DAZN Returns to Hollywood, Florida
Devin Haney defends his WBC 135 lb. title against Cuban veteran and ex titlist Yuriorkis Gamboa. The area around 126-135 is really heating up as after several years of big fights not really getting made there is an influx of young talent. Many of these fighters are starting to take on big fights and also have begun to call each other out. Teofimo Lopez and Gervonta Davis both made big splashes in the last 2 weeks with signature victories. Now in this arms race of attention it is Devin Haney’s turn to seize the moment. The card is supported by an all undefeated A-side column and has showcase fights across the board. Don’t expect anything competitive but it is a good chance to see some prospects show off their skillsets. Undefeated heavyweights Zhang Zhilei and Filip Hrgovic top the undercard. Both are undefeated and rated in the top 10 of multiple organizations. Neither is in tough here but I expect in 2021 that both will make a move.
Fox Hosts a nigh of heavyweights from the Microsoft Theater in LA
41 year-old Cuban heavyweight contender Luis Ortiz climbs back inside the ring for the first time in 2020 almost an entire year since his loss to Deontay Wilder. Ortiz waged two very interesting battles with Wilder and was on the cusp of victory in both contests. In the first fight he had Wilder stunned along the ropes and seemed to be winning the fight when he was eventually stopped in the later rounds of the fight. In their rematch he was winning 5-1 and 4-2 and had completely shutdown and out boxed Wilder. He had the WBC belt within his grasp twice and came up short. Ortiz needs to get a victory here to stay in the mix. With the titles consolidated under Fury and Joshua it will be harder to get a shot especially as Fury and Joshua aim to fight. A fight between champions may very well likely turn into a series and Wilder may try to intervene and there is also Usyk who awaits his shot too. Ortiz could very well be frozen out of the title picture until 2021 or 2022. Supporting Ortiz is fellow Cuban rising prospect Frank Sanchez who enters the ring at 28, 6’4″ with a record of 15-0 (11). He enters off the back of his wide points victory over tough Philly fighter Joey Dawejko. He faces Brian Howard of Georgia who has been featured on SHO Box in the past and despite his 15-3 record he has 12 knockouts and 6 of them in the first round. He is coming off a first round KO of Carlos Negron who is a capable fighter and this may prove a risk for Sanchez who has not faced any serious punchers yet. Also featured is thirty-four year-old heavyweight Michael Polite Coffie who enters against Joey Abell. Coffie is a pretty big heavyweight scaling in the high 260’s to as high as 282 and stands 6’5″ and has 7 KO’s in his 10 win undefeated start. Despite the nice looking record he has not been matched tough in his career. Abell is the type of fighter who will come after you and make it a fight but rarely goes the distance. He is 35-10 and has 33 wins by KO and 7 of his losses by KO. At 39 I am surprised to see “Minnesota Ice” still fighting. He has been a pro since 2005 and got his start at the famed Blue Horizon in Philadelphia and has shared the ring with current champion Tyson Fury. He has also competed in 6 different countries: the US, Canada, St Lucie, Sweden, Germany, and Poland. Also on the card is Carlos Negron on the comeback trail following his back to back KO defeats he rebounded with a first round KO over 19-0 Robert Alfonso. He faces 11-2 Rafael Rios who is 11-2 with 8 KO’s 35 years old out of Mexico. Lots of firepower on this card all together.
ESPN Las Vegas
Terrence Crawford defends his WBO welterweight belt for the first time in 2020 against former IBF welterweight champion Kell Brook. With Lomachenko’s loss to Lopez there is a possibility to see some pieces shuffle in the pound for pound rankings. Many observers have Crawford at 1 or 2 and with Lomachenko’s defeat and here is a chance for Crawford to score a big win and solidify his status in the sport. This is Crawford’s biggest threat in a while, possibly the riskiest fight since he fought Viktor Postol or Yuriorkis Gamboa. Crawford has names on his resume but many on paper did not seem to be much of a problem. Brook is a little bit of an enigma in a sense that we have seen him at his best. He defeated Shawn Porter for the IBF Welterweight Championship in 2014 by decision and certainly had less trouble with Porter than Errol Spence and Keith Thurman. After defending the title three times against world class but less thank satisfying opposition he jumped two weight classes to face Gennady Golovkin. In fact, he faced Golovkin and Spence back to back at a time when the pair were considered two of the most dangerous and most avoided guys in boxing. He suffered two stoppage losses after his orbital bone was injured in both fights. He accounted himself well against Golovkin and had a lead on Spence throughout much of the fight before coming apart late. When it seemed like the injuries had derailed his career he got back on track at 154 lbs. and claimed three straight victories in dominant fashion though not at the highest level. I think Brook will bring the best out of Crawford in what should be a fantastic fight off of PPV.
Boxrec lists only one undercard bout confirmed between Joshua Franco and Andrew Maloney for the WBA Bantamweight belt. The other bouts listed on ESPN are not confirmed on Boxrec. Listed on ESPN are the returns of previously featured MGM Bubble fighters Duke Ragan and Elvis Rodriguez who are young undefeated prospects who have created some excitement. Joshua Greer Jr is also back following his loss to Mike Plania this past summer.
Three Women’s title fights headline DAZN in London
Eddie Hearn and Matchroom Boxing continue to push women’s boxing into the spotlight in 2020 with a fight card topped with some of the best female talent in boxing. Katie Taylor and Terri Harper return to the ring after just three months following their tough bouts in August. Taylor won a decision over rival Delfine Persoon in a grueling fight in a rematch of their 2019 thriller. Taylor goes old school with the quick turn around and faces undefeated Spanish contender Miriam Gutierrez. Terri Harper had a fight of the year type of battle with Natasha Jonas back in August that ended in a draw. She returns against another contender from Spain in Katherina Thanderz who is undefeated born in Norway. Also supporting the card is a vacant WBA Bantamweight clash between Rachel Ball and Jorgelina Guanini.
Conor Benn returns against Sebastian Formella on DAZN. Benn, the 24 year-old son of Nigel Benn looks to test his punching power against German fighter Formella who just went 12 rounds with Shawn Porter. Porter won a unanimous decision by shutout on all three score cards. For Benn this is a chance to use Formella as a yardstick to see where he stacks up with a fighter near the top of the division. A stoppage win here would be a statement and a way to show his power against a tough fighter.
Andrade and Jacobs headline DAZN in Florida
Danny Jacobs and Demetrius Andrade are fighting the same night in Hollywood, Florida but unfortunately they are not in the ring together. Jacobs has moved up to 168 after years at middleweight where he won a title and battled Canelo Alvarez and Gennady Golovkin. He faces Gabriel Rosado who I have watched for years and is very talented but has not won a significant fight since 2017. He might prove to be a difficult night out but I was kind of hoping for better out of Jacobs. Demetrius Andrade, the WBO Middleweight Champion, moves up to 168 to face Dusty Hernandez Harrison. I like Harrison but he is way above his best weight class and has done very little to prove he should be in the ring with Andrade. In all honesty I stay positive on this blog but the two fights headlining this card stink on paper and I can only hope these two are headlining the card in the lead up to a collision between these two.