Fightful Boxing Newsletter (2/7/2019) Table of Contents:
- Anthony Joshua vs. Jarrell Miller Nearing Completion (Page 1)
- Top Rank on ESPN February 2 Results (Page 2)
- Ivan Baranchyk Done With World Boxing Super Series, Tournament Still Announces His Next Fight (Page 3)
- Other News And Notes (Page 4)
- Showtime Championship Boxing February 9 Preview (Page 5)
- Golden Boy Boxing on DAZN February 9 Preview (Page 6)
Anthony Joshua vs. Jarrell Miller Nearing Completion:
Two weeks ago, it appeared that unified heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua would defend his titles against long-time rival Dillian Whyte on April 13 at Wembley Stadium but that fight is now off the table.
With February already here and no real progress being made on negotiations, the fight has been officially scrapped as there is not enough time to properly build up the fight and not enough time for Whyte to get fully ready for a fight against Joshua.
Since Joshua vs. Whyte is no longer happening, the planned April 13 show at Wembley Stadium, which would have been a guaranteed sellout of 90,000 spectators, is no longer happening with no real main event set.
The main issue with negotiations ultimately came down to Whyte not being fully satisfied with his offer. After Whyte was given a lowball offer of £4 million, Matchroom Boxing promoter Eddie Hearn returned with another offer, but the offer was apparently not good enough for Whyte to accept or else we would have seen the fight announced by this time.
As such, Hearn and Joshua have moved on to their backup plan which is Joshua making his United States debut and fight unbeaten contender Jarrell Miller this summer. The idea is that Joshua fight Miller at Madison Square Garden in the main event of a boxing card streamed on DAZN in early June, although a specific date has yet to be set in stone.
Contrary to some reports, the two sides have yet to sign the contract to make the fight official, but both sides are nearing completion. An announcement was expected to be made this week, but as of this writing, no such announcement has been made.
So where does this leave Whyte? Hearn recently told Boxing Social in an interview that he plans to make an upcoming boxing card at the O2 Arena on April 20 a big heavyweight night headlined by Whyte's return to the ring. At least four heavyweight fights are being planned to take place, with the top of the card shaping up to look like this:
- Dillian Whyte vs. Dominic Breazeale/Luis Ortiz/Alexander Povetkin
- Dereck Chisora vs. Joseph Parker
- David Allen vs. Lucas Browne (already signed and set to happen in April according to Hearn)
- Michael Hunter vs. Carlos Takam
Right now, the one most likely to land the fight against Whyte would be Breazeale. The fight would be at least a title eliminator for the WBC championship being held by Deontay Wilder. Wilder is currently close to securing a rematch against Tyson Fury, meaning Breazeale won’t get a shot at WBC’s title for quite some time. The fight would be an adequate main event and likely would be on pay-per-view in the United Kingdom. Even though that fight would be nowhere near a pay-per-view main event in the United States, the United Kingdom operates very differently and Whyte is a very solid draw in the region. With that proposed lineup, it would actually fetch for a decent buyrate in the United Kingdom.
As for Joshua, getting a chance to fight in the United States is a good first step into becoming a global superstar in the sport. Joshua is a rather special talent, but him fighting in the United Kingdom for his entire career has turned him into a megastar while severely limiting his notoriety in the United States. The plan is for Joshua to headline Madison Square Garden, but don’t expect a sellout for his U.S. debut against Miller. Miller has not shown to be a proven big-fight draw yet and with his last few fights having very little reach fighting on DAZN and on HBO Boxing undercards, not many even know who Miller is.
The challenge here is going to be selling the fight to a New York crowd in the heart of baseball season. How do you get 20,000 people to come to a fight involving a British boxer and a New Yorker who is not the biggest boxing draw among fighters from that region. So far, Hearn and DAZN has failed to make boxing cards that can be sellouts on a regular basis, but if they can get a solid gate and plenty of new subscribers to DAZN for the Joshua fight at MSG, it will rekindle hope that Hearn and Matchroom Boxing USA can succeed in the American boxing market that is already starting to be saturated with with PBC and Top Rank leading the helm and UFC streaming a boxing card every other week or so on its Fight Pass platform.
