Fightful Boxing Newsletter (7/11/2019): Canelo Alvarez Update, Latest On Ruiz vs. Joshua 2, Weekend Preview

Weekend Preview:

Matchroom Boxing Italy on DAZN Preview (July 11, 1:30 p.m. ET on DAZN): It’s rare that DAZN has boxing on Thursdays, but Matchroom Boxing Italy is looking to capitalize on being the only big card in what is a very busy three-day period of fights. Of course, it is a Matchroom Boxing Italy card, so only hardcore fans will even care about this show. The top fight on the card is a middleweight bout between Emanuele Blandamura and Marcus Morrison. There’s nothing big on this card and Blandamura is almost 40 years old and way past his prime. Even if Morrison looks good against Morrison, it really doesn’t mean that he would be anywhere close to a big fight. This show usually has one or two noteworthy fights that are decently entertaining, but chances are, you wouldn’t be missing anything too groundbreaking on this show.

Amir Khan vs. Billy Dib Preview (July 12, 4 p.m. ET on Channel 5 in the United Kingdom): Much like WWE’s shows in Saudi Arabia, this event amounts to just being a spectacle that will ultimately have virtually zero impact on boxing overall. The main event will feature a past-his-prime Amir Khan facing Billy Dib, who fought at super featherweight less than one year ago. It’s hard to envision this being an entertaining fight, but there are some stakes added to the fight, which is a top five positioning in the WBC welterweight rankings. There’s a reason why no American broadcaster is even showing the event and that is the subpar quality of the card itself. The co-main event is a heavyweight bout between Hughie Fury and a 38-year-old Samuel Peter, which figures to be a subpar fight and an easy win for Fury. There is one fight that is at least halfway decent and that is a Lerato Dlamini and Dave Penalosa for the WBC Silver featherweight title and will likely end up being the best bout on the whole show. The winner of the fight could potentially move into the top 10 of the WBC featherweight rankings and become a dark horse for getting a title shot in 2020.

Rob Brant vs. Ryota Murata Preview (July 12, 7 a.m. ET on ESPN+): This might end up being one of the best cards of the weekend due to its two world title fights. The first is a WBC light flyweight title bout between Ken Shiro and Jonathan Taconing. While Shiro is a big favorite in this fight, he is still one of the most entertaining world champions in the lower weights and given his size advantage over Taconing, Shiro might be looking to go for an explosive knockout early in the fight. The main event is a rematch between Rob Brant and Ryota Murata for the WBA “Regular” middleweight title. Sure, the title itself shouldn’t even exist, but that is a different story for another day. Brant dominated Murata last October to win the title. Given how Murata bounced back from his pro loss to Hassan N’Dam in 2017, expect Murata to be a much more aggressive fighter from the start and find a way to neutralize Brant’s volume punching. Rarely do title rematches end up being significantly better than the first fight, but in this case, it’s hard to envision it not being a much more action-packed fight. Even with all the big fights this weekend, this fight has the makings to be the most exciting slugfest of the weekend.

Daniel Dubois vs. Nathan Gorman Preview (July 13, 2:45 p.m. ET on ESPN+): Top to bottom, this is one of the best non-major boxing shows in the United Kingdom in a very long time. Even with no world title fights on the card, the level of depth on this card is deep given the number of top prospects competing. In the main event, Daniel Dubois and Nathan Gorman will face each other for the vacant British heavyweight title in what is a rare fight between unbeaten prospects. Fights like these are incredibly rare in the United States and far more common in the United Kingdom due to how much more popular the sport is over there. A fight between prospects still fetches a solid payday for all parties involved and people realize that one loss doesn’t hurt their credibility too much and can easily be recovered. The winner of the fight isn’t going to be an immediate world title contender, but takes a big step forward into their career. As for the other noteworthy fights on the undercard, Joe Joyce will face former world title challenger Bryant Jennings for the WBA Gold heavyweight title. Joyce is on the verge of becoming a title contender and already owns a win over former champion Bermane Stiverne earlier this year and a win over Jennings would be another solid resume booster. Other fighters on the card are Liam Williams, Archie Sharp and Sunny Edwards all competing in separate bouts.

Rey Vargas vs. Tomoki Kameda Preview (July 13, 7 p.m. ET on DAZN): The WBC super bantamweight title is on the line when Rey Vargas and Tomoki Kameda meet in the main event in what is a very solid main event. Vargas is by far the tallest champion in the division, but Kameda is probably the toughest opponent Vargas has faced throughout his reign. Vargas has had issues with getting cut throughout his career and has been knocked down in the past, both things that will bode well for Kameda. The winner of the fight will more than likely be ordered to fight mandatory challenger Guillermo Rigondeaux next. Other card bouts include a potentially solid fight between Diego De La Hoya and Ronny Rios and highly-touted prospects Joet Gonzalez and Eduardo “Rocky” Hernandez competing in separate bouts. Overall, there is a lot to like about this fight, but given that it is competing directly with various other boxing cards, the show might get lost in the shuffle for a lot of boxing fans.

Shakur Stevenson vs. Alberto Guevara Preview (July 13, 10:30 p.m. ET on ESPN): The build to this event has been very strange in regards to the main event. Originally, Shakur Stevenson was supposed to fight Hairon Socarras, but Socarras withdrew from the fight. Then, it was announced that Stevenson would fight former title challenger Franklin Manzanilla, but then Manzanilla fell through as an opponent. Now Stevenson will face Alberto Guevara, a decent enough of a name for a third opponent, but it hardly mattered as Stevenson was heavily favored against all three opponents. With a win, Stevenson could be next in line for a WBO featherweight title shot as he is the No. 1 contender in the WBO rankings. The co-main event is an IBF bantamweight title eliminator between Joshua Greer Jr. and Nikolai Potapov where the winner is ranked No. 2 by the governing body.

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