Complete Viewer's Guide to Boxing's Biggest Fights in June

Jonathan Snowden@JESnowdenCombat Sports Senior WriterJune 3, 2015

Complete Viewer's Guide to Boxing's Biggest Fights in June

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    Brynn Anderson/Associated Press

    Poor June. May, which included the biggest fight in boxing history and a number of great bouts, is a tough act to follow. What might normally look like a fine collection of fights, suddenly, looks a bit paltry by comparison.

    But while this month doesn't have anything approaching Mayweather vs. Pacquiao in terms of interest, there are a number of fine fight cards well worth your time. Old friends like Miguel Cotto and Robert Guerrero make appearances, and newcomers like Deontay Wilder and Nicholas Walters are eager to introduce themselves to the world.

    You should take an evening off and say hello.

    What follows is a rundown of every boxing card televised in English on American television. Who's worth watching, and whom can you skip? Who's likely to win—and why? You'll find that here, monthly, in this running series.

    Have some thoughts of your own about fights this June? Hit us up in the comments.

Jayson Velez vs. Daniel Ramirez (Fox Sports 1)

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    Key Info

    Date: June 4

    Network: Fox Sports 1

    Promoter: Golden Boy Promotions

    Undercard bouts: Carlos Morales vs. Emmanuel Gonzalez; Christian Gonzalez beats up Darryl Hayes. 

    Interest Level

    Low

    Analysis

    Fox Sports returns to the Belasco Theater for LA Fight Club, a low-level club series featuring fights you almost certainly will not care about. How do I know this? I barely care about them. And I care about everything!

    The good news, if you can count this as good news, is an appearance by Jayson Velez (22-0-1). He scored a draw against Evgeny Gradovich last year on HBO. You'd think that would propel him to better things—but he’s been demoted to fighting Daniel Ramirez (11-2) at a show five people will watch. Go figure.

    Main Event Prediction

    Ramirez is here to accept a few thousand dollars, get hit in the head a bit, then go home. That's the plan—but Velez is just mediocre enough, though, that he might let this one get exciting for a couple of rounds before pulling ahead. Velez by unanimous decision.

Robert Guerrero vs. Aaron Martinez (NBC)

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    Rick Bowmer/Associated Press

    Key Info

    Date: June 6

    Network: NBC

    Promoter: TGB Promotions (Haymon Boxing)

    Undercard bouts: Jesus Cuellar vs. Vic Darchinyan, Dominic Breazeale vs. Yasmany Consuegra

    Interest Level

    Medium

    Analysis

    Why is Robert Guerrero (32-3-1) headlining on NBC again after getting beaten up on national television by Keith Thurman?

    That wasn't a rhetorical question. I honestly don't know why.

    This is a bounce-back fight for him against an overmatched Aaron Martinez (19-3-1) on network TV. Why he warrants this kind of attention in the twilight career is unclear. Perhaps they have big plans to feed him to another up-and-comer down the road? Time will tell.

    While the main event isn't exactly hot fire, at least the undercard isn’t awful. Breazeale vs. Consuegra looks like an appealing heavyweight tussle. Cuellar is a solid fighter, and while past his prime and way over his best weight, Darchinyan is never boring.

    Main Event Prediction

    Martinez doesn’t belong on this stage and will take a whuppin’ before the ref pulls the plug. No matter what you thought of Guerrero's last showing, don't believe for a second this will be competitive. Your underdog to bet on here is Consuegra—Breazeale is a limited, late-to-boxing convert who could easily get stopped by the strong Cuban heavyweight. Robert Guerrero by seventh-round KO.

Miguel Cotto vs. Daniel Geale (HBO)

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    Key Info

    Date: June 6

    Network: HBO

    Promoter: Roc Nation Sports

    Undercard bouts: Nothing? Really? Nothing.

    Interest Level

    Medium/High

    Analysis

    June feels like a little bit of a “meh” month for boxing after a stacked and packed May. This is the first major fight, and calling it major is probably stretching the truth a bit.

    Daniel Geale isn't a bad opponent. He has been in with many decent fighters and has some perfectly good wins. But he’s 0-2 on HBO for a reason. Could he upset Miguel Cotto? While anything is possible, I wouldn't bet the mortgage on it.

