By: Sean Crose
Saturday’s HBO Boxing After Dark card will showcase bouts from two distinct locations. The main event, which will be broadcast from the Turning Stone Resort and Casino in Verona, New York, will feature Panama’s 22-1 Jezreel Corrales facing San Juan, Puerto Rico’s 18-0 Alberto Machado in a 12-round super featherweight affair. Machado, whose knocked out all but three of his opponents, is hoping to win the WBA World Super Featherweight Title off Corrales, who has only fought in the United States once before. This will be Machado’s first attempt at winning a world title.
Corrales has held his WBA belt since knocking out Takashi Uchiyama back in April of 2016. This will be the Panamanian’s third defense of that belt.
As HBOs Harold Lederman says: “Corrales, the champion, is a bit wild. When you watch him, he throws punches from every angle you can think of.” Yet Lederman gives the edge to Machado due to the fact that the Puerto Rican “boxes beautifully.” Says Lederman: “I think it’s going to give him (Machado) an advantage in this fight.”
Also competing at the Turning Stone that evening will be two time junior middleweight titlist Demetrius Andrade, who will be moving up to middleweight to put his 24-0 record up against fellow undefeated fighter Alantez Fox, 23-0-1. HBO describes former Olympian Andrade as having “a deep amateur resume, having won a gold medal at the 2007 AIBA World Boxing Championships.” Meanwhile, “the six-foot-four Fox will look to exploit his height advantage over the six-foot-one Andrade.” Rhode Island’s Andrade is hoping to move successfully onto the next phase of his career, while Maryland’s Fox is looking to shock the world.
HBO will start it’s program on Saturday with a replay of the Ryan Burnett-Zhanat Zhakiyanov 12 round bantamweight unifier, which will have gone down earlier in the day at the SSE Arena in Belfast, Northern Ireland. Burnett, the undefeated 17-0 local, will have hoped to defend his IBF World Bantamweight Title while gaining Zhakiyanov’s WBA Super World Bantamweight Title strap. With a record of 27-1, Zhakiyanov “has compiled a 22-bout win streak since his only ring loss.” And that loss was back in 2008 against Sakhib Usarov – ancient history career-wise for a contemporary fighter. As for Burnett, the 25 year old fought as recently as last June, when he bested Lee Haskins via unanimous decision at Belfast’s Odyssey Arena. The fight will be HBO’s maiden voyage for covering bouts from Northern Ireland.