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'Boxing's Best' promises no lull in action

12/19/2011

The HBO boxing schedule for 2011 concluded last week, and Showtime's slate finished Saturday with Andre Ward's unanimous decision win against Carl Froch in the final of the Super Six World Boxing Classic. The new season of ESPN2/ESPN3's "Friday Night Fights" begins Jan. 6.

So if you're in need of boxing action in the meantime, HBO's annual "Boxing's Best" series rolls out over four consecutive nights, with the network showcasing seven of its standout and significant 2011 fights by replaying the complete bouts. Get the DVR ready.

Here's the schedule (all times ET/PT):

• Dec. 26 (11 p.m.): Jean Pascal vs. Bernard Hopkins II (Hopkins, at 46, wins the light heavyweight championship on Pascal's Montreal turf to become the oldest fighter in boxing history to win a world title).

• Dec. 26 (midnight): Amir Khan vs. Lamont Peterson (Peterson pulls the upset to win two junior welterweight titles via split decision in a tremendous action fight, which was made controversial by two deductions of Khan).

• Dec. 26 (1 a.m.): Andre Berto vs. Victor Ortiz (Ortiz claims a welterweight title in a knockdown-filled rumble).

• Dec. 27 (11 p.m.): Floyd Mayweather Jr. vs. Victor Ortiz (Mayweather returns from a 16-month layoff to reclaim a welterweight belt by scoring a controversial knockout and then argues with HBO announcer Larry Merchant in a memorable postfight interview).

• Dec. 27 (midnight): Manny Pacquiao vs. Juan Manuel Marquez III (The great rivals stage their third all-action fight as Pacquiao retains his welterweight title by escaping with a debatable majority decision).

• Dec. 28 (midnight): James Kirkland vs. Alfredo Angulo (The junior middleweight brawlers throw down in a sensational action fight that features an epic first round).

• Dec. 29 (11 p.m.): Miguel Cotto vs. Antonio Margarito II (Cotto smashes up Margarito's bad right eye to retain his junior middleweight title in an excellent fight, avenging his controversial 2008 defeat against boxing's No. 1 villain).