    Main Event Prediction

    I can’t see Daniel Geale not going to 0-3 on U.S. TV. The reasons are numerous. First and foremost, he'll be fighting Miguel Cotto in what is basically a home fight for Cotto. The crowd and judges will be behind him, he’ll be working with a catchweight situation that favors him.

    Cotto will work over Geale with faster hands, tight defense and the kind of varied offensive attack that he simply hasn’t seen. For Geale to win, he somehow has to outbrawl Miguel Cotto, parry shots, move his head and show better footwork than someone who has been in the top-10 pound-for-pound discussion for years.

    If we're all being honest, we'll call this what it is—a rest stop before Cotto vs. Canelo in the fall. Miguel Cotto by unanimous decision.

Erislandy Lara vs. Delvin Rodriguez (Spike TV)

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    Lara (R)
    Lara (R)Eric Jamison/Associated Press

    Key Info

    Date: June 12

    Network: Spike TV

    Promoter: Warriors Boxing (Haymon Boxing)

    Undercard bouts: Artur Beterbiev vs. Doudou Ngumbu

    Interest Level

    Medium

    Analysis

    A month ago, this was an exciting card because it would be the debut of Marco Huck in the U.S. Instead, we get Erislandy Lara (20-2-2). That's not exactly an upgrade.

    Delvin Rodriguez (28-7-4) hasn’t ever been on Lara’s level. Now he’s past his prime and beat up. This one won't be much of a contest. Of course, much of the crowd will already be gone. They'll all be there to see Artur Szpilka, the beloved Polish heavyweight. He won’t be on Spike TV but is the real main eventer to the local fans in Chicago. 

    Main Event Prediction

    This is an ESPN2-level card. Or, rather, an ESPN2-level card from back when ESPN2 didn’t just show bad club fighters. On that platform, announcer Teddy Atlas would plead with the audience to feel sorry for Delvin before the bell rang and then scream for a stoppage starting around the sixth round until the towel finally comes in a couple of rounds later. Then he'd go on a tirade about a national commission or international boxing rankings and stuff. RIP Friday Night FightsErislandy Lara by eighth-round merciful stoppage. 

Nicholas Walters vs. Miguel Marriaga (HBO)

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    Key Info

    Date: June 13

    Network: HBO

    Promoter: Top Rank

    Undercard bouts: Felix Verdejo vs. Ivan Najera

    Interest Level

    High

    Analysis

    Everything about this screams "must see." Two undefeated prospects on the verge of stardom in a show that should feature some quality carnage.

    Nicholas Walters (25-0) blew away Nonito Donaire last year in a Fight of the Year contender on HBO. Now he returns months later to face 20-0 KO artist Miguel Marriaga. If that wasn’t enough, Felix Verdejo will finally be unveiled to the English-speaking audience as the next Miguel Cotto-level star representing Puerto Rican boxing.

    Main Event Prediction

    Expect precision bombardment leading to full-scale devastation here. The difference will probably be Marriaga’s wider punching, which should allow Walters to get inside his shots and land first and hard. Nicholas Walters by sixth-round KO.

Deontay Wilder vs. Eric Molina (Showtime)

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    Key Info

    Date: June 13

    Network: Showtime

    Promoter: Golden Boy

    Undercard bouts: Jose Pedraza vs. Andrey Klimov, Ivan Redkach vs. Dejan Zlaticanin

    Interest Level

    High

    Analysis

    Why is Eric Molina facing Deontay Wilder? Because, realistically, Wilder is going to knock him out inside of two rounds in front of a hometown crowd that is ready to adore him. That’s why.

    Smallish guys will commit unspeakable acts of violence on the undercard. This is the kind of show that ends up on YouTube with a Jim Ross audio dub.  

    Main Event Prediction

    I’m going out on a limb and suggesting that Molina sees the second round here. Because people love to complain, that will give critics something to harp on—after all, Chris Arreola got the job done in one. The crowd in Birmingham won’t care. It'll be too busy crowning its new king. Deontay Wilder by second-round KO.

Adrien Broner vs. Shawn Porter (NBC)

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    Harry How/Getty Images

    Key Info

    Date: June 20

    Network: NBC

    Promoter: TGB Promotions/Mayweather Promotions (Haymon Boxing)

    Undercard bouts: Errol Spence Jr. vs. Roberto Garcia

    Interest Level

    High

    Analysis

    The Battle for Ohio between Cleveland's and Cincinnati’s best boxers takes place in Las Vegas. Instead of a hot local crowd, this will take place in front of bored gamblers with no vested interest in the outcome. That's utterly stupid and missing a big opportunity to highlight some organic excitement. 

