10) Jason Moloney vs Joshua Greer Jr, Aug. 14 (ESPN)
Why to Watch: Moloney (21-2, 18 KO) and Greer (22-2-2, 12 KO) are comparatively well-matched. Moloney is a back-end prime 10 bantamweight, and the Aussie returns to America on his twin brother’s undercard once more. He’s an excellent fighter, normally good to look at, clearly was no match for Naoya Inoue final October in his most up-to-date outing, however nearly nobody at 118 is far match for Inoue, actually.
Greer is kinda trying down the barrel. The Chicago native was fortunate to get the playing cards in opposition to each Nikolai Potapov and Antonio Nieves in 2019 — not saying he was given reward selections, however each of these fights might have gone the opposite approach very simply. He was then dropped twice and crushed by Mike Plania earlier than a vastly disappointing eight-round draw with membership fighter Edwin Rodriguez final outing in November. Greer is barely 27 but when he’s ever going to dwell as much as the delicate hype High Rank had began to placed on him, he has to win right here.
9) Mark Magsayo vs Julio Ceja, Aug. 21 (FOX PPV)
Why to Watch: The unbeaten Magsayo (22-0, 15 KO) additionally obtained fortunate to get some playing cards his approach in a current combat, about 10 months in the past in a break up resolution win over Rigoberto Hermosillo. Hermosillo is a tricky dude, higher than his document will let you know, and it was principally resulting from decide Rudy Barragan laughably giving Magsayo a 10-0 shutout win that Magsayo obtained by means of there; the opposite playing cards have been 96-94, one every approach. He did combat in April, stopping Pablo Cruz in 4 rounds.
Ceja (32-4-1, 28 KO) fights heavy at featherweight, however he’s all the time harmful. He can punch, he battles like hell, powerful as nails. He’s not essentially the most full throughout fighter and his chin has let him down earlier than, however he involves combat and is normally fairly enjoyable to look at. He was the man who dragged Guillermo Rigondeaux right into a cellphone sales space warfare in 2019, which Rigondeaux received by way of eighth spherical stoppage. He’s a dwell canine on this matchup.
8) Shavkat Rakhimov vs Kenichi Ogawa, Aug. 20 (ESPN+)
Why to Watch: The vacant IBF junior light-weight title might be on the road right here. Rakhimov (15-0-1, 12 KO) fought an chubby JoJo Diaz to a attract February for that belt, and will get a right away probability to say it now that Diaz has moved as much as 135.
Ogawa (25-1-1, 18 KO) really received this title again in 2017, successful a really controversial resolution over Tevin Farmer when the belt was vacant then, solely at hand it again over when he failed a post-fight drug take a look at for PEDs. He’s gone 3-0-1 since, the one semi-blemish a techical draw with Joe Noynay in 2019. This could possibly be a strong motion combat in Dubai, and it’s good to see it picked up by ESPN+.
7) Roger Gutierrez vs Rene Alvarado 3, Aug. 14 (DAZN)
Why to Watch: Generally trilogies aren’t epic tales of traditional wars or no matter, or big-time pay-per-view fundamental occasions. They’ll sneak up. That is a kind of.
Alvarado (32-9, 21 KO) beat Gutierrez (25-3-1, 20 KO) again in 2017, successful six rounds earlier than forcing a seventh spherical stoppage when Gutierrez’s nook threw the towel. However Gutierrez has rallied in his profession, and beat Alvarado by extraordinarily shut resolution — 113-112 playing cards throughout the board — again in January on the Garcia-Campbell card. It was a tough, dramatic combat the place Alvarado went down thrice however nearly boxed his solution to a win anyway. They’ll go once more on the 14th.
6) Jake Paul vs Tyron Woodley, Aug. 29 (SHO PPV)
Why to Watch: I’m going to only begin going forward and accepting this all as a actuality, and in all honesty, sure, I’m extra to see what occurs on this weirdo combat than I’m in most fights this month. I’m not saying it’s higher, actually not from some technical standpoint, I’m saying it’s completely different, and generally completely different is sufficient. I’m gonna see numerous fights like the opposite fights.
