by Cliff Rold
Pick It: TBRB #3 Naoya Inoue vs. #5 Juan Carlos Payano (Sunday, DAZN, 7 AM EST)
Two weeks after the first iteration of the World Boxing Super Series came to a close, we begin again. All three tournaments look good but the most intriguing is in the bantamweight division. On paper, this is every bit as compelling as the first cruiserweight field of eight.
Japan’s Inoue (16-0, 14 KO) is competing in his third weight division and begins tournament play against former the WBA titlist Payano (20-1, 9 KO).
For fans of the WBSS format, the card will also mark the beginning of the Jr. welterweight tournament with WBA titlist Kiryl Relikh (22-2, 19 KO) facing former IBF titlist Edouard Troyanovsky (27-1, 24 KO). That doubleheader makes for an easy pick of the week.
Additional Shows to Watch For
Saturday – ESPN+ (3:30 PM EST): Catterall vs. Davies
Fans with unlimited internet access will need it Saturday with a slew of fights on apps. It begins at Jr. welterweight. This afternoon card from the UK sees 25-year old Jack Catterall (22-0, 12 KO) in the toughest fight of his career to date. 26-year old Ohara Davies (18-1, 14 KO) has won three straight since being stopped by Josh Taylor in his only career loss.
Saturday – DAZN (6 PM EST): Vargas vs. Dulorme
The 29-year old former WBO welterweight titlist (28-2-1, 10 KO) enters off a draw with Adrien Broner, seeking to get back in the title picture. The 28-year old Dulorme (24-3, 16 KO) makes his first start since an August 2017 loss to Yordenis Ugas. As an overall card, this one will be worth tuning in well before the main with two title fights in support. IBF light heavyweight titlist Artur Beterbiev (12-0, 12 KO) makes his first defense against Callum Johnson (17-0, 12 KO) while WBA super bantamweight titlist Danny Roman (25-2-1, 9 KO) attempts his third defense against Gavin McDonnell (20-1-2, 5 KO).
Saturday – TyC (10:30 PM EST): Coceres vs. Ellasquevici
Undefeated 27-year old middleweight Marcelo Coceres (24-0-1, 13 KO) is starting to accumulate numbers but he’s still got a ways to go to be a contender. Davi Ellasquevici (14-6-1, 11 KO) probably won’t hurt his stats.
Saturday – ESPN+ (11 PM EST): Nery vs. Canoy
23-year old Luis Nery looked like the new potential face of the bantamweight division after a WBC title win over Shinsuke Yamanaka. Then he failed a test for Clenbuterol (the same substance made most famous by Canelo Alvarez earlier this year); the WBC allowed him to retain the belt and then he showed up grossly overweight for the Yamanaka rematch earlier this year. Nery lost his title on the scales, won the fight, and has served a suspension. The skilled youngster will work to get his career back on track against Jason Canoy (27-8-2, 19 KO).
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]