Golden Boy Promotions and Showtime Sports have plans to close out 2013 in style.
Showtime will televise a pair of four-fight cards next month, with the majority being title fights in what Stephen Espinoza, executive vice president and general manager, called “an early holiday gift to the fans.”
On Dec. 7, Zab Judah (42-8, 29 KOs) will face Paulie Malignaggi (32-5, 7 KOs) in the main event at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, the fighters’ hometown.
Also on that card, IBF welterweight champion Devon Alexander (25-1, 14 KOs) will defend his title against Shawn Porter (22-0-1, 14 KOs).
Erislandy Lara (18-1-2, 12 KOs) will face Austin Trout (26-1, 14 KOs) for the vacant WBA super-welterweight title and Sakio Bika (32-5-2, 21 KOs) will defend his WBC super-middleweight title against Anthony Dirrell (26-0, 22 KOs).
On Dec. 14 the scene shifts to the Alamodome in San Antonio for a highly anticipated showdown between Adrien Broner (27-0, 22 KOs) and hard-hitting Marcos Maidana (34-3, 31 KOs), which has been moved off pay-per-view.
“None of us were completely thrilled with putting that fight on PPV,” Espinoza said of Broner-Maidana. “Broner, while he is a star, can benefit from the widest possible exposure, even at this point.
“We will see Adrien Broner on pay-per-view in the very near future, that’s a financial reality, but right now, we’re happy we could find enough quarters in the couches to put this event back on Showtime Network.”
Filling out that card will be Keith Thurman (21-0, 19 KOs) against Jesus Soto Karass (32-12-4, 19 KOs) for the WBA interim welterweight title.
Also, WBC super-bantamweight champion Leo Santa Cruz (25-0-1, 15 KOs) will defend his title against Cesar Seda (25-1, 17 KOs), and WBA light-heavyweight champion Beibut Shumenov will face Tamas Kovacs.
“This is a pay-per-view card,” Golden Boy Promotions CEO Richard Schaefer said. “I don’t remember in the history since we’ve been promoting that there have been any network card with that kind of lineup.”
Josesito Lopez (30-6, 18 KOs) will return to the ring Dec. 13 against Mike Arnaoutis (24-9-1, 11 KOs) at Fantasy Springs Resort Casino in Indio on Fox Sports 1.
“It’s great to be back in the ring, especially in front of my Southern California fans,” Lopez said. “Arnaoutis is a tough guy and I know he’s going to give me a fight, but that’s what I’m looking forward to.”
SHOWDOWN ON TAP?
WBC light-heavyweight champion and Fighter of the Year contender Adonis Stevenson (22-1, 19 KOs) defends his title against Tony Bellew (20-1-1, 12 KOs) on Saturday on HBO from Quebec. In the co-main event, WBO light-heavyweight champion Sergey Kovalev (22-0-1, 20 KOs) faces Ismayl Sillakh (21-1, 17 KOs).
The hope, at least for boxing fans, is that the next time Stevenson and Kovalev are in the ring together, it will be next year against each other.
Stevenson and Kovalev have been demolishing opponents. Stevenson has won nine consecutive fights, all by stoppage. Kovalev, known as the Krusher, has been past the fifth round just twice in his last 13 fights.
Roy Englebrecht’s Fight Club OC will close out 2013 with its Dec. 5 card. Anaheim’s Dwain Victorian (3-0) is scheduled to face Danny Ramirez (3-0) in a five-round fight. Lissette Medel (8-1-1) will meet Melisenda Perez (8-5-1) for the IFBA world super-featherweight title and undefeated Alexander Flores (13-0, 11 KOs) returns to the ring against Arron Lyons. Visit www.fightcluboc.com for ticket information. … Victor Ortiz is slated to return Jan. 30 against Luis Collazo at Barclays Center. Ortiz has been out since June 2012, when he suffered a broken jaw in a loss to Josesito Lopez.