    Now that I have that out of the way—woah, this is a great fight. Adrien Broner (30-1) is fearless to take on Shawn Porter (25-1-1), a larger and probably stronger fighter in a weight class whom Broner seems ill-equipped to deal with. Porter also has superior amateur credentials and punching power. Broner will need to be at his best to win.

    Before I get to the prediction, I should also mention that Errol Spence Jr. taking on Roberto Garcia is a really high-quality test for that young man. Kudos to everyone involved in this card. Should be a great night of fights.

    Main Event Prediction

    Can Porter survive the weight cut required for this fight, which will be contested at a 144-pound catchweight? Perhaps he dries out and looks useless. Or, maybe, he gets a decent nutritionist and kills it. Either way, this is his fight—a 70 percent Porter demolishes all 100 percent of Broner.

    I'm a bit surprised that Haymon would risk the potential gravy train on a fight like this. Broner has box-office potential, but Porter is all wrong for him.  Shawn Porter by fourth-round KO. 

Andre Ward vs. Paul Smith (BET)

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    Key Info

    Date: June 20

    Network: BET

    Promoter: Roc Nation Sports

    Undercard bouts: ?????

    Interest Level

    Medium

    Analysis

    Andre Ward (27-0) returns from self-imposed exile to headline a card on BET as part of RocSports' new time-buy series on the network. His opponent, Paul Smith (35-5), isn’t even the best super middleweight in his own family.

    Why is this fight happening? Short answer—Ward refused serious competition that HBO would approve, instead demanding tuneups. The catch? He wants the tuneups for the same amount of money he's due for real fights.

    Poor RocSports. Call me pessimistic, but I'm guessing this goes badly and Ward bleeds them dry with a series of fights no one cares about.

    Main Event Prediction

    Ward is pound-for-pound one of the best boxers in the world. Or, at least, he was before he entered pseudo-retirement. Expect him to excite no one and instead choose to go rounds and “knock the rust off.” Then expect him to ask to do that again. And again. And probably again and again and again. Andre Ward by unanimous decision.

Rances Barthelemy vs. Antonio DeMarco (CBS)

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    Key Info

    Date: June 21

    Network: CBS

    Promoter: Mayweather Promotions/TGB Promotions (Haymon Boxing)

    Undercard bouts: Wale Omotoso vs. Sammy Vasquez

    Interest Level

    Medium

    Analysis

    “Kid Blast” Rances Barthelemy (22-0) has a great nickname—too bad he’s rarely lived up to it when stepping up to the plate against top competition in the super featherweight ranks. Luckily for him, Antonio DeMarco (31-4-1) is a time-tested and well-worn vet whose best run is now six years behind him. Still, despite his age and wear, DeMarco poses a serious threat to Barthelemy in what should be an ugly but competitive fight.

    Filling the card out is Wale Omotoso vs. Sammy Vasquez, a solid ShoBox-style fight featuring an exciting undefeated fighter taking on a tough competitor with an impressive record and only one loss. There are worse ways to spend time than watching this.

    Main Event Prediction 

    Rances has an orthodox stance, and DeMarco is a southpaw. Expect cuts and ugliness inside as Barthelemy pounds out a 116-112 decision against the old warrior. Vasquez/Omotoso is the real main event on this show for hardcore fans, an exciting pick ‘em between guys who like offense. We’re taking Vasquez to survive the bombs and return enough fire to get the win. Rances Barthelemy by unanimous decision.

Diego Magdaleno vs. Jose Gonzalez (truTV)

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    Key Info

    Date: June 26

    Network: truTV

    Promoter: Top Rank

    Undercard bouts: Gilberto Ramirez kills Derek Edwards (RIP Derek Edwards)

    Interest Level

    Medium/Low

    Analysis

    TruTV goes from weekly to monthly with this show, which is a shame because it was on quite a roll. Diego Magdaleno (27-1) is the A-side, such as it is, but Jose Gonzalez (24-1) is actually a really good fighter who was beating the hell out of Ricky Burns until he quit with a wrist injury.

    This is compelling in theory, or would be if I were a bigger Magdaleno fan. But I'm not sold on him—or this fight.

