April was, admittedly, a little bit of a sluggish patch for the boxing schedule.
Might is coming arduous, although. We’ve received numerous good fights, marquee names in motion, robust matchups, and no Paul brothers on the schedule.
Personally, I’m stoked for the approaching month in boxing.
10) Derek Chisora vs Joseph Parker (Might 1, DAZN)
Stable struggle, and significant for the heavyweight division. If Parker wins, which most count on, he’ll keep within the title combine, with a stronger argument than he’s had, and it might be two stable wins already in 2021 for the previous WBO titlist.
If Chisora wins, hell, Chisora’s simple to get to join a struggle towards principally anybody. He doesn’t keep away from folks. So far as motion goes, this may very well be an excellent one if Chisora’s strain is efficient in any respect. Parker’s no Oleksandr Usyk, he’s not some nice stick-and-move man. He’s going to be inside pretty typically for Chisora to try to get one thing completed.
9) Elwin Soto vs Katsunari Takayama (Might 8, DAZN)
Soto is defending his WBO 108 lb title on this one, because the 24-year-old Mexican takes on 37-year-old Takayama, who might be combating for the primary time within the U.S. in his lengthy profession.
Takayama is previous his greatest days, and simply returned to the ring in December for a six-round win over Reiya Konishi. However Konishi is a reputable fighter, too, and Takayama received handily. Earlier than that, Takayama hadn’t fought since 2016, when he beat Riku Kano to win the WBO title at 105.
The Japanese veteran was a constant contender for years, and greater than that, a three-time champ at strawweight who has been within the ring with Chocolatito Gonzalez, Nkosinathi Joyi, and different good opponents. Fact be instructed, he’s often misplaced to his higher opposition, however he’s additionally picked up good wins alongside the best way, and that is sort of final probability for him, he’s taking the swing towards an lively, credible titlist. Soto is often fairly enjoyable to look at; flawed, will combine it up, is there to get hit. May very well be a enjoyable one.
8) Andy Ruiz Jr vs Chris Arreola (Might 1, PPV)
At $49.99, I believe all of us usually agree that Ruiz-Arreola is ridiculous. Ruiz is a 20-to-1 favourite right here, it’s not seen by many as one thing that’s going to be actually aggressive, notably with Ruiz back in shape (although Arreola is, too) and targeted, not less than in the meanwhile.
However I actually do assume that is going to be a good struggle between the bells, within the ring. Arreola all the time brings warmth and Ruiz has the velocity and willingness within the pocket to interact him in some enjoyable exchanges. Ruiz, if he’s at his greatest, may additionally actually dominate, which might be considerably thrilling for the division. However I believe we’re going to get some motion right here on the very least, and “motion” for me is a major consider whether or not or not I wish to watch one thing that isn’t some marquee, nice matchup, which I believe is essential as a result of we don’t all the time get very many marquee, nice matchups.
7) Terri Harper vs Hyun Mi Choi (Might 15, DAZN)
A unification struggle at 130, as Harper places her WBC belt on the road towards Choi’s WBA belt. Each are unbeaten, however Harper received fairly a scare final August towards Natasha Jonas, escaping with a draw many felt she was fortunate to obtain. She got here again in November to cease Katharina Thanderz and present she actually was on a unique stage there, however she additionally broke her proper hand in that struggle.
Harper is wholesome now, and Choi is the opponent. Matchroom have three of the 4 titlists within the division (together with Maiva Hamadouche, not together with Mikaela Mayer) and Eddie Hearn has needed to arrange unification for a bit. Now he has. Choi, like Harper, doesn’t she away from a struggle. Choi, like Harper, is way from flawless. Choi has fought most of her profession at dwelling in South Korea, however went to the States final December to breat Calista Silgado, and is clearly keen to struggle overseas.
6) Katie Taylor vs Natasha Jonas (Might 1, DAZN)
Taylor and Jonas have been novice contemporaries, and all these years later, they meet as execs. Taylor is the undisputed queen of the lightweights, holding all 4 belts and beating Delfine Persoon in a rematch of the one struggle you might have argued Katie received a bit fortunate in.
Jonas reemerged as a critical menace at 130/135 final 12 months towards the aforementioned Harper, and now has the possibility to essentially go for a real crown, to knock off arguably the pound-for-pound greatest in girls’s boxing. Jonas has some energy and might field. Taylor can field and definitely has sufficient energy to carry her floor. They each will struggle if needed, not afraid of getting right into a struggle. Somebody goes to need to impose their will right here, and it’s a fully huge probability for Jonas to place herself in with the perfect on this planet.
5) Luis Nery vs Brandon Figueroa (Might 15, SHO)
A unification, as a result of the WBA doesn’t give a rattling about any of their “guidelines” so long as they get their sanctioning charges in. Murodjon Akhmadaliev holds the WBA “tremendous world” title at 122, whereas Figueroa has the lesser “world” (“common”) title, however that’s on the road right here towards Nery’s WBC belt.
Nery is a little bit of a wild card in the intervening time. He didn’t look nice in his transfer to 122 final 12 months, beating the unheralded Aaron Alameda in a aggressive struggle to win the vacant WBC strap. However he’s additionally since break up with Eddy Reynoso, and whereas Nery is mostly one of many extra unlikable guys in boxing, he can struggle, and he might have simply not match properly with Eddy. Not all good trainers and good fighters mesh.
