Two world title bouts and a world title eliminator are on tap tonight at Hamburg's Color Line Arena in one of the year's biggest German shows.
Top of the bill is WBA Cruiserweight Champion Firat Arslan's defense against slick challenger Guillermo Jones in what could very well turn out to be the most difficult fight of the champion's career.
37 year old southpaw Arslan will be giving away almost five inches in height to the six foot four inch challenger but the Suessen based pressure artist has sent the quartet of Darnell Wilson, Virgil Hill, Valery Brudov and Gregory Drozd all packing over the last two years and has proven to be a very motivated fighter in the clutch.
At 36, Jones, 35-3-2 (27), is not exactly young himself but the native Panamanian could very well be the best fighter over the last ten years not to have won a world title.
In a career that started in 1993 as a welterweight, Jones won regional Latin American belts until he earned a shot at reigning WBA Light Middleweight titlist Laurent Boudani in 1998. The bout was declared a draw and they did it again three months later with Boudani retaining by split decision.
Over the next three years, Jones fought at super middle and light heavy before going up to cruiserweight and challenging WBO Champion Johnny Nelson in 2002. Again a draw was declared and Jones took a year and a half off.
After returning in 2004, Jones won two Latin American Cruiser belts before facing off with top undefeated American, and current IBF Champion, Steve Cunningham in 2005. Jones lost by split decision but returned one month later to stop former IBF titlist Kelvin Davis in four.
Later that year Jones stopped another former world champion, Wayne Braithwaite, in four rounds to win a WBA title eliminator but instead of fighting for that title, had to be content with wins in 2007 over journeymen Jeremy Bates and Zach Page at heavyweight.
Now Jones finally gets the WBA title opportunity but will have to deliver a career best effort if he is to take the title from a reigning world champion in Germany.
With longtime WBO Super Middleweight Champion Joe Calzaghe voluntarily giving up the belt yesterday, the main undercard bout at the Color Line Arena of Dennis Inkin vs. Fulgencio Zuniga will now provide the winner with that title.
Inkin, 33-0 (24), has been waiting for the chance to fight for the WBO strap for a fairly long time now but the long line of European opponents that the Russian has defeated may have left him ill-equipped to deal with the challenge of incoming Colombian hard man and former IBO Super Middle Champion Fulgencio Zuniga, 21-2-1 (18).
If Inkin is truly world class, he should beat Zuniga but his chin will likely be tested in a big way by the South American slugger, who has only lost in fights to Daniel Santos in 2003 for the WBO Light Middle title and current Middleweight World Champion Kelly Pavlik for the NABF 160 lb strap in 2005.
In a hotly anticipated heavyweight showdown, former WBC Cruiserweight Champ Juan Carlos Gomez, 43-1 (35), meets ex-European Heavy titlist Vladimir Virchis, 24-0 (20), in a WBC eliminator that shouldn't last the 12 round distance.