by Mark Mayer | Rarely has there been such an offering of boxing with four fights set tonight on rival cable networks HBO and Showtime.
HBO will feature undefeated WBA welterweight champ Miguel Cotto (31-0, 25 KO) against Alfonso Gomez (18-3-2) of "Contender" TV show fame. Caesars Palace has Cotto an overwhelming -1300 favorite. The other main event on the card in Atlantic City features a rematch between Antonio Margarito (35-5, 25 KO) and Kermit Cintron (29-1-27). Margarito, a -250 favorite, handed Cintron his only defeat with a fifth round stoppage in 2005.
Showtime will spotlight the light heavyweight division with two fights ultimately leading to the unification of the title. Former world champ Antonio Tarver (26-4, 19 KO) opposes IBF champ Clinton Woods (41-3-1, 24 KO) in one bout at St. Petersburg, Florida. In the other, WBC champ Chad Dawson (25-0, 17 KO) takes on another former world champ Glen Johnson (47-11-2, 37 KO).
Tarver, who owns two victories over Roy Jones, Jr., is a slight -110 underdog. Woods (-120), is making the fifth defense of his belt. He has had three fights with Johnson with each winning once and the other ruled a draw. Johnson, who owns wins over Jones and Tarver, is a +300 underdog. Dawson, a -400 favorite, is making his third title defense.
The light heavyweight focus continues next Saturday in Las Vegas where former champ Bernard Hopkins meets unbeaten WBO and IBF super middleweight champ Joe Calzaghe in Planet Hollywood’s first fight promotion.