boxing-glovesHeavyweight boxing is starting to show some signs of life after a moribund decade, and this weekend’s boxing action features a handful of Heavyweight fights that are worthy of attention. Part of the reason the heavyweight scene has been on the upswing is the emergence of Deontay Wilder, who returns on Saturday on Showtime to face veteran Eric Molina. Right now, Wilder is a solid (-5000) favorite over Molina, who returns at (+2500). For Wilder it is the first title defense of the WBC World Heavyweight belt he captured back in January when he defeated Bermane Stiverne. Wilder is the first American titleholder of a Heavyweight belt in a long-time so you can’t blame him for going home for this fight, as the fight takes place at the Bartow Arena in Birmingham, Alabama. Wilder has a target on his back, as both Wladimir Klitschko and Tyson Fury have him on a short list for potential fights since the both covet the WBC trinket that Wilder has. With Klitschko and Fury likely to meet in the second half of 2015, Wilder is in a holding pattern waiting for the big money fight and this match and any that happen until Wilder gets a big money fight are likely to be “crush” matches with Wilder a huge favorite. The Arena Manawatu in Palmerston North, New Zealand sees big-time local prospect Joseph Parker return to the ring as he continues to add to his already impressive (13-0) record. Parker comes in a big (-3400) favorite over Saglam, who is returning at (+1700). Parker is just 23 years old and he is being trained by former Olympian Kevin Barry, and he has served as a sparring partner for Wladimir Klitschko, so he is being developed with an eye on reaching the top. Saglam has a nice (34-3) professional record who has won three fights in a row. He has faced veterans Odlanier Solis and Manuel Charr and taken losses and his third loss comes to Michael Wallisch a German prospect who is being taken care of there. Parker is already on the schedule to return on August 1st against an as of yet to be named opponent. Also worthy of attention is the Heavyweight eight-round bout scheduled for Power Park in Kauhava, Finland, as it features the next step in the return of undefeated Robert Helenius (20-0). Helenius is a tremendous (-7000) favorite over foe Beka Lobjanidze, who is returning at (+3000). Rewind back to 2011 and Helenius was one of the Heavyweight division’s top prospects, going (3-0) in the calendar year with wins over Samuel Peter, Siarhei Liakhovich and Dereck Chisora. Unfortunately for Helenius, his momentum was snapped by inactivity, as he fought just once in 2012 and once in 2013 before taking all of 2014 off to heal hand and shoulder problems. He won a tune-up bout back in March, and this fight is much of the same, as Lobjanidze is (12-2) overall but has won just one fight against a fighter with a winning record in two years.