    Main Event Prediction

    I see Gonzalez, inspired by the efforts of his countrymen Miguel Cotto and Felix Verdejo, battering Magdaleno, inspiring the partisan crowd to root for him like Rocky in Russia. Plus a lot of it will leave after Gilberto Ramirez sends the head of Derek Edwards into the fifth row. Jose Gonzalez by unanimous decision. 

Dominic Wade vs. Sam Soliman (Showtime)

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    Quinn Rooney/Getty Images

    Key Info

    Date: June 26

    Network: Showtime

    Promoter: Haymon Boxing

    Undercard bouts: Jamel Herring and Erickson Lubin in showcases

    Interest Level

    Medium

    Analysis

    Sam Soliman (44-12) is a true hero of the squared circle. He’s been exciting for years and owns his fair share of big upsets and great moments. He’s also 41 and looked to be falling apart the last time we saw him in the ring against Jermain Taylor.

    His opponent, Dominic Wade (17-0), is 25. Wade also looks like a future contender. This is not a good fight for Sam Soliman at this stage. Not at all.

    Main Event Prediction

    All good things must come to an end. I’d love to see him throw 1,500 punches in 12 rounds, I really would. But I think those days are gone, and we’ll be ushering in the era of Dominic Wade—Perpetual Top 10 contender instead. Dominic Wade by ninth-round stoppage.

Alan Sanchez vs. Steve Claggett (Fox Sports 1)

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    Key Info

    Date: June 26

    Network: Fox Sports 1

    Promoter: Golden Boy Promotions

    Undercard bouts: Paul Mendez vs. David Lopez

    Interest Level

    Low

    Analysis

    Not much to see here. Sanchez (15-3-1) looked at least passable losing to Luis Collazo, and he’s run off three wins against legitimately good fighters since. Claggett (21-3-1) isn’t anyone to get excited about as an opponent though—this fight exists more or less just to keep Sanchez’s winning streak alive.

    Main Event Prediction 

    Claggett is trying to save his career, and Sanchez gets hit enough that he will probably lose a round or two. But Sanchez is the superior fighter and should come away with the W in a fight for friends and family only. Alan Sanchez by unanimous decision.

Dennis Hogan vs. Kenny Abril (CBS Sports)

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    Key Info

    Date: June 26

    Network: CBS Sports Network

    Promoter: Greg Cohen Promotions

    Undercard bouts: Tony Luis vs. Edward Valdez, Jarrell Miller vs. Rafael Pedro

    Interest Level

    Medium

    Analysis

    Considering the late, late night start times, Greg Cohen’s cards on CBS Sports Network haven’t been half bad. This show features a main eventer, Dennis Hogan (21-0-1), who just squeaked by Tyrone Brunson (robbery was loosely used by some) and now stays put at the C-level facing Kenny Abril (14-7-1). 

    Tony Luis and Glory Kickboxing heavyweight Jarrell Miller are featured on a prelim card worth your while. Lots to see!

    Main Event Prediction 

    We picked Hogan against a spent Tyrone Brunson in April and watched in shock as he had huge problems there. Abril, however, is a pure opponent who’s never even shown flashes of being a serious contender, He should act more like a sparring partner here than the hard-punching Brunson. Dennis Hogan by unanimous decision.

Timothy Bradley vs. Jessie Vargas (HBO)

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    David Becker/Getty Images

    Key Info

    Date: June 27

    Network: HBO

    Promoter: Top Rank

    Undercard bouts: Ray Beltran vs. Humberto Soto

    Interest Level

    High

    Analysis

    If you have your ear to the street, you’ve probably heard that a Jessie Vargas (26-0) win means he and Manny Pacquiao will duel later this year. That can't make Tim Bradley (31-1-1) happy. Somehow, even as the A-side, this man gets treated like a B-side. In fact, one could argue he’s being seriously overlooked.

    Vargas isn’t a battle-tested welterweight, and Bradley has been in with some of the biggest names in the sport. Tim has beaten Lamont Peterson, Devon Alexander and Juan Manuel Marquez—and he's still only 31. He'll be looking to prove he hasn't yet declined to the point he's a mere stepping stone for other fighters. 

    Main Event Prediction

    Jessie Vargas is going to get worked over and then some by a bigger, stronger Bradley. And Bradley will lose a decision because, well, it's boxing. All this just to give fans the hottest fight nobody wants to see—Vargas vs. Pacquiao. Jessie Vargas by split decision.