Friday, June 30, 2017
I lead the challenge 76-71 as this weekend concludes the first half of the "season".
The biggest fight is ESPN's return to big time boxing as Manny Pacquiao defends his WBO welterweight title against the hometown contender Jeff Horn live on the network from Australia Saturday night.
The match should be fairly one-sided as Horn is untested against any level of top 20 competition,but the news here is a huge star on mainstream television.
ESPN being involved in boxing at its highest level is a great thing,but Top Rank will be under the gun to give ESPN good fights and the top stars.
I wondered the same about the PBC experiment and Top Rank will be called out under the same conditions.
Jerwin Ancjas defends his IBF junior bantamweight belt against Teiru Kinoshita,who is his mandatory contender in the main undercard bout on the worldwide leader.
PBC does have a Bounce TV card with a good main event that few will see due to the low level television coverage as talented IBF lightweight champion Robert Easter defending against mandatory contender Denis Shafikov.
This fight completes a round robin between Easter,Shafikov and Richard Commey after Easter won the vacant title via split decision over Commey and Shafikov won a split decision over Commey in what appeared to be a training room in Moscow to earn the mandatory contender spot.
Shafikov will be aggressive and come forward all fight,but Easter's style seems to be made to control a fighter like Shafikov.
Julian Williams returns on the undercard in what appears to be a squash match.
Ramon and I each have the exact same picks for each of these fights for the first time ever.
Unanimous decision wins for Pacquiao,Ancjas and Easter....