Boxing TV Schedule: Week of November 19-25

By Caryn A. Tate on November 20, 2017
Boxing TV Schedule: Week of November 19-25
Sergey Kovalev (30-2, 26 KOs) is coming off of two subsequent losses to Andre Ward.

If Shabranskyy can take advantage of Kovalev’s problem dealing with infighting, body work, and mental stamina, he might pull off the upset…

Tuesday, November 21
8:00pm ET/5:00pm PT - FS1
Devon Alexander vs. Walter Castillo; Miguel Cruz vs. David Grayton

Alexander (26-4, 14 KOs) is returning to the ring after a two-year hiatus to face Castillo (26-4-1, 19 KOs) in a 10-round welterweight matchup. Alexander, a former world champion and unmistakable talent, hasn’t competed due to a battle outside the ropes in the form of an opiod addiction that came about from pain killers he was prescribed from a nose injury. Castillo was last seen in July 2016, when he was stopped in the seventh round by current IBF super lightweight world champion Sergey Lipinets. This bout should be a good challenge for both boxers who have been inactive, but if the 30-year-old Alexander is even remotely close to his former level of sharpness, it will be revealed early on.

In the supporting attraction, welterweights Cruz (16-0, 11 KOs) takes on Grayton (15-1, 11 KOs) in a 10-rounder. The undefeated Cruz has been working his way up, while Grayton was last seen fighting to a technical draw versus Kermit Cintron in March 2017.

Saturday, November 25
10:00pm ET/7:00pm PT - HBO
Sergey Kovalev vs. Vyacheslav Shabranskyy; Sullivan Barrera vs. Felix Valera; Jason Sosa vs. Yuriorkis Gamboa

Kovalev (30-2, 26 KOs) is coming off of two subsequent losses to Andre Ward, the latest by stoppage in June 2017. Shabranskyy (19-1, 16 KOs) was last seen in August against Todd Unthank May. Both light heavyweights are widely known for their power, but Kovalev has much more than that when he’s on. His timing is phenomenal and his unorthodox style is exceedingly difficult, but as revealed in his last bout, there are serious questions about his mental state and preparation. Shabranskyy is a promising prospect who was stopped by Barrera (who’s fighting on the same card), but if he can take advantage of Kovalev’s problem dealing with infighting, body work, and mental stamina, it’s possible he could pull off the upset. It all depends on what each of these fighters can pull out on fight night.

Barrera (20-1, 14 KOs) takes on Valera (15-1, 13 KOs) in a 10-round light heavyweight fight. Barrera is on a great winning streak since his single loss to Andre Ward in March 2016; in his last fight, he soundly defeated Joe Smith Jr. in a one-sided decision, despite Smith having been seen as the favorite to win. Valera’s last bout was in March, when he stopped Andy Perez in three rounds; two bouts prior, Valera lost a 12-round decision to Dmitry Bivol.

In the opener, Sosa (20-2, 15 KOs) faces Olympic gold medalist Gamboa (27-2, 17 KOs) in a 10-rounder. Sosa lost by stoppage to Vasyl Lomachenko back in April, but in June 2016 pulled off a terrific upset when he knocked out Javier Fortuna, who was then WBA super featherweight world champion. Gamboa is a phenomenal talent when firing on all cylinders, but the past several years have seen him largely inactive and suffering two stoppage defeats (one to the fantastic Terence Crawford; the most recent was in May versus Robinson Castellanos in a surprising upset). Gamboa’s last bout was in August, when he won a decision over Alexis Reyes. The Cuban has said he’s got himself mentally right and is ready for the big-time again, so we’ll find out on Saturday if he’s able to get back to his former level.

Follow Caryn A. Tate on Twitter@carynatate

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