Pick It: TBRB Champion Oleksandr Gvozdyk vs. #4 Artur Beterbiev (Friday, ESPN, 10 PM EST)
As written before on this site, fans can’t expect to see every fight they want right now given multiple platforms that don’t always sync up. What they can expect, and should demand, is that platforms with strong clusters of talent in particular divisions should deliver the quality the can control. For the ESPN/Top Rank marriage, light heavyweight is a source of strength.
This main event is as good as it gets. It is a genuine 50-50 fight between the lineal king of the class, Gvozdyk (17-0, 14 KO), and a lethal puncher he goes well back to the amateurs with, Beterbiev (14-0, 14 KO). Someone’s 0 might go and both might hit the deck along the way. Gvozdyk (WBC) and Beterbiev (IBF) will also unify half the major titles in the class. It’s a fight with a little bit of everything; as must-see a match as boxing has delivered in 2019.
Additional Shows to Watch For
Friday – ThompsonBoxing.com (8 PM EST): Ruiz vs. Flores
Promising 22-year old welterweight prospect Angel Ruiz (16-0, 12 KO) headlines this streaming card. Ruiz will try to extend his knockout streak to six against 33-year old Javier Flore (14-2, 12 KO). Flores has never been stopped.
Friday – Telemundo (11:35 PM EST): Colon vs. Zamora
Puerto Rico is looking for the next big star that has eluded them since the retirement of Miguel Cotto. 27-year old Emanuel Colon (16-1, 15 KO) may not be it but this rising Jr. welterweight can crack to pass the time. He will face 26-year old Mexican Ricard Zamora (19-3, 12 KO). All of Zamora’s losses have come inside the distance.
Saturday – DAZN (2 PM EST): Ritson vs. Davies
Jr. welterweight is red hot in 2019. Jose Ramirez has unified two titles and the other two will be unified later this month when Regis Prograis and Josh Taylor square off. The winner of this WBA eliminator one will loom in the division. 26-year old Lewis Ritson (19-1, 12 KO) and Robbie Davies (19-1, 13 KO) are playing for a piece of the future.
Saturday – UFC Fight Pass (9 PM EST): Crowley vs. Hussein
Jr. middleweights top the bill for this show. 26-year old Canadian Cody Crowley (17-0, 9 KO) is creeping toward contention in one of boxing’s most loaded weight classes. In his way will be 29-year old Mian Hussein (16-1, 6 KO). Hussein is coming off his first loss, by stoppage, in his last out.
Saturday – Facebook Watch (10:30 PM EST): Duarte vs. De Santiago
Mexico’s 23- year old lightweight hopeful Oscar Duarte (17-1-1, 12 KO) gets a homecoming of sorts as he looks to progress his fledgling career. 31-year old Dominican Richard Solano (21-2-2, 13 KO) has less time on his side and hasn’t lost since 2014.
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]