May 25: Kissimmee, Florida (ESPN):
Masayuki Ito vs. Jamel Herring (WBO super featherweight title): Jamel Herring’s long road to a world title opportunity concludes when he takes on Masayuki Ito for the WBO super featherweight title in Florida. The date of the fight is more momentous for Herring, a former Marine who did two tours of duty in Iraq, as it falls on Memorial Day weekend. Since losing two losses to Denis Shafikov and Ladarius Miller in 2016 and 2017, respectively, Herring would go on to get dominant wins in his three fights last year. Ito capitalized on the opportunity presented to him in the aftermath of Vasiliy Lomachenko vacating the WBO 130-pound title by soundly beating Christopher Diaz last year. Since then, Ito did make one title defense, an impressive seventh-round stoppage win over Evgeny Chuprakov on December 30. A win over Herring would open the door to a unification fight against WBC champion Miguel Berchelt, who will be attending the fight to scout his potential next opponent.
May 25: Biloxi, Mississippi (Fox Sports 1):
Austin Trout vs. Terrell Gausha: PBC returns with a card in Mississippi headlined by two junior middleweight contenders where a win for either man could put him on the track to challenge for a title in the future given how PBC has three of the four major world titles. Trout, a former champion at 154 pounds, was unsuccessful in capturing the WBC title last summer when he faced Jermell Charlo. Despite this, Trout still remains a fairly solid fighter in the division, but his best days are starting to end at 33 years old. Gausha was on the receiving end of a dominant performance from Erislandy Lara for the WBA title in a fight that was recognized as one of the least exciting world title fights of 2017. Since then, Gausha spent more than a year away from the sport and bounced back with a first-round knockout win over Joey Hernandez. A win over Trout would redeem Gausha in the eyes of many in the sport and could give him one last boost to challenge for another world title.
May 25: Oxon Hill, Maryland (DAZN):
Devin Haney vs. Antonio Moran (WBO Intercontinental lightweight title): Devin Haney, Matchroom Boxing’s latest big American signing is making his DAZN debut as the main event of a card in Maryland after the unfortunate bicep injury Oleksandr Usyk suffered that prevented him from fighting Carlos Takam in his heavyweight debut. Haney was in the conversation of being in line to face Luke Campbell for the vacant WBC lightweight title until the spot was given to Lomachenko. Clearly frustrated with the news, promoter Eddie Hearn will look towards building up Haney as a bigger star and legitimate main event fighter in the hopes that Haney gets his title shot soon. He will be taking on Antonio Moran, a fringe contender who’s on the edge of the WBO lightweight rankings but has fought former champion Jose Pedraza in a fight in June 2018 that was very close, losing on all three scorecards with scores of 96-94 across the board. The fight itself will likely be mildly competitive, but Haney could really raise his stock as someone ready to take on the top fighters at 135 pounds if he could easily dispatch of Moran.
Jessica McCaskill vs. Anahi Sanchez (Unified WBA/WBC Female junior welterweight titles): This is the lone world title fight on the card. McCaskill has bounced back nicely since losing to unified lightweight champion Katie Taylor back in 2017. In her lone fight since that loss to Taylor, McCaskill had a homecoming fight in Chicago and dominated Erica Anabella Farias to captured the WBC junior welterweight title. Anahi Sanchez has built up quite the resume, winning world titles and interim belts across four weight classes and a win against McCaskill would certainly elevate her back up to a potential spot in the top 10 pound-for-pound list in women’s boxing.
May 25: Manchester, England:
Hughie Fury vs. Chris Norrad: Hughie Fury, cousin to Tyson Fury, has been out of commission for several months to the point where he had to vacate his British heavyweight title. With a number of young British heavyweights slowly making their way up to title contention, Hughie’s career is at a bit of a crossroads. Hughie unsuccessfully challenged for the WBO heavyweight title back in 2017 and lost an IBF heavyweight title eliminator against Kubrat Pulev last October. Since then, Fury has been out with injuries and is now looking to get his career back on track. A fight against Norrad should help shake off the ring rust and a dominant performance could send Fury back in contention for any of the BBBofC-sanctioned titles. Given how Hughie is still only 24 years old, he could still blossom into a world title contender.
May 25: Jelenia Gora, Poland:
Ewa Brodnicka vs. Jareth Perez (WBO Female super featherweight title): Brodnicka has been one of the division’s top fighters for the last couple of years after starting as a junior welterweight and lightweight, where she was a former EBU European champion. Brodnicka has held at least the interim version of the world title since 2017, but hasn’t fought anyone of Perez’s resume yet during her time as a world champion. Perez, a former WBA and IBF bantamweight champion, has made the transition to featherweight rather nicely, winning her last four fights with two of them coming from inside the distance. But the level of competition Perez has faced as of late has been subpar at best and downright awful at worst, and will be the much smaller woman coming into the fight. However, Perez’s resume does mean she knows how to her perform against top competition, but like Brodnicka, Perez hasn’t faced anyone like her since moving up to featherweight.
May 26: Fuzhou, China:
Can Xu vs. Shun Kubo (WBA “Regular” featherweight title): The most loaded card of the weekend is one that will probably get the least amount of attention in the western side of the world aside from the card in Poland will have two potential Fight of the Year candidates. The first one is for the WBA “Regular” featherweight title between Can Xu and Shun Kubo. Xu, one of a select few pro Chinese boxers to win a world title, won the belt back in January with a dominant and very entertaining win against Jesus Rojas. Returning home to his home country and headline one of the biggest boxing cards in recent memory. Kubo, a former super bantamweight champion, is looking to become a two-time champion and after a tough test from Hiroshige Osawa last year, Kubo feels ready to face off against one of the better punchers at 126 pounds.
Carlos Canizales vs. Sho Kimura (WBA “Regular” light flyweight title): Although not the main event, the fight between Carlos Canizales and Sho Kimura could be the one that steals the show and even end up as one of the most action-packed fights of the year. The question that will be answered in this fight will be how effective Kimura will be after having to drop the necessary weight. After all, he wasn’t a small flyweight when he was the WBO world champion and was still competing at flyweight as recently as March. Provided that Kimura can successfully make weight and feel good at 108 pounds, he and Canizales are sure to provide fireworks. Kimura’s last title fight was an incredibly wild slugfest against Kosei Tanaka, a fight that was regarded by many as the best of 2018. Canizales’ title reign has been somewhat unorthodox. After a fairly close decision win against Reiya Konishi in March 2018, Canizales then defended his title against Bin Lu, a Chinese boxer in his second pro bout, and dominated him last July.
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