Eddie Goldman is the host and producer of the No Holds Barred international podcast, the publisher of the No Holds Barred blog, and a senior contributing editor at the ADCC News.

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Friday, January 20, 2006

Friday is for Fighting 

It's Friday and ESPN2's "Friday Night Fights" are back from hiatus.

This week's show will feature what may turn out ro be a decent scrap, between undefeated Brazilian fighter Valdemir Pereira (22-0, 15 KOs) and Thai veteran Fahproakob Rakkiatgym (50-3-0, 33 KOs) for the vacant IBF featherweight title, from the Foxwoods resort in Ledyard, Conn. Too often, however, this show is filled up with mismatches, one-sided set-up fights to showcase the lead promoter's breadwinner, and below-club level bouts involving inexperienced fighters who have no business being shown on prime time national TV.

Among the most interesting segments have been the talks with the show's special guests, usually top fighters of the past or present. This week Zahir Raheem will be in the Bristol, Conn., studio, previewing the rematch Sat. night between Erik Morales, whom Raheem defeated by unanimous decision last Sept., and Manny Pacquiao.

One of the most underrated boxing shows has been "Solo Boxeo" on the Spanish-language network Telefutura. Many boxing aficionados who speak little or no Spanish tend not to watch this show, but it often provides better match-ups, higher quality fights, and overall more top-flight fighters than appear on ESPN2.

This Friday, starting at 9 PM ET, the feature is a lightweight bout between undefeated José Miguel Cotto (26-0, 18 KOs, and older brother of WBO 140-pound champion Miguel Cotto) and journeyman Ubaldo Hernández (20-16-2, 10 KOs), from the Maywood Activities Center in Maywood, Calif.

Also tonight, "ShoBox" as usual also appears to feature what could be an interesting fight between two up-and-comers. The main event is a ten-round NABF super flyweight title fight between Nonito Donaire (13-1, 8 KOs) and Kahren Harutyunyan (13-2-3, 0 KOs). This starts at 11:00 PM ET/PT on Showtime and comes from the Pechanga Resort & Casino in Temecula, Calif.

If these live fights don't do it for you, there is always ESPN Classic.

Tonight at midnight ET, they will show "Walcott-Charles: The Trilogy". And beginning at noon ET on Saturday, they will have another six-hour "Ringside" special, this time featuring part two of Muhammad Ali's greatest fights.

And, of course, Morales-Pacquiao 2 takes place Saturday from the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas, NV, and in the U.S. on HBO pay-per-view. Also on Friday, HBO2 will rebroadcast Morales vs. Pacquiao 1 beginning at 11:15 PM ET/PT, followed by Marco Antonio Barrera vs. Pacquiao from November 15, 2003.

So sorry to all my favorite bartenders, but I've got some hot dates this weekend.

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