Pick It: Vergil Ortiz vs. Samuel Vargas (Friday, DAZN, 8 PM EST)
While there have been some spot shows on networks like CBS Sports, ESPN has largely had the game to themselves since June in the US. That changes this week as DAZN gets their toe back in the water with the return of one of the more highly regarded young talents in the game.
Ortiz (15-0, 15 KO) has building buzz at welterweight and that buzz should continue after his work here with veteran Samuel Vargas (31-5-2, 14 KO). Vargas has been stopped twice but enters off a win, if over a year ago in June 2019. Also notable on the card is lightweight Hector Tanajara (19-0, 5 KO) against battle tested Mercito Gesta (32-3-3, 17 KO) and a clash of unbeaten Jr. flyweights as Seniesa Estrada (18-0, 7 KO) tackles Miranda Atkins (5-0, 5 KO).
Additional Show to Watch For
Tuesday – Valdez vs. Velez (ESPN, 8 PM EST)
Former featherweight titlist and 2012 Olympian Oscar Valdez (27-0, 21 KO) makes his second step toward a crack at Jr. lightweight honors in the main event. He’ll face Jayson Velez (29-6-1, 21 KO) in what will be Valdez’s first live action since November 2019. Valdez came off the floor to win his last outing by stoppage. Velez is coming off a split decision loss in February after three straight wins. Also featured on this show will be the return of former Jr. featherweight titlist Isaac Dogboe (20-2, 14 KO). Dogboe is looking to put consecutive losses to Emanuel Navarette behind him against veteran Chris Avalos (27-7, 20 KO). Avalos has lost two straight.
Thursday – Chaniev vs. Melnyk (Fite.TV, 3:45 PM EST)
Afternoon lightweight action is available from Belarus for a small fee. Isa Chaniev (13-3, 6 KO) will try to stop a two-fight losing streak that included a loss to Richard Commey for the then-vacant IBF belt. Chaniev faces Vladyslav Melnyk (11-1, 6 KO). Melnyk has never been stopped and is riding a five-fight winning streak.
Friday – Miguez vs. Vazquez (Fite.TV, 1:30 PM EST)
For another small fee for the boxing starved, welterweight action from Spain. Jon Miguez (11-0, 5 KO) will make his 2020 debut against Avelino Vazquez (6-6) in what shouldn’t be too heavy a lift.
Cliff Rold is the Managing Editor of BoxingScene, a founding member of the Transnational Boxing Rankings Board, a member of the International Boxing Research Organization, and a member of the Boxing Writers Association of America. He can be reached at email@example.com