2 March 2011
Setanta Sports is presenting fight fans with exclusively live coverage of some of Marchs biggest nights in professional and amateur boxing as well as a second chance to relive some of the greatest fights of all time.
5th March Zab Judah v Kaizer Mabuza
Vacant IBF light-welterweight title, Prudential Center, Newark, New Jersey
New Yorks Super Zab Judah will have one eye on April 16s Amir Khan v Paul McCloskey WBA light-welterweight title fight when he goes head-to-head with South Africas Kaizer Mabuza for the vacant IBF title on Saturday night. For the ever controversial 33-year-old, it is one last chance to show that he belongs at boxings top table. If Judah prevails and reclaims the title he first held in February 2000 he will have his sights set on a major unification battle with the likes of Khan or division number one Timothy Bradley.
Sergio Martinez v Sergei Dzinziruk
WBC middleweight title, Foxwoods, Connecticut
Andy Lee v Craig McEwan
Andy Lees March 12 clash with Scot Craig McEwan from the Foxwoods Resort, Connecticut will be broadcast. The bout will be the chief support to WBC middleweight champion Sergio Martinezs title defence against unbeaten Ukrainian Sergei Dzinziruk. Should Detroit based Limerickman Lee prevail against LA based McEwan then a dream shot at the winner of Martinez v Dzinziruk is a distinct possibility.
19th March Lucian Bute v Brian Magee
IBF super-middleweight title, Bell Centre, Montreal
After 12 years as a professional, in a career that has yielded British, European and IBO honours, Lisburns Brian Magee finally gets a crack at a recognised World title when he faces Canadian-based, Romanian IBF super-middleweight champion Lucian Bute on March 19. Magees shot at the big time was to have come much sooner, indeed he was scheduled to challenge Welsh legend Joe Calzaghe for the WBO title at Belfasts Kings Hall as far back as March 2005, but the bout was called off at 24 hours notice due to a legal challenge from Calzaghes then No1 challenger Mario Veit. But with 35-year-old Magee now enjoying an Indian summer to his career, which saw the southpaw claim the European title in January 2010, he has forced his opportunity and is confident of taking it.
The challenge that awaits Magee is substantial. Bute is tall (62), like Magee is a southpaw, and as his unbeaten 27-0 (22KO) record implies he can punch a bit as well. Whats more, Butes record highlights that he can stop opponents early and late. For many fight fans, Bute is the best super-middleweight in the World indeed Boxrec, the independent online ranking system ranks him ahead of all other 12st stars, including Carl Froch, Mikkel Kessler, Andre Dirrell, Andre Ward and WBO champion Robert Stieglitz, who Magee had initially been rumoured to be challenging. Going into Butes adopted hometown is unlikely to faze Magee especially on St Patricks weekend when a large Irish support is expected to make their way to the arena.
26th March Dmitry Pirog v Javier Francisco Maciel
WBO middleweight title, DIVS, Ekaterinburg, Russia
Big, strong and unbeaten, there are many who believe that Russias WBO champion Dmitry Pirog may well be the best 11st 6lb boxer on the planet. That, despite the 30-year-old having boxed all but two of his 17 professional contests in his home country. The bout that made the outside world sit up and take note was last July, when boxing in Las Vegas for the first time, Pirog blasted out the talented and then unbeaten American Daniel Jacobs in five rounds, claiming the vacant WBO title in the process.
Pirog now returns to Russia, where he will be dealing with Argentinean challenger Javier Francisco Maciel, 18-1 (12KO) on March 26.
World Series Boxing
In the past boxing may have been the most individual of sports, but World Series Boxing (WSB) has changed all that. Whats more, WSB has blurred the growing lines between boxings amateur and professional codes. The boxers retain their Olympic status but the boxing is done without headguards or vests and contests embrace professional style scoring in 5×3 minute bouts.
In WSB, ten teams (LA, Memphis, Mexico City, Miami, Astana, Baku, Beijing, Pohang, Istanbul, Milan, Moscow and Paris) are divided into three conferences (Americas, Asia and Europe) to battle it out in league matches from November until March. A WSB match consists of five bouts in five weight divisions, namely bantamweight (54kg), lightweight (61kg), middleweight (73kg), light-heavyweight (85kg) and heavyweight (91+kg).
The top four teams (three conference winners and best runner up) then progress to the semi-final and final stages which take place in April and May and the overall champion is crowned.
Individual finals between the two highest ranking boxers in each of the five weight divisions are also contested in May. Each team consists of between 10 and 20 boxers with at least three and up to six foreign boxers on each team. As such, although Ireland is not home to a team, there is considerable Irish interest in WSB – with Olympians Kenny Egan and John Joe Joyce representing Miami and John Joe Nevin representing Paris, whilst Ulstermen Eamon OKane and Tommy McCarthy are signed to Milan. In March, Setanta will televise three WSB fixtures live with McCarthy and OKanes Milan and John Joe Nevins Paris clashing in a St Patricks special on March 18.
Live fixtures in March
Friday 11th March 8pm Paris v Moscow
Friday 18th March 8 pm Milan V Paris
Saturday 19th March 3am Mexico City v Memphis
All this great live boxing content plus classic fights every week on Fight Sports Greatest Classics.