Top Rank on ESPN/ESPN+ February 2 Results:
Top Rank’s first major boxing card of the year had plenty of newsworthy events, including two new world champions, a controversial finish to the co-main event and a potential unification bout being secured.
In the main event, Sergey Kovalev dominated Eleider Alvarez to win back the WBO light heavyweight title in a rematch of their August 2018 matchup that saw Alvarez win the WBO title by knocking out Kovalev in the seventh round.
The fight also crowned a new IBF lightweight champion in Richard Commey after a four-minute win against Isa Chaniev. Commey dominated from the start of the fight and then ended it after two knockdowns, putting him in line for a unification bout against Vasiliy Lomachenko, who holds the WBA and WBO titles.
The way this card was constructed was exactly the same way in which UFC did its first ESPN show last month. The early prelim card would be shown only on ESPN+, followed by a strong prelim card on ESPN television and ending it with a main card on ESPN+ once more.
UFC proved that this formula does work given that more than 500,000 people signed up for ESPN+ to watch the event from the Barclays Center in Brooklyn. A similar formula, should in theory, produce lots of new subscribers since the card featured Alvarez vs. Kovalev and Teofimo Lopez in action.
While it is obvious that the Top Rank card did not get 500,000 new ESPN+ subscribers, it likely did push the streaming platform to two million subscribers, which will further fuel Top Rank to produce more big shows on the platform versus television.
As far as what the television ratings were for the February 2 show from Texas, the ESPN TV card averaged 880,000 viewers and a 0.57 household rating (0.25 in the 18-49 demographic). Those numbers are probably not what ESPN wanted, especially with two world titles being featured, but given that the focus of the show was on the main event and that the television card didn’t start until 10 p.m. ET.
Overall, the event wasn’t bad by any stretch of the imagination, but given that none of the top four fights were even remotely competitive and that you had stay all the way up until 1:45 a.m. ET to watch the end does work in Top Rank’s favor.
The next boxing card on ESPN is a rare Sunday card from Fresno, California on February 10. The main event is Jose Ramirez vs. Jose Zepeda for the WBC junior welterweight title and the co-main event is Raymundo Beltran vs. Hiroki Okada in a junior welterweight bout.
Top Rank on ESPN/ESPN+ February 2 Results:
Sergey Kovalev defeated Eleider Alvarez by unanimous decision (120-108, 116-112, 116-112/Author’s scorecard: 118-110) to win the WBO light heavyweight title: The two boxers had met in the main event of an HBO-televised card from Atlantic City last August with Alvarez scoring the victory and winning the title by stopping Kovalev in the seventh round. In the rematch, Kovalev did everything in his power to avoid a similar result. The fight opened up with less fireworks than their first encounter, but Alvarez managed to sneak a left hand to the body at the end of the first round as the two boxers were still finding their range. Kovalev would then go on to outwork Alvarez shortly afterwards, throwing combination after combination to not give Alvarez a chance to retaliate. Whenever Alvarez would put both of his hands up to defend against Kovalev's straight left hands, Kovalev would throw a right hook around Alvarez's guard and into the side of his head, a tactic that worked at various points during the fight. Alvarez did manage to stun Kovalev a couple of times in the middle rounds, but beyond that, there was little that Alvarez did for the rest of the fight. Kovalev continued to bully Alvarez around the ring, having no problem connecting on key jabs and counter hooks to win a majority of the rounds. Even in the final round, Kovalev still worked more and hit harder than Alvarez despite being comfortably up on the scorecards, proving to the boxing world that their encounter in Atlantic City was merely a result of Kovalev overtraining for that fight and not having enough gas in the tank to execute his gameplan back then. According to CompuBox, Kovalev threw a total of 816 punches throughout the 12 rounds against Alvarez, landing 213 of them (26 percent). Alvarez was much less active, throwing for just 369 total punches and landing 111 of them (30 percent). Kovalev also outlanded Alvarez in jabs (60 to 33) and in power punches (153 to 78).