Paul (3-0, 3 KO) faces one other pale MMA veteran right here, however Woodley (19-7-1 in MMA) is at the very least a a lot better striker than Ben Askren ever was. They beautiful a lot planted the seeds for this again in April at that occasion, and right here we’re, although now Paul has an enormous time take care of Showtime and isn’t more likely to have Snoop Lion getting everybody so excessive that they’ll barely kind coherent ideas screaming over prime of each other on commentary. There may be the prospect that Paul’s going to select the incorrect combat each time he does considered one of these. We’ll see what occurs.
5) Joshua Franco vs Andrew Moloney 3, Aug. 14 (ESPN)
Why to Watch: Franco (17-1-2, 8 KO) appears to decided to combat as few opponents in his profession as doable. The 25-year-old from San Antonio fought Oscar Negrete in back-to-back-to-back bouts in 2018-19, going 1-0-2 of their trilogy, and after one win over Jose Burgos in 2020, he now goes back-to-back-to-back with Moloney (21-1, 14 KO).
Neglect the WBA’s bogus 115 lb belt right here, no one considers this a world championship combat except they’re immediately concerned in it. It’s an excellent matchup they usually’re each prime 10 junior bantamweights. Franco out-gritted Moloney of their first assembly, a minor upset in June 2020, after which their second one was an all-timer boxing TV mess, because the Nevada fee took without end to determine a ruling in November, finally ending on a no-decision with Franco’s eye minimize from a conflict of heads. Some dangerous blood has developed between these two due to that final result, and the primary combat was a rattling good one.
4) Joshua Buatsi vs Ricards Bolotniks, Aug. 14 (DAZN)
Why to Watch: I could also be extra psyched than anybody who isn’t British for this one, however I watched Bolotniks (18-5-1, 8 KO) make a shocking storm run by means of MTK’s Golden Contract match in 2019-20, beating Steven Ward, Hosea Burton, and Serge Michel. Not solely is he rattling enjoyable to look at, a bodily, powerful fighter who brings motion and is a greater puncher than his KO share makes you assume, however he’s a particularly likable character.
Buatsi (14-0, 12 KO) is a significant looking forward to Matchroom Boxing, a 2016 Olympic bronze medalist they imagine can win a world title as an expert mild heavyweight. He hasn’t had all clean crusing, as he had some considerably worrisome moments in opposition to Marko Calic specifically final October, however he took the problems severely and seemed to get higher, hiring Virgil Hunter as his new coach. This would be the first actual take a look at for that partnership. Buatsi has plenty of benefits on paper, however Bolotniks is simply a kind of guys you can’t depend out, at the very least under the very prime stage, and it’s nonetheless a query as to what Buatsi’s stage actually is.
3) Vergil Ortiz Jr vs Egidijus Kavaliauskas, Aug. 14 (DAZN)
Why to Watch: The 23-year-old Ortiz (17-0, 17 KO) is a critical welterweight contender, among the best and most promising younger fighters in boxing, and a key constructing block for what must be the following section of Golden Boy Promotions’ existence post-Canelo Alvarez. He’s obtained some expertise, good energy, has stepped up properly and stored smashing the opponents he stepped up in opposition to, and has been humble and straightforward to root for all the best way.
Kavaliauskas (22-1-1, 18 KO) is one other good step. The 33-year-old Lithuanian is a tricky buyer, and fought Terence Crawford about in addition to anybody has, actually, earlier than he obtained stopped in 9 of their 2019 title bout. He got here again to cease Mikael Zewski, and in addition dominated David Avanesyan again in 2018. He did have one tough night time, a draw with Ray Robinson in 2019, however under the elite stage, Robinson is a spoiler who can bug the hell out of any opponent. Ortiz likes to carry hearth, and Kavaliauskas by no means shies from contact. This one might have some nice motion.
