by Cliff Rold
Pick It: TBRB Champion Adonis Stevenson vs. #3 Badou Jack (Saturday, Showtime, 10 PM EST)
An absolutely loaded day for Showtime’s boxing programming includes fights in three different countries. It culminates with a fascinating light heavyweight matchup. Stevenson (29-1, 24 KO) is getting older, and rarely gets in the ring these days, but none of that matters when he lands. Stevenson is one of the best punchers in the world. Jack (22-1-2, 13 KO) is a fighter who gradually became one of the sports most rounded competitors. Both men have been stopped in their careers in sudden, shocking fashion but years have gone by since. This is a 50-50 fight on paper and one ripe with drama as long as Stevenson is standing.
It will be part of a split broadcast with an almost equally interesting featherweight clash of US Olympians. TBRB #3 Gary Russell (28-1, 17 KO) defends the WBC against #7 Joseph Diaz (26-0, 14 KO) and we get the added benefit of the enduring battle between the Al Haymon and Golden Boy factions as well. Showtime gets started at 4:30 on their YouTube and Facebook pages with live coverage of IBF featherweight titlist Lee Selby (26-1, 9 KO) defending against Josh Warrington (26-0, 6 KO).
Again, it’s a loaded day.
Additional Shows to Watch For
Saturday – PPV (9 PM EST): Hernandez vs. Kanalas
US Olympic boxing fans can see a medalist in action for a little extra coin. 2016 bronze medalist Nico Hernandez (4-0, 3 KO) is developing a local fan foundation for himself in Kansas as he rises through the flyweight ranks, taking his shot at being a Midwestern Michael Carbajal. He’ll face Szilveszter Kanalas (14-7, 9 KO), the most experience foe of his young career. Kanalas has been stopped six times, including four straight before a win his last time out. Hernandez has a chance to shine here.
Saturday – BeIn Espanol (11 PM EST): Chavez vs. Paz
The lesser known son of the Lion of Culiacan, Omar Chavez (36-4-1, 24 KO) was riding a four-fight winning streak before losing a decision last time out. Jose Carlos Paz (21-7-1, 12 KO) isn’t much of a puncher and has been stopped three times. Remember when BeIn Espanol was the hardcore jewel of boxing broadcasts? Feel free to reminisce while this is on.
Saturday – TyC (11 PM EST): Farias vs. Reynoso
Women’s title action comes in the Jr. welterweight division. WBC champion Farias (25-2, 10 KO) has been a titlist in two classes but fell short of a third in 2017, losing a lopsided decision to welterweight queen Cecilia Braekhus. It is her only loss in seven starts while challenger Yamila Reynoso (10-3-3, 7 KO) comes in having won two straight. Neither woman has ever been stopped.
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]