Pick It: TBRB #1 Deontay Wilder vs. #2 Tyson Fury (Saturday, ESPN/Fox PPV, 9 PM EST)
What really needs to be said about this heavyweight showdown? Wilder (42-0-1, 41 KO) attempts his eleventh WBC title defense against the only man he hasn’t defeated. Fury (29-0-1, 20 KO), for those who recognize the claim, attempts his sixth defense of history’s crown. The first time, they fought to a memorable if debated draw. It feels like this time we get a winner.
Don’t be surprised if a clash between former heavyweight titlist Charles Martin and former challenger Gerald Washington turns into a wild show stealer on the night. Exciting Jr. featherweight titlist Emmanuel Navarrete is also in action. Call your friends. It’s a heavyweight night.
Additional Shows to Watch For
Friday – ESPN+ (2:30 PM EST): Golden Contract Semi-Finals
Fans who have been following the Golden Contract tournament at Jr. welterweight will be one step closer to the final after Friday. Ohara Davies (20-2, 15 KO) faces off with Jeff Ofori (10-1-1, 3 KO) while Tyrone McKenna (20-1-1, 6 KO) squares off with Mohamed Mimoune (22-3, 3 KO). Tournaments like this, or the Showtime super middleweight tournament that wasn’t the Super Six years ago, can be a lot of fun and this one is headed towards a solid finale.
Friday – ThompsonBoxing.com (8:05 PM EST): Torres vs. Cota
Lightweight hopefuls take center stage for this one. Ruben Torres (11-0, 9 KO) is yet another youthful prospect in the robust 135 lb. field with uncommon range at nearly 6’ tall. Gabino Cota (19-10-2, 17 KO) has been around the block and been stopped five times getting there.
Friday – Telemundo (11:35 PM EST): #10 Gonzalez vs. Juarez
There’s a little late night action at flyweight on tap and it could be good. Jonathan Gonzalez (22-3-1, 13 KO) makes his first start since a knockout loss in challenging Kosei Tanaka for a belt last summer. Saul Juarez (25-10-2, 13 KO) is a multiple time failed title challenger hanging on for one more shot. He too enters off a loss to former champ Ganigan Lopez. This is on the fringes at 112 lbs. but it could be fun.
Saturday – ESPN+ (3 PM EST): Reid vs. Foster
Prospect action tops the bill at Jr. featherweight in the hours before the big one. Lucien Reid (8-0-2, 4 KO) might be a contender one day but we’re not there yet. The same might be said for Brad Foster (11-0-2, 4 KO). Will one of them get their first loss on the ledger...or will both earn their third draw together.
Cliff Rold is the Managing Editor of BoxingScene, a founding member of the Transnational Boxing Rankings Board, and a member of the Boxing Writers Association of America. He can be reached at [email protected]