Teofimo Lopez defeated Jessie Magdaleno by KO, round 7: Initially, the idea that Magdaleno, a former title challenger and respected veteran, would challenge Lopez and pressure him at times seemed to be the idea in order to prove Lopez is capable of overcoming adversity inside the ring. That turned out to be nowhere near reality as Lopez dominated Magdaleno, almost making him look like a rookie by comparison. Lopez scored a knockdown in the sixth round and Magdaleno hadn’t shown anything that would indicate he could turn the tide against Lopez. Lopez knocked out Magdaleno in the seventh round and did his usual big celebration by backflipping and then motioning to Magdaleno, who still had not fully recovered from the knockout. The general reaction to the celebration was negative as many claimed it was unprofessional to do something like that when Magdaleno was still essentially out, but Lopez responded by saying Magdaleno talked a lot of trash before and even during the fight and that he had it coming. Regardless of what you think of the celebration, Lopez proved that he is ready for the big fights at lightweight and is a future star if Top Rank plays its cards right. Lopez is bilingual, talks well, is media-friendly, scores incredible knockouts and is very flashy inside the ring. In terms of what you’re looking for in a potential star to build your promotion around, Lopez has pretty much all the tools needed. The hope is to get him an eventual shot at Vasiliy Lomachenko, but that won’t happen until 2020 at the very least as Lomachenko is likely to unify a total three titles against Richard Commey and then defend his WBA title against mandatory challenger Anthony Crolla.
Oscar Valdez defeated Carmine Tommasone by KO, round 7 to retain the WBO featherweight title: Tommasone offered little danger to Valdez from the start as Valdez had no problem taking what few punches Tommasone landed on Valdez. The champion would outbox Tommasone throughout the fight, but it was in the fourth round where Valdez started dropping his opponent left and right. Valdez scored two knockdowns in the fourth round, followed by another one in the sixth round. Valdez ended his night with a body shot that immediately stopped the fight nine seconds into the seventh round. According to CompuBox, Valdez landed 88 of his 293 total punches (30 percent) and 47 of 122 of his power shots (39 percent). As for Tommasone, he only landed 49 of his 300 total punches thrown in the fight (16 percent).
Richard Commey defeated Isa Chaniev by TKO, round 2 to win the vacant IBF lightweight title: Commey started off by dominating Chaniev, landing several power punches with ease. Commey got the first knockdown with a strong 1-2 combination that began with a left hook and then a straight right hand to Chaniev, dropping him to the canvas. Chaniev was very slow to get up and appeared to not have fully recovered from getting dropped but the fight continued. Commey dropped Chaniev early in the second round with a left hook, eventually stopping Chaniev to win the world title. Now that Commey has a world title, he appears set to face Lomachenko on April 12 to unify the WBA, WBO and IBF 135-pound titles. The winner would then be one title away from being considered the undisputed lightweight champion.
Ivan Baranchyk Done With World Boxing Super Series, Tournament Still Announces His Next Fight:
Current IBF junior welterweight champion Ivan Baranchyk has decided to withdraw from the World Boxing Super Series
Dave McWater, the manager for IBF junior welterweight champion Ivan Baranchyk, told ESPN that his fighter is withdrawing from the WBSS over finances, lack of communication between him and tournament officials and the scheduling of the semifinal bouts.
Originally, the semifinals for the three tournaments -- one at bantamweight, junior welterweight and cruiserweight -- were supposed to take place sometime in early 2019 but not a single semifinal fight has a date or venue announced. The tournament was reportedly delayed due to tournament organizers having financial problems, some of which include not paying certain fighters their bonuses on time for their quarterfinal bouts.
"We are definitely pulling out. Ivan was supposed to fight [Josh] Taylor in Glasgow [Scotland] in late May. That was what I was hearing, but they haven't spoken to any of us, not me, not [co-promoter] Lou [DiBella]," McWater said.
