This coming Friday (January 13, 2016), the Premier Boxing Champions are back on Spike TV with a full night of fights, headlined by WBO world 154-pound champion Erislandy Lara taking on returning veteran Yuri Foreman. The sportsbooks are looking at the main event and the feature support bout that showcases former world 168-pound champ Anthony Dirrell against Norbert Nemesapati. Lara and Dirrell are obviously the featured fighters here for the PBC, and the huge lines favoring the pair available at the books reflect that. Lara at 23-2-2 is one of Cuba’s phenomenally technical boxers, but he has been relatively inactive, getting only one fight in 2016. In Foreman (34-2), he is getting a fighter who still has some name recognition left but whose heyday was seven-eight years ago. Foreman faced Miguel Cotto in the last fight that went down at Yankee Stadium back in June of 2010. He logged four fights in 2013 but has fought just twice since then, in “comeback” fights where he was favored. Since 2013, he has fought just twice. He was last seen in June of 2016 for an eight-round bout. How that record qualifies Foreman for a world title shot escapes most experts. But the showcase is for Lara, who is getting a fight in before what is expected to be much harder competition at 154 pounds. Lara’s training team also included Jermell and Jermall Charlo, the twin brothers from Texas who each hold another 154-pound world title, but that arrangement recently changed, and Lara is said to be setting his sights on Jermall Charlo and his IBF belt. The future matchup with Charlo makes this fight for Lara more understandable, as he tunes up for bigger things. The same situation exists for Dirrell (29-1-1), who has won two fights in a row since losing his 168-pound WBC world title to Badou Jack. In Nemesepati (24-4), he is getting a veteran fighter based out of Hungary whose four losses come in his fights outside of Europe. Dirrell will likely log the win on Friday night and then settle in to watch Saturday’s showdown between Jack and England’s James DeGale, as the pair are fighting at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn. Dirrell will be looking to be the next challenger for the winner of that matchup. Super Welterweight – 12 rounds Yuri Foreman +3000 Erislandy Lara -7000 Super Middleweight – 10 rounds Norbert Nemesapati +2750 o5½ -160 Anthony Dirrell -6000 u5½ +130
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