ESPN's got a boxing card tonight, but most of the community is looking past it to an excellent HBO triple-header featuring Nate "The Galaxxy Warrior" Campbell defending his belt (except maybe not, since it looks like he won't make weight) against six-foot tall freak Ali Funeka (also on the card: Alfredo Angulo/Cosme Rivera, and Sergio Martinez/Kermit Cintron). That card looks great, but no reason for ESPN not to get some love!
The headliner for tonight features Alexis Camacho (17-1, 16 KOs) taking on Carlos Molina (14-4-1, 5 KOs). ESPN viewers have seen Camacho once before, and it was his one loss, a dreadfully dull affair in which he was methodically out-boxed by former Olympian Terrance Cauthan. Unfortunately, that fight revealed a lot about Camacho -- he's slow, he's limited, he's got a padded record, and he doesn't have much beyond power punches. A slick boxer type like Cauthan is guaranteed to give him fits.
Molina may be just that type of guy. I haven't seen him fight before, but a perusal of his record makes me think that he might be a live dog here. After starting his career 8-1, Molina stepped up his class of opposition considerably, and was rewarded with an 0-3-1 stretch all against undefeated prospects (the "one" was a draw with Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr. -- which Jr. avenged in his next fight). Since then, he's won six straight -- against better opposition than Camacho has faced (not saying much). Molina also has never been stopped. Were I to make a pick in this fight, I'd call Molina with the upset. I was supremely unimpressed with Camacho the last time I saw him, and while Cauthen is probably a superior technician to Molina, I think the latter still has enough to push his winning streak to seven.
The main undercard fight, from the looks of it, will feature undefeated prospects Ray Robinson (9-0, 3 KOs) and Darnell Jiles (8-0-1, 3 KOs) in an 8-rounder. Unlike the main event, this one I'm genuinely excited for. I don't know anything about Robinson, but ESPN put on Jiles once before, also against an undefeated prospect, and it led to a barn-burner of a fight which ended in a draw. At the time, I was confused about why such a good match-up between two young, unbeaten prospects with solid pedigrees was only scheduled for four rounds. At least this time around, we have enough time for some real action.