ESPN reached out to Comosa AG, who organized the tournament, and was sent the following statement:
"We have not received any notice of Ivan Baranchyk pulling out of the tournament. Ivan Baranchyk was paid a very large sum to challenge for a vacant title and the WBSS and its shareholders have invested hugely into its brand. Its contracts are watertight and any failure to meet them will be met with the very hardest of consequences. This applies to all fighters and also to promoters, managers and agents alike."
Just less than 24 hours after the ESPN report, the World Boxing Super Series announced that Baranchyk would face Josh Taylor on May 18 at the SSE Hydro in Glasgow, Scotland. Although one would consider the timing of the announcement and the report being so close a coincidence (Kalle Sauerland said the week prior that semifinal bouts would be announced in the coming days), but it is suspicious timing when one also considers the fact that no other tournament bout wouldn’t get announced until several days later.
In addition to the Taylor vs. Baranchyk fight being given a date and venue, Comosa AG released a statement on Twitter that states the following:
“WBSS has built in one year a huge brand in the boxing world and attracted the best talent to its series and is committed to bringing Season 2 to the next level.
Rest assured that WBSS boxing contracts are watertight and WBSS is determined to enforce any failure to comply wherever and whenever it occurs and whatever it takes.
This directed not only to all fighters but also to any all promoters, managers and agents as well as to third parties of any kind and wherever they are that attempt to tortiously interfere with our agreements or the running of the tournament.”
The problems are now reportedly even extending to Regis Prograis, the No. 1 seed in the entire 140-pound tournament. According to Mike Coppinger, there is uncertainty surrounding Prograis’ participation in the tournament. As it stands, organizers are still moving ahead with his planned WBA title fight against Kiryl Relikh, potentially set to take place in April in Prograis’ hometown of New Orleans. If the fight does indeed happen, a potential co-main event for that fight would be the WBA “Super” and WBO bantamweight title unification between Nonito Donaire and Zolani Tete, which is a WBSS 118-pound tournament semifinal bout.
Although the tournament is a great concept for getting several big fights done in boxing, the last six months or so proved that there is no better time to be a promotional or broadcast free agent than at any other time in history with all the money being thrown around from various networks and boxing companies to secure these free agents.
With boxers being tied down to the World Boxing Super Series, they are missing out on potential multi-million dollar contracts to fight on either Fox, Showtime or ESPN. The problem with the WBSS is that if they don’t put out fights on a regular basis, then any momentum gained would be wasted. Even now, the tournament has generated close to zero buzz, save for the Naoya Inoue knockout win that took place last year in the bantamweight quarterfinals and the junior welterweight quarterfinals in its entirety. Other than that, the boxing world isn’t really discussing the WBSS, meaning it has to get work its way up to relevance once more.
But because the tournament is still solving its issues and has yet to announce the rest of the semifinal bouts, it’s hard to expect anyone to be excited for the tournament if the future is unclear.
Other News And Notes:
- Matchroom Boxing held a card at the O2 Arena in London on February 2 with a main event of Sergio Garcia vs. Ted Cheeseman for the European junior middleweight title. Garcia won the fight by unanimous decision (119-109, 119-109, 115-114) and I had Garcia winning 118-110. The fight was mildly entertaining but it ultimately boiled down to Cheeseman trying to be aggressive and move forward, but Garcia was able to fight moving back all too well. Garcia, not known to be a very hard puncher, targeted Cheeseman's head throughout the fight and by the end, it was pretty bruised but didn't look too bad. Cheeseman showed heart, but was not on Garcia's level. In my opinion, Garcia is the best European fighter at 154 pounds (I would favor him over the likes of Kell Brook and Magomed Kurbanov), but he doesn't have a lot of notoriety out west. The best hope for Garcia to have a world title shot would be against WBO champion Jaime Munguia provided that Munguia wins his next fight against (presumably) mandatory challenger Dennis Hogan.
