Pick It: World Champion Juan Francisco Estrada vs. TBRB #1 Roman Gonzalez (Saturday, DAZN/PPV, 8:00 PM EST)

Anytime this match is happening, it’s the pick of the week. Chapter three or chapter eleven…they’re both true and both just as worthy of salivating. Saturday in Arizona, we’ve got one of the most significant fights of this generation as a pair of future Hall of Famers, tied at one apiece, lock horns for the third time. It’s 32-year old Juan Francisco Estrada (43-3, 28 KO) versus 35-year old Roman Gonzalez (51-3, 41 KO), one more time and likely for the last time.

Their first two fights were classics. So were most of the first ten fights in the four-way rivalry between Estrada, Gonzalez, Srisaket Sor Rungvisai, and Carlos Cuadras. Estrada is defending the lineal Jr. bantamweight title. Gonzalez is trying to win a lineal crown in his second weight class. Those who don’t subscribe to DAZN can opt to purchase the fight on PPV for $29.99 and will also see WBC flyweight titlist Julio Cesar Martinez in action. Don’t be shocked if this one changes the debate about Fight of the Year.       

Additional Shows to Watch For

Thursday - Frausto vs. Carter (FITE, 10:00 PM EST)

Heavyweights are in action from Costa Mesa. 26-year old Ricky Frausto (6-0, 1 KO) makes his third start of 2022 against 21-year old Kaleel Carter (2-3, 2 KO). Carter has been stopped once.

Friday - Glanton vs. Light (ProBox TV, 10:00 PM EST)   

This cruiserweight clash will have WBO ramifications. Both 30-year old Brandon Glanton (17-0, 14 KO) and 31-year old David Light (19-0, 12 KO) are in their top ten which means the winner is a step closer to Lawrence Okolie. Glanton is an exciting watch and could help to reignite a cruiserweight class that went from red hot to cooled off in the last couple years.

Friday - Casimero vs. Akaho (Fite TV, 11:30 PM EST)   

33-year old John Riel Casimero (31-4, 21 KO) appeared to burn a winning ticket. The three-division titlist had a belt at bantamweight in 2021 and appeared to be on the verge of facing Nonito Donaire in a unification bout. This after COVID scrapped a unification bout against Naoya Inoue. Instead, he wound up in a terrible eyesore against Guillermo Rigondeaux, lost his belt outside the ring, and sent his career sideways. It resumes finally this week against 36-year old Ryo Akaho (39-2-2, 26 KO) and we’ll see if the big chances ever come Casimero’s way again.

Saturday - World Champion Fury vs. Chisora (ESPN+, 1:00 PM EST)

TBRB and Ring Magazine both bit on 34-year old Tyson Fury (32-0-1, 23 KO) and his latest silly retirement declarations. Make no mistake: there is only one rightful, lineal heavyweight king. He’s defending history and the WBC’s crown Saturday in a fairly mediocre match against a 38-year old Dereck Chisora (33-12, 33 KO) he’s already beaten by wide margins twice. The tickets moved quick so the paying public doesn’t care. They’re looking for a good time with two national favorites and they’ll get it. Fury-Oleksandr Usyk is the best fight in the heavyweight division on paper and we might get it next year. For now, there is this show with heavyweight Daniel Dubois on the undercard.

Saturday - Medina vs. Garagarza (FITE, 8:30 PM EST)

Jr. lightweights headline from San Antonio. 22-year old Ricardo Medina (13-1, 7 KO) is coming off a wide loss to undefeated Raymond Ford but youth is still on his side. 22-year old Steve Garagarza (3-5-1, 2 KO) has never been stopped but his record doesn’t scream tons of resistance for Medina here.

 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 roldboxing@hotmail.com