Figueroa is a hard-working child, throws numerous punches, has the type of in-ring temperament of his older brother Omar however has by no means had the fixed questions on how critical he’s in his profession. He’s fairly critical. However Nery may very well be a very large step up for him. There’s an opportunity Nery simply isn’t at 122 what he was at 118, however there’s additionally an opportunity Figueroa finds it loads harder towards this man than the likes of Damien Vazquez and Javier Chacon. (We give him a slight cross on a tricky struggle with Julio Ceja, as a result of Ceja has good and in addition blew weight so unhealthy he was over 126, not to mention 122.)
Good motion potential, good matchup, winner fights WBO titlist Stephen Fulton Jr in additional unification in September.
4) Devin Haney vs Jorge Linares (Might 29, DAZN)
Everybody has needed Haney to step it up, and he’ll. Much less folks have famous how little the opposite “prime younger fighters” at 135 actually appear to wish to get in with Haney, however that’s one other story.
Linares remains to be an excellent fighter. He’s slick, he’s intelligent, he punches arduous sufficient at 135, he’s been in with numerous good fighters. He additionally nonetheless cuts simple and doesn’t have the perfect chin on this planet. He might be, nonetheless you slice it, by far Haney’s greatest opponent to this point. Linares is a prime 10 man within the division, which is miles past the extent of opponents Haney has fought to this point.
Haney’s WBC belt is on the road, and type of just like the Garcia-Campbell struggle in January was for Ryan Garcia, it is a probability for Devin to not less than quiet the doubters, or a few of them at any charge. Linares is 35 and seeking to maintain his floor, whereas the 22-year-old Haney appears to me a type of guys who simply has to maintain profitable. He isn’t a pure “star” or “famous person,” however he’s a really gifted younger fighter. If he’s going to be a critical draw, it will likely be on the outcomes. The true outcomes begin right here, and that is no gimme.
3) Nordine Oubaali vs Nonito Donaire (Might 29, SHO)
This was meant to occur in December, didn’t, and now it’s again on. Oubaali has the WBC title at 118 (it’s a protracted story, however he was at one level going to be champion-in-recess, now he’s not, and it’s nice) and Donaire is once more proper on the sting. He’s nonetheless seen as a prime contender, BUT…
Donaire is 38 years outdated. He hasn’t fought since November of 2019, when he misplaced his instantaneous basic, Battle of the 12 months battle with Naoya Inoue. You would possibly assume the man who held his personal with the “Monster” for 12 rounds could be a transparent favourite, however don’t overlook Oubaali, an unbeaten, very sound fighter and former Olympian. This man shouldn’t be a joke in any respect. Nonito is aware of that, and followers ought to realize it getting into, too.
That mentioned, the Donaire we final noticed can be simply Oubaali’s greatest opponent as a professional. That’s to not say Oubaali doesn’t have some good wins, he beat Rau’shee Warren and Takuma Inoue clearly, however they’re not the extent of Donaire, or not less than Donaire as we most just lately knew him. This may very well be a very nice struggle.
2) Canelo Alvarez vs Billy Joe Saunders (Might 8, DAZN)
Three belts on the road, as Canelo brings the WBC and WBA tremendous middleweight titles, Saunders the WBO. Fact be instructed, Saunders ain’t improper: Most are penning this off as a win for Canelo, who then figures to march on to full unification with Caleb Plant. (Possibly. We’ll see. The obvious concepts are sometimes those boxing over-complicates probably the most.)
Canelo is a good fighter proper in his prime. Saunders has had years of “properly, at his greatest,” however largely individuals are nonetheless hanging on the time he went to Canada and routed David Lemieux, who’s a really restricted if actually harmful fighter. That was 2017, although, and Saunders has been inconsistent as hell out and in of the ring since then.
However that is Billy Joe’s shot. One will get the sensation Saunders actually could be the type of character who fights as much as the extent of opposition. Canelo doesn’t take anybody evenly, so don’t count on him to be all stunned that Saunders is a artful, difficult, sensible boxer.
I believe you may legitimately count on the perfect Saunders. Whether or not that’s sufficient towards a peaking Canelo is one other story, however I’m glad we’re going to seek out out. I sort of doubt this struggle has any excessive stage of dramatic exchanges or no matter, but it surely may very well be a terrific chess match if each are on their sport.
1) Jose Ramirez vs Josh Taylor (Might 22, ESPN+ and ESPN)
Canelo’s most likely the largest title fighter globally, even when Anthony Joshua is on the very least proper there with him in purse cash, and even when Jake Paul would possibly truly be the largest pay-per-view attract boxing.
However the perfect struggle this month shouldn’t be the excellent Canelo struggle, it’s Ramirez-Taylor. That is for the undisputed championship at 140, No. 1 vs No. 2 nonetheless you rank them, all of the marbles, and the winner very properly might skirt proper on as much as 147 and be a really, very credible opponent for Terence Crawford, who badly wants one.
Types make fights and all that. They’ve a standard opponent, and Josh Taylor did a lot better towards Viktor Postol than Ramirez did. However I believe Ramirez might be totally up right here, and he’s a man who has proved some doubters improper alongside the best way, too. And I believe he does his greatest work when the opponent is absolutely difficult him to take action; Postol type of lulled him into the sort of struggle that gave Postol an opportunity.
Taylor may be very technically sound, however he’s received a fiery demeanor within the ring, too. He’ll throw, he’ll commerce, he likes to show some extent. I don’t know if I personally would name this 50/50, but it surely’s not far off, and at this stage, that’s uncommon. An fascinating little bit of the story right here may very well be how Josh Taylor does towards his first respectable opponent — one who’s an precise menace — with out Shane McGuigan in his nook.