- I expected that we would hear some news regarding the Gennady Golovkin free agency sometime this week, but the latest is that Golovkin was rumored to have been offered a two-fight deal worth around $45 million with the idea that the former middleweight champion faces Canelo Alvarez in a third fight in September. PBC offered Golovkin a two-fight deal with each fight paying eight figures and a fall date against interim WBC middleweight champion Jermall Charlo. In reality, this isn't anything new per se except for the reported figures as it was pretty much common knowledge that those two different fights would be in play for Golovkin should he sign with either PBC or DAZN. As previously written here on the newsletter, it all really comes down to what Golovkin prioritizes more: fighting in front of the biggest television audience out there (PBC) or fighting the best in the middleweight division and win more world titles (DAZN). With that being said, DAZN is still the perceived favorite to sign Golovkin.
- Former world title challenger Vanes Martirosyan announced on Twitter that he is retiring although his retirement tweet was worded very weirdly. Martirosyan said promoter Don King has not been keeping him busy and pretty much put the blame on King since he's only had one fight since signing with him and that was the May 2018 bout against Gennady Golovkin.
I am retired from boxing thanks to Don KING and everybody at Don KING.— Vanes Martirosyan (@VanesBoxing) February 4, 2019
I have much more to give to the sport I’m Not getting any younger I will be coaching boxing from now on Im retired from Fighting thanks Don.
I decided to retire from the sport of boxing because of Don King Everyone At Don King.— Vanes Martirosyan (@VanesBoxing) February 5, 2019
I signed to fight And he only gave me one fight in 2years and that was GGG on 2weeks notice shit it could of been wilder I still would of took the fight I love Fighting Don Killed My Dreams --
Im going through some really tough times and horrible thoughts in my Head people don’t know what it’s like to be a Fighter The depression and what we deal with outside of the Ring. God Bless everyone I Love Boxing I made mistakes and I’m not gonna let it kill me.— Vanes Martirosyan (@VanesBoxing) February 5, 2019
- On an interview with Fight Hype, Matchroom Boxing promoter Eddie Hearn stated undisputed cruiserweight champion Oleksandr Usyk wants to fight the likes of Alexander Povetkin, Joseph Parker and Luis Ortiz in a potential heavyweight bout on May 18 in the United States. Usyk still has not formally announced that he is moving up in weight and vacating his cruiserweight titles because he wants to hold on to those titles for as long as possible, giving him some time to think about his future plans. But as it stands, everything seems to point towards Usyk making the jump to heavyweight. That potential May 18 card could also feature Callum Smith's first WBA "Super" super middleweight title defense since winning it last year when he defeated George Groves in the World Boxing Super Series finals.
- The WBA have granted lightweight champion Vasiliy Lomachenko an exception to unify with IBF champion Richard Commey instead of having to face mandatory challenger Anthony Crolla. The idea is that Lomachenko unified the WBA, WBO and IBF titles against Commey in Los Angeles in April, then move forward with the fight against Crolla. The exception will only be valid if the unification fight happens in April and that fight is up in the air after it was revealed on February 2 that Commey hurt his hand in his title win against Isa Chaniev. On February 7, Commey will have a hand scan to find out if he will be able to fight Lomachenko in April.
- In similar WBA news, the organization has also granted super bantamweight champion Daniel Roman an exception to unify with IBF champion TJ Doheny instead of facing mandatory challenger Murodjon Akhmadaliev. Doheny signed with Matchroom Boxing to fight on DAZN and plan out a title unification against Roman for later this spring. One idea is to have the unification fight take place in Los Angeles on the same card that Srisaket Sor Rungvisai makes his DAZN debut. The plan for now is to have Sor Rungvisai, the WBC super flyweight champion, face off against mandatory challenger Juan Francisco Estrada.
- The WBC stated that the super featherweight world title fight between Miguel Berchelt and Francisco Vargas, set for March 23, has been postponed due to a hand injury Berchelt is still recovering from. Right now, the plan is to potentially have the fight rescheduled for May 11.
