by Cliff Rold
Pick It: TBRB #8 Ryoto Murata vs. Emanuele Blandamura (Sunday, ESPN2, 8 AM EST)
Set the DVRs if the early start time isn’t you thing. The 2012 Olympic Gold Medalist Murata (13-1, 10) should still be undefeated. He avenged a bad decision loss to Hassan N’Dam N’Jikam last time out, by knockout, and now holds the WBA sub-title at middleweight.
He shouldn’t get too big a challenge here, at least in terms of power. Blandurama (27-2, 5 KO) has won four straight since knockout losses to Michael Soro and Billy Joe Saunders in two of the three fights before that. This show would be even better if flyweight Daigo Higa made air as well but, for now, it’s enough to make sure we keep eyeballs at these early hours. This is the third show like this on ESPN and it’s a real bonus for fight fans.
Additional Shows to Watch For
Friday – FS1 (9 PM EST): James vs. Ramos
Jamal James (22-1, 10 KO) has won two straight since a decision loss to Yordenis Ugas. The 29-year old welterweight will attempt to make it three here against an Abel Ramos (18-2-2, 13 KO) who, so far, has only lost in some solid steps up. Ramos has losses to Regis Prograis and Ivan Baranchyk and neither of those men have a loss to anyone. This is a good piece of business between fighters who are still trying to get somewhere in their careers.
Friday – TyC (9 PM EST): Acuna vs. Bemudez
The weekend is heavy with action in the women’s divisions. This showdown for the IBF super bantamweight title pits titlist Marcela Acuna (46-6-1, 19 KO) against Daniela Bermudez (22-3-3, 6 KO). Bermudez is going for a title in her third weight class after winning multiple belts at super flyweight and bantamweight. Acuna hasn’t lost since 2012 with multiple titles held at 122 lbs. This is, on credentials, an excellent clash of world-class women and worth a look.
Saturday – BeIn Espanol (11 PM EST): Torres vs. Plata
Silvia Torres (18-0-1, 6 KO) is unbeaten and almost all the way to her first real title. The interim WBA women’s light flyweight titlist makes her first defense against a Jessica Nery Plata (21-2, 3 KO) coming off a tough decision loss. The knockout numbers indicate this one could last the route. The action along the way might be worth a look.
Saturday – TyC (11:15 PM EST): Roman vs. Lozano
Maria Roman (11-4-1, 0 KO) attempts her third defense of the IBF women’s bantamweight belt against a familiar foe. Ana Lozano (14-7-1, 11 KO) lost by disqualification to Roman last year. Lozano has lost in multiple title shots over the years. Will this be her lucky night?
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]