by Cliff Rold
Pick It: TBRB #4 Raymundo Beltran vs. Jose Pedraza (Saturday, ESPN, 10:30 PM EST)
While there has been some teeth gnashing about the quality of ESPN proper cards, this is one fans should be happy isn’t on the app. Beltran (35-7-1, 21 KO) defends his WBO lightweight belt against the former Jr. lightweight titlist Pedraza (24-1, 12 KO) in what is really a crossroads fight.
At 37, Beltran has to hang on to his belt for as long as he can while the 29-year old Pedraza probably can’t afford another tough loss after being stopped by Gervonta Davis three fights ago. Paired with this will be a potential show stealer. 23-year old Isaac Dogboe (19-0, 13 KO) defends the WBO 122 lb. strap for the first time against Japanese veteran Hidenori Otake (31-2-3, 14 KO). This is a solid late summer show before things really heat up for the fall.
Additional Shows to Watch For
Friday – FS1 (8 PM EST): James vs. Montes
30-year old welterweight Jamal James (23-1, 10 KO) has won three straight since dropping a decision to the more seasoned Yordenis Ugas. Ugas rode that win into contention with the sanctioning bodies. James isn’t far behind, sitting in the top five for the WBA. A win over Mahonry Montes (35-7-1, 24 KO) would get him a little bit closer.
Friday – TyC (10 PM EST): Lemos vs. Armas
22-year old lightweight Gustavo Lemos (17-0, 8 KO) isn’t a contender yet but the Argentine hopeful is putting together the early numbers to hope for it. He has one of his toughest fights to date on paper against 23-year old Nestor Armas (18-2, 17 KO). Armas has been stopped once.
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]