- As expected, Showtime will broadcast the James DeGale vs. Chris Eubank Jr. fight in the United States taking place on February 23 at the O2 Arena in London. The fight is the first PBC card to take place in the United Kingdom since signing a broadcast deal with ITV. Showtime will also air the heavyweight bout between Joe Joyce and former world champion Bermane Stiverne.
- Johnny Garton will make his first British welterweight title defense against Chris Jenkins on March 8 at Royal Albert Hall. The main event of that card is Daniel Dubois vs. Razvan Cojanu.
Showtime Championship Boxing February 9 Preview:
Showtime’s first Championship Boxing event of 2019, scheduled to take place in Carson, California had to undergo a major change to the main event.
Gervonta Davis was originally scheduled to defend his WBA “Super” super featherweight title against three-division world champion Abner Mares, but Mares had to withdraw from the fight with less than two weeks before the fight. In Mares’ place is former world champion Hugo Ruiz, who didn’t
It was initially announced that Mares suffered a right elbow injury that forced him to withdraw. Mares revealed on the “Inside PBC Boxing” show that the real reason he withdrew was due to a detached retina that had occurred during sparring in late January and underwent surgery on January 30.
“I got hit in the eye. I felt the pain, but I went through it. I still sparred. I came back on Friday [January 25] for another sparring session, I got hit again. It’s a contact sport. And my eye got super red. And it was that Friday and Saturday [January 25 and 26] where I started seeing clouds and just blurred vision and I told my wife and my wife was like, ‘You got to get it checked.’ I said, 'No, I’m good.' Friday [January 28] came and I was gonna go to the gym. I had another sparring session ready for Friday [January 28], but my wife insisted I go see the doctor. So, she won and I went to the doctor. He said, 'Abner, you have a detached retina. You’re not gonna be able to fight,'" Mares said.
The last couple of weeks have been anything but quiet for Ruiz. Ruiz was originally scheduled to fight Jhack Tepora for the interim WBA featherweight title on the Manny Pacquiao vs. Adrien Broner pay-per-view card from Las Vegas on January 19. Tepora was massively overweight and Ruiz's title shot was gone as he then faced Alberto Guevara at that event. Ruiz would go on to win that fight comfortably by unanimous decision.
Although Ruiz is coming into the fight as a massive underdog, it’s not like he doesn’t have the tools to pull off the upset. Firstly, Ruiz is a former world champion at super bantamweight and was a former interim titleholder at bantamweight, but he’s actually around 5’9.5” meaning he is much taller than Davis. Secondly, Ruiz has fast hands and a strong puncher, winning 33 of his 39 fights by knockout so he carries a lot of power for someone who fights around those weight classes.
Despite the change in opponent, Davis told me in a recent media conference call is actually not sweating it and is content that the training camp he had was still good enough to prepare him for Ruiz. Even so, Davis said he usually makes his adjustments inside the ring during a fight and is simply eager to get back to fighting.
"This camp I actually sparred different types of guys. I sparred someone that’s come after me. He was much taller with a longer reach, so I thank him for the work and things like that because now I needed it. I’m excited. Nothing other than training. We’ll adapt to whatever was in front of us, so. I’m just excited to see what he brings February 9. I’m just excited. This is my first main event in the US, so like I said I’m in a great space right now. I know that 2019 is very big for me and I’m just soaking it all in. I don’t feel like I should be nervous though when you have good food on your plate. I’m just, I’m ready," Davis said.
The full card is a massive one with a total of 14 fights currently scheduled for the event, but there is a good chance at least one fight ends up being canceled for one reason or another. Three fights are going to be shown on Showtime television while two more are going to be streamed on Showtime’s social media platforms.
