Big out-of-town fights for a handful of area prizefighters this weekend:
- Corey Rodriguez has gone 1-1-2 in the last 18 months, against four opponents whose combined record at the time he fought them is 24-4. Rodriguez hopes to grant his career some momentum as he faces unbeaten (9-0) welterweight Achour Esho in Chicago on Friday night. Catch Rodriguez’s remarks about the fight and his opponent here and here.
- Joey Abell is taking a chance – a big one – facing 29-2 Chris “The Nightmare” Arreola in Temecula, California. The risk-reward factor is what makes this match such an attractive gamble for the big boxer/bomber from Champlin, MN. Though a natural athlete with a beard like a copper kettle, Arreola has never taken his conditioning seriously and has failed to develop or refine his boxing skills since turning pro in 2003. In a marked contrast of dispositions, Abell is a conditioned and disciplined boxer whose luck and chin have not yet shown equal to his speed and power. This fight will be televised on ESPN2’s Friday Night Fights.
- Also making the trip to California, but definitely not just tagging along, is Jon Schmidt. “The Iron Man” is matched against a red-hot prospect in former Olympian Shawn Estrada (10-0 with 9 knockouts). Some will say that Schmidt is just cashing in or will only be interested in lasting the six-round distance, but Schmidt is known to be a workout fiend with pride and fire to spare. Don’t be surprised if Schmidt goes for broke against the favored Estrada.
- Hassan Wasswa is slated to face Canada’s Steve Cannell in Halifax, Nova Scotia on Saturday night. It’s a rematch for the always game Wasswa, who was shut out by Cannell in June of 2010.
- Marcus Oliveira fights for the first time since July when he meets 21-17-1 Demetrius Jenkins, a former a fringe contender-turned swaybacked trial horse, at the Silverdome in Pontiac, Michigan. This fight is a supporting bout on the undercard of Saturday’s Devon Alexander-Timothy Bradley event.