOs). Undefeated junior lightweight beltholder Rances Barthelemy of Cuba (20-0, 12 KOs) should have little trouble in his outing against tested veteran Fernando Saucedo of Argentina (52-5-3, 8 KOs). The main event is yet another tune-up fight for former light heavyweight champion “Bad” Chad Dawson (32-3, 18 KOs) against Tommy Karpency (23-4-1, 14 KOs).

Chad Dawson has struggled since losing to Andre Ward two years ago. Photo: Courtesy HBO
Chad Dawson has struggled since losing to Andre Ward two years ago. Photo: Courtesy HBO

Dawson, who is originally from New Haven, Connecticut, will be fighting at home for the first time since 2009. It is smart for Dawson to come back to Connecticut now. He needs a friendly venue after struggling the past two years. He lost badly to Andre Ward after dropping in weight to take the fight. Things went from bad to worse for Bad Chad when he went up against light heavyweight Adonis Stevenson a year ago. A shocking first round knockout later, fans wondered whether Dawson’s heart was in it anymore.


Dawson hasn’t done much to reassure his fans. He failed to make weight in his return outing in June against George Blades and the win did him little good. Dawson vowed to get in shape this time and he did make weight. He needs to wipe the floor with Karpency to regain any momentum in his career. Calling Karpency a journeyman would be polite.

Barthelemy defends his IBF belt in the main event. He is a classic Cuban fighter with a lot of amateur experience. Saucedo is a typically tough Argentinean. He has won 11 fights in a row, all in Argentina against unknowns.

It’s tough to predict what Martirosyan and Nelson will dish up. Both need a win to keep their careers moving forward. This fight could be fun, but it could also be ugly. Or both. In his biggest fight, Martirosyan was losing to Erislandy Lara when the fight was stopped in the ninth round due to a cut. Lara went on to give Canelo Alvarez fits in his last fight.

Willie Nelson hopes to have it his way and wear the crown Saturday night. Photo: Tom Casino, Showtime
Willie Nelson hopes to have it his way and wear the crown Saturday night. Photo: Tom Casino, Showtime

Nelson was gaining momentum when injuries forced him to cancel a bout with Matthew Macklin. He hoped to fight Andy Lee on the Cotto vs. Martinez undercard, but it fell through and he settled for a make-work fight over Darryl Cunningham, winning with ease. Nelson would like to push the reset button and remind fans why they were getting excited about him before the injuries.

Martirosyan is a tall junior welterweight at six feet tall; Nelson is three inches taller. They are similar in age (28 vs. 27); Nelson has a significant reach advantage. Martirosyan will fight with a heavy heart as his promoter, Dan Goossen, passed away due to liver cancer this week at age 64.

Vanes Martirosyan (center) with the late promoter Dan Goossen (left) and trainer Joe Goossen (right). Photo: Vanes Martirosyan, Twitter
Vanes Martirosyan (center) with the late promoter Dan Goossen (left) and trainer Joe Goossen (right). Photo: Vanes Martirosyan, Twitter

“We lost an amazing man today,” Martirosyan wrote on Twitter. “My friend and promoter Dan Goossen has passed away. I am completely crushed. RIP Dan.” In a show of support, Nelson tweeted to Martirosyan, “Even though we have our bout coming up and going to be enemies in that square circle my condolences goes out to you and Goosens.”

Sometimes a loss like this inspires a boxer, as it inspired Adonis Stevenson last year when trainer Emanuel Steward died from cancer. Martirosyan needs a little inspiration on his side to reset his career path

See this Showtime tripleheader from Foxwoods starting at 9 p.m. ET; it will air on delay to the West Coast at 9 p.m. PT unless you have a digital cable Showtime East feed.

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 coverage in Communities Digital News. Follow Gayle on Facebook and on Twitter @PRProSanDiego. Gayle can be reached via Google +

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