Showtime TV card:
- Gervonta Davis vs. Hugo Ruiz: WBA "Super" super featherweight title
- Mario Barrios vs. Richard Zamora
- Sharif Bogere vs. Javier Fortuna
Showtime online stream card:
- Juan Heraldez vs. Eddie Ramirez
- Erickson Lubin vs. Ishe Smith
- Angelo Leo vs. Alberto Torres
- Xavier Martinez vs. Deivi Julio Bassa
- Maurice Lee vs. Lennard Davis
- Lorenzo Simpson vs. Jonell Christmas
- Genisis Libranza vs. Gilberto Mendoza
- Francisco Ochoa vs. Luis May
- Jose Balderas vs. Jerrod Miner
- Emmanuel Medina vs. Carlos Winston Velasquez
- Angel Carvajal vs. Israel Luna
Tale of the Tape: Gervonta Davis vs. Hugo Ruiz:
Record: 20-0 (19 KO)
Notable Fights: Jesus Cuellar, Liam Walsh, Jose Pedraza
Titles Won: IBF Super Featherweight, WBA "Super" Super Featherweight titles
Record: 39-4 (33 KO)
Notable Fights: Hozumi Hasegawa, Julio Ceja, Koki Kameda
Titles Won: WBC Super Bantamweight, Interim WBA Bantamweight titles
Golden Boy Boxing on DAZN February 9 Preview:
DAZN and Golden Boy Promotions will its next boxing card on February 9 in Indio, California headlined by two world title fights: Alberto Machado vs. Andrew Cancio for the WBA “Regular” super featherweight title and Rey Vargas vs. Franklin Manzanilla for the WBC super bantamweight title.
There’s no real compelling fights on this card with both title fights essentially being stay-busy fights for the respective champions. Machado, who was relegated from “Super” to “Regular” champion to make way for Gervonta Davis to win Machado’s old belt, will be making his third title defense since claiming the belt in 2017. There had been clamors for Davis and Machado to fight each other to crown the true WBA champion at 130 pounds. But with both fighters being under different promoters, such a fight is unlikely to ever happen.
Vargas, on the other hand does have a big fight waiting in the wings beyond the fight against Manzanilla. While Vargas had to deal with numerous injuries, an interim champion was crowned in Tomoki Kameda, meaning Vargas will fight Kameda should he defeat Manzanilla. Vargas has been the division’s longest reigning active champion, but has never had a big-time fight to be considered the best in the division, despite his impressive frame at 122 pounds.
The long-term plan for Vargas could be a potential three-belt unification against the winner of the eventual Daniel Roman vs. TJ Doheny fight for the WBA and IBF titles. With all three of those champions fighting with promoters working with DAZN, such a fight is doable, but requires a lot of planning that won’t be discussed for quite some time.
The rest of the undercard has several interesting names that do the give the event a solid amount of depth from top to bottom. Names such as Oscar Duarte, Azat Hovhannisyan, Tureano Johnson and Joseph Diaz are all scheduled to be on the card with a good chance of all those fighters making the cut to be on the DAZN stream.
Below is the full card:
- Alberto Machado vs. Andrew Cancio: WBA "Regular" super featherweight title
- Rey Vargas vs. Franklin Manzanilla: WBC super bantamweight title
- Oscar Duarte vs. Adrian Estrella
- Azat Hovhannisyan vs. Lolito Sonsona
- Genaro Gamez vs. Ivan Delgado
- Ferdinand Kerobyan vs. Erick Daniel Martinez
- Rommel Caballero vs. Javier Rojas
- Joseph Diaz vs. Charles Huerta
- Tureano Johnson vs. Fernando Castaneda
Tale of the Tape: Alberto Machado vs. Andrew Cancio:
Record: 21-0 (17 KO)
Notable Fights: Jezreel Corrales
Titles Won: WBA "Super" Super Featherweight, WBA "Regular" Super Featherweight titles
Record: 19-4-2 (14 KO)
Notable Fights: Joseph Diaz, Rene Alvarado, Ronny Rios
Titles Won: WBA Intercontinental Super Featherweight title
Tale of the Tape: Rey Vargas vs. Franklin Manzanilla
Record: 32-0 (22 KO)
Notable Fights: Ronny Rios, Gavin McDonnell
Titles Won: WBC Super Bantamweight title
Record: 18-4 (17 KO)
Notable Fights: Julio Ceja
Titles Won: WBC Silver Super Bantamweight title