by Cliff Rold
Pick It: TBRB #1 Jessie Magdaleno vs. #9 Isaac Dogboe (Saturday, ESPN, 7 PM EST)
Note the early start time for this clash of legitimate top ten Jr. featherweights. Magdaleno (25-0, 18 KO) is attempting the second defense of his belt against Dogboe (18-0, 12 KO) and both have made strong recent impressions.
Magdaleno impressed in a career-making win over veteran Nonito Donaire to win his belt. Dogboe won a furious fight against veteran Cesar Juarez, a man Donaire couldn’t stop in a war. Magdaleno is the more rounded boxer but Dogboe will bring the fight all night. This could be the sort of better than anyone expected battle that Jose Ramirez-Amir Imam was on ESPN not long ago. A pair of former title challengers, heavyweight Bryant Jennings and super middleweight Jesse Hart, will round out the card.
Additional Shows to Watch For
Friday – TyC (9 PM EST): Ledesma vs. Veron
Aspiring welterweights are live from Argentina. Ledesma (12-1, 6 KO) has only a single split decision loss and enters off two straight knockout wins. Veron (13-0, 7 KO) is fighting the best foe of his career on paper. This is for a WBO regional belt which means the winner is in position to start getting into real sanctioning body contentions.
Saturday – Fox (8:30 PM EST): Lopez vs. Cruz
The PBC/Haymon run on Showtime is rock solid right now. That’s left these network shows, shows with higher potential audience, to pick up with shows like this: potentially fun but void of a real main event. Lopez (35-7, 19 KO) has won two straight since a loss to Andre Berto. He may see his streak snapped against a young hopeful positioned for bigger things. Miguel Cruz (17-0, 11 KO) is younger and ready for the spotlight. Can he get there? Former super middleweight titlist Anthony Dirrell makes his first start of 2018 on the undercard.
Saturday – HBO (10 PM EST): #3 Jacobs vs. Sulecki
Daniel Jacobs (33-2, 29 KO) makes his second start since coming up just a little short last year against Gennady Golovkin. He’s not in soft. Maciej Sulecki (26-0, 10 KO) is a talented guy whose win over Jack Culcay last out could be underrated considering how well Culcay fought Demetrius Andrade. Could this be an upset most don’t see coming? Before fans find out, heavyweight Jarrell Miller will open the show.