Friday, May 19, 2017
HBO has the biggest bout with the biggest star as Terence Crawford defends his WBC/WBO junior welterweight titles against the slick and talented Felix Diaz.
Diaz has just one loss and I thought he deserved the decision in that split decision loss to Lamont Peterson and has the style to trouble Crawford.
I'd even go this far and say this-Felix Diaz will be the toughest challenge that Terence Crawford has ever faced and this could be a fight that isn't decided until deep into the stretch.
Veteran contender Ray Beltran takes on Jonathan Maicelo in a IBF lightweight eliminator for the mandatory position in the IBF as the co-feature.
Beltran's a tough guy and nice fighter,but I do wonder how he ends up getting HBO slots when other arguably better fighters cannot get those spots.
Showtime fires back with a three bout.two continent card.
From the UK,talented Floyd Mayweather protege' Gervonta Davis travels to make the first defense of his IBF 140 pound title against Liam Walsh.
It'll be interesting to see how Davis reacts to the always boisterous UK crowd against Walsh.
Later from the new boxing hotbed of Oxen Hill,Maryland,the very talented,but just as protected and inactive WBC featherweight champ Gary Russell defends against another contender that appears to be overmatched in Oscar Escandon.
I've said several times on FightHeads that I wish that Russell,his team and Al Haymon believed in his talent as much as I do,but the facts are that Russell is 1-1 vs fighters with a decent resume' (win over a faded Jhonny Gonzalez and lost to Vasyl Lomachenko) and rarely fights,so I fear that he may be on the verge of wasting what could be a profitable career.
I'm usually not a fan of "interim" titles,but here is the only occasion that I can live with them.
James DeGale took a large beating that included a broken jaw in the draw with Badou Jack that attempted to unify the WBC (then held by Jack,now vacated) and DeGale's IBF belts and will be out of action for most of the rest of the year.
The IBF is therefore holding a interim title bout (essentially the top contender for DeGale's return or have the title filled in case he decided to move to 175 pounds) between former champion Andre Dirrell and Jose Uzcategui.
We will see if this bout is entertaining as most Dirrell bouts are not.
Fox Sports One has a card that goes up against Showtime's (which makes little sense since both cards are with the PBC) that has a WBC eliminator at Super Middleweight,which will decide the mandatory contender for the winner of the Anthony Dirrell-Callum Smith fight that will fill the vacancy created when Badou Jack moved to light heavyweight after his draw with James DeGale,
Anyhow,the main event here sees talented prospect David Benavidez against veteran "Porky" Medina,who surprisingly gave James DeGale all he wanted in a close decision loss in 2015.
Medina is exactly the type of fighter that young contenders need to test their mettle against and we'll discover a lot about Benavidez in this one.
We wrap up in Japan with a title fight with the best fighter in his division and a silly decision to bring a title back from the always silly WBA.
Naoya Inoue defends his WBO junior bantamweight title against mandatory contender Ricardo Rodriguez.
After the surprising loss by Roman Gonzalez in March,Inoue has risen to number one in the TRS rankings.
The other sees the WBA fill their vacant "regular" middleweight title with former Olympian Ryota Murata against perennial middleweight bridesmaid Hassan N'Dam.
I'm not against the fight,which gives Murata a tough test against a middleweight gatekeeper.
What I am against is the WBA,who claims to be getting rid of their three belts per division policy by shrinking them,reviving a belt that could have been retired after former "regular" title holder Daniel Jacobs was decisioned by Gennady Golovkin.
Bringing it back is counter to that policy...
WBC/WBO Junior Welterweight Titles.12 rds
Terence Crawford vs Felix Diaz
Both:Crawford Unanimous Decision
Ray Beltran vs Jonathan Maicelo
Both:Beltran Unanimous Decision
WBC Featherweight Title.12 rds
Gary Russell vs Oscar Escandon
R,L:Russell KO 7
TRS:Russell KO 4
Vacant Interim IBF Super Middleweight Title 12 rds
Andre Dirrell vs Jose Uzcategui
Both:Dirrell Unanimous Decision
IBF Junior Lightweight Title.12 rds
Gervonta Davis vs Liam Walsh
R.L:Davis KO 8
TRS: Davis KO 10
Super Middleweights.12 rds
David Benavidez vs "Porky" Medina
R.L:Benavidez KO 4
TRS:Benavidez Unanimous Decision
WBO Junior Bantamweight Title.12 rds
Naoya Inoue vs Ricardo Rodriguez
R,L:Inoue KO 6
TRS:Inoue KO 8
Hassan N'Dam vs Ryota Murata
R.L:N'Dam Unanimous Decision
TRS:Murata Unanimous Decision