Saturday, January 12, 2019

Boxing Challenge

It's time for a brand new year in the boxing challenge as I take on Ramon Malpica in picking the best fights in boxing.
I've won three challenges in a row after dropping the initial challenge to Ramon, so I'm looking to make it four.

The two fights are Sunday night on FS1 and the PBC with one being the first world championship fight of the year.
The main event has the improving IBF super middleweight champion Jose Uzcategui in a mandatory defense against Caleb Plant.
Uzcategui delivers exciting fights in an attacking style and disposing of Plant in front of a national television audience could be the beginning of a big year for the big punching Venezuelan, who can move around the big three promoters/networks without a formal affiliation and could fight any of the other champions at the weight (Gilberto Ramirez WBO/Top Rank, Callum Smith WBA/Matchroom/DAZN and the winner of the vacant WBC title fight pairing Anthony Dirrell PBC and Avni Yildrim unaffiliated).

While I really like Uzcategui against the marginally qualified and tedious to watch Plant, who has one win of note (a decision win over the shopworn Porky Medina), I'm a little cautious with this one.
PBC has often featured Plant on their broadcasts in preliminary bouts so they have a small investment in him, he's a noted mover (I'd say runner, but hey it's a new year) and this being on a PBC card, I have a bad feeling that this is going to be far closer on the cards than it might be in the ring.
In other words, I could see a scenario where Uzcategui wins ten of twelve rounds, chases Plant all evening and the house fighter wins a ridiculous decision complete with his girlfriend (PBC reporter Jordan Hardy dates Plant) interviewing him as the crowd boos loudly.
I hope that doesn't happen.

The other challenge bout will be a WBA junior featherweight eliminator between undefeated prospect Brandon Figueroa and former world title challenge Moises Flores.
Both fighters have defeated former contender Oscar Escandon, with Figueroa looking very impressive in stopping Escandon in his last outing in September.
Flores lost a decision to WBA champion Danny Roman last June and a win here would set him up for a rematch.
Former WBA champion Guillermo Rigondeaux returns in a non-challenge bout against trialhorse Giovanni Delgado on the card in his PBC debut.
Rigondeaux hasn't fought since his first loss in December 2017 to Vasyl Lomachenko.

IBF Super Middleweight Title. 12 Rds
Jose Uzcategui vs Caleb Plant
R.L: Uzcategui KO 10
TRS; Uzcategui Unanimous Decision

Junior Featherweights, 12 Rds
Brandon Figueroa vs Moises Flores
Both: Figueroa Unanimous Decision

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