Counting Down

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.

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