Pick It: TBRB #1 Naoya Inoue vs. Michael Dasmarinas (Saturday, ESPN, 10:00 PM EST)
Quantity Saturday is here. A day loaded with main events featuring prohibitive favorites and interesting undercards doesn’t make for a clear pick of the week. This card gets the nod as it showcases the most highly regarded battler stepping into the ring this weekend. Saul Alvarez is widely seen as the leader in the clubhouse for best fighter in the world, regardless of size. Bantamweight leader Naoya Inoue (20-0, 17 KO) isn’t far off the pace.
The 28-year old Monster is 5-0 in his third weight class and already holds two of the four major belts. The 28-year old Dasmarinas is 12-0-1 since his last defeat (if against less than stellar opposition), has been stopped only once, and has a pretty wicked southpaw left. Can the challenger land the shot and turn this one into more than it looks like on paper? If not, Mikaela Meyer-Erica Farias and Isaac Dogboe-Adam Lopez are matched competitively to round out a solid show. Additional undercard action begins on ESPN+ at 7:55 EST.
Additional Shows to Watch For
Saturday - Sturm vs. Kraft (FITE, 11:30 AM EST)
Felix Sturm never got a crack at the very top of the middleweight mountain in his day. There were no fights with Bernard Hopkins, Jermain Taylor, Kelly Pavlik, or Sergio Martinez. Instead, after a debated loss to Oscar De La Hoya in 2004, Sturm settled into being a big draw who fought the rest of the class in Germany for years and had a solid career. Now 42, Sturm is competing at light heavyweight and faces undefeated 24-year old James Kraft (19-0-1, 10 KO).
Saturday - #7 Munguia vs. Szeremeta (DAZN, 3:30 PM EST)
It says something about how top heavy the pool is at middleweight right now that 31-year old Kamil Szeremeta (21-1, 5 KO) cracked the TBRB and Ring Magazine top tens prior to his blowout loss to Gennady Golovkin last year. Szeremeta gets the comparison shopping treatment here as 24-year old Jaime Munguia (36-0, 29 KO) will look to outdo the veteran’s performance. The most interesting part of this show could come before the main event. 35-year old super middleweight Gabe Rosado (25-13-1, 14 KO) nearly upset Daniel Jacobs last time out. Can Rosado derail the rising force that is 25-year old Bektemir Melikuziev (7-0, 6 KO)?
Saturday - #2 Charlo vs. Montiel (Showtime, 9:00 PM EST)
The Charlo’s are my grandfather’s current favorite fighters. He should like what he sees in this one as 31-year old WBC middleweight titlist Jermall (31-0, 22 KO) makes his first start since his best win in the division to date last year. Charlo looked excellent against Sergiy Derevyanchenko. The best middleweight fight in the world right now, the consensus top two clash, would be Charlo versus Golovkin but the business side of boxing doesn’t appear to be moving in that direction. Is a Charlo move to super middleweight inevitable? 27-year old Juan Macias Montiel (22-4-2, 22 KO) is 3-0-1 in his last four and has only been stopped once by Munguia. Can he derail Charlo’s momentum? Probably not but the Jr. featherweight clash between Angeo Leo and Aaron Alameda is more than enough reason to tune in and Isaac Cruz might get some tough rounds out of veteran Francisco Vargas as well.
Saturday - Chavez Sr. vs. Camacho Jr. (FITE, 9:00 PM EST)
Fans of nostalgia and freak shows will be well served here. The great Julio Cesar Chavez once delivered a memorable thrashing of rival Hector Camacho. He’ll shake his legs out with Camacho’s son here while Chavez’s own son gets into the boxing vs. MMA action. Chavez Jr. will throw hands with UFC great Anderson Silva. There’s too much live, competitive boxing to recommend this to anyone but it’s there if you want it.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org