By Cliff Rold
Pick It: TBRB #7 Emanuel Rodriguez vs. Jason Moloney (Saturday, DAZN, 8 PM EST)
Last weekend was arguably the first real dud in any of the World Boxing Super Series events. Tete-Aloyan and Tabiti-Fayfer are unlikely to be on anyone’s replay list. This looks like a more dependable source of action this week. Staying in the bantamweight and cruiserweight divisions, the actions comes west for this Florida card.
Puerto Rico’s 26-year old Rodriguez (18-0, 12 KO) attempts his first defense of the IBF title against Australia’s 27-year old Jason Moloney (17-0, 14 KO). Someone’s ‘0’ will go; the man who keeps his will move on to face Naoya Inoue in the semi-finals. In the cruiserweight quarterfinal, 32-year old previous WBSS semi-finalist and former WBA titlist Yunier Dorticos (22-1, 21 KO) makes his first start since losing one of 2018’s best fights to Murat Gassiev. The Cuban faces 31-year old Pole Mateusz Masternak (41-4, 28 KO). Masternak has won five in a row since losing a competitive affair to Tony Bellew in 2015.
Additional Shows to Watch For
Friday – TyC (10:30 PM EST): Acuna vs. Rivas
It’s women’s title action in Argentina in the main event here. 42-year old IBF 122 lb. titlist Marcela Acuna (47-7-1, 19 KO) regained the title in her last bout. Venezuela’s 30-year old Mayerlin Rivas (15-3-2, 10 KO) is unbeaten in her last eight fights, entering off a draw in her last outing.
Saturday – DAZN (5 PM EST): #9 Andrade vs. #10 Kautondokwa
The card starts early, has almost a dozen fights, and will feature title defenses by Katie Taylor and Tevin Farmer. That it still has a main event was the luck of a quick salvage. Billy Joe Saunders lost the WBO middleweight belt to a failed PED test. 30-year old former Jr. middleweight titlist and US Olympian Demetrius Andrade (25-0, 16 KO) can try to snare that now vacant belt against Namibia’s 33-year old Walter Kautondokwa (17-0, 16 KO).
Saturday – ESPN+ (10:30 PM EST): #7 Murata vs. Brant
32-year old 2012 Olympic gold medalist Ryota Murata (14-1, 11 KO) has the lesser WBA belt and his first big date outside Japan in over two years. Could this be an audition for a showdown with Gennady Golovkin in 2019? 28-year old Rob Brant (23-1, 16 KO) would like to put his loss in the WBSS last year behind him with a big upset here.
Saturday – TyC (10:30 PM EST): Cusolito vs. Aristule
Fans without access to the myriad app options, and the right cable package, can find some extra fisticuffs here. 30-year old Jr. featherweight Luis Cusolito (27-2, 21 KO) has won six in a row since a stoppage loss to Moises Flores. 35-year old Julian Aristule (33-9, 17 KO) enters off a win following three straight losses, including a knockout defeat to reigning titlist Isaac Dogboe.
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]