2) Guillermo Rigondeaux vs John Riel Casimero, Aug. 14 (SHO)
Why to Watch: YEAH, I’ve obtained a Guillermo Rigondeaux combat at No. 2, WHAT ABOUT IT? Rigondeaux (20-1, 13 KO) is an beginner legend who will most likely by no means fairly get that very same respect as a professional, nearly as good as he’s been in his profession. He’s 40 now, so if it was gonna occur it most likely would have, however the slim probability rests on this combat. If at his age, he beats Casimero and wins a legit bantamweight title (Casimero’s WBO is on the road), he would possibly get some extra reward. Plenty of individuals admire how good he’s, however I nonetheless assume in a bizarre approach Rigo has been underrated, a part of which is he completely could be lethal boring to look at combat.
Casimero (30-4, 21 KO) has kind of quietly had an ideal profession, and now at 32 he seems to maintain on impressing. He brings motion, and should attempt to drive Rigondeaux right into a brawl, as a result of he’s not going to out-box the Cuban. The dangerous information is Rigondeaux’s not dangerous in a brawl, both, and has a laser left hand that has frozen up plenty of opponents, which is essentially the most under-appreciated a part of why his fights typically get actually boring.
You additionally need to kinda chuckle with Rigondeaux right here. This was the unique combat signed for this date, then some individuals “did some magic” and it grew to become Casimero in opposition to Nonito Donaire. Rigondeaux shrugged, accepted some cash to step apart, and figured he’d combat the winner, perhaps. When the Donaire and Casimero camps had their massive social media battle — which was frankly fairly embarrassing for a bunch of adults of their 30s — and Donaire dropped out, Rigondeaux shrugged and stepped again in. It was an excellent combat when it was signed, it’s nonetheless an excellent combat.
1) Manny Pacquiao vs Errol Spence Jr, Aug. 21 (FOX PPV)
Why to look at: Plenty of causes! For starters, it’s nonetheless a combat between two of the highest three welterweights on the earth, even with Pacquiao (62-7-2, 39 KO) now 42 years outdated and having not fought in 25 months, since beating Keith Thurman in 2019.
Spence (27-0, 21 KO) figures to be Manny’s hardest opponent since Floyd Mayweather again in 2015, and truthfully, once you examine 2021 to 2015, perhaps even harder. Pacquiao isn’t now what he was then, he’s simply not, he’s six years older. Spence is just not Floyd in any approach, however he’s 31 and proper in his prime, not the 38-year-old model of Mayweather, who was additionally now not at his peak. (Additionally, I do know Manny formally misplaced to Jeff Horn in 2017, however I don’t need to fake Horn actually received that combat simply because Ramon Cerdan, Chris Flores, and Waleska Roldan did.)
Spence is greater, youthful, a fellow southpaw, an excellent technician — however whereas Pacquiao isn’t the 2009 Pacquiao and received’t be ever once more, and isn’t even the 2015-16 or so model of Manny, he’s nonetheless a rattling good fighter, nice even. And he is a real legend. And he is nonetheless harmful till confirmed in any other case.
As for proving in any other case, that’s one more reason to look at: This actually is likely to be the final combat we ever see from a real icon in boxing, somebody who has helped carry the game’s relevance and viability as a famous person boxer for the final 15 years or so, and has been an elite fighter for the final 20, numerous bumps within the highway and losses and all.
Famous person fighters typically go the torch, whether or not they imply to or not. Oscar De La Hoya did it twice, actually, as soon as to Floyd Mayweather in 2007, once more to Pacquiao in 2008. Mayweather by no means did, as a result of he didn’t really feel like boxing till somebody might beat him, and nobody was beating him. Pacquiao is likely to be passing it to Spence right here, and serving to to create a brand new, real star fighter.