Boxing is great at fake drama in the lead to big fights.

Every once in a while, we get the real thing.

Bad blood at pressers…historical scuffles and beefing at ringside between fighters and their camps…the fight of the month in March has it all. One man has already tried, and failed, to wrest divisional leadership from Saul Alvarez. The other is making a long awaited step up in his career to create a mandate for his own shot at Alvarez.

On paper, it’s 50-50 and in the ring it should be worth the price of admission (or pay-per-view). Circle this date:  

03/25: 168 - TBRB #1 David Benavidez (26-0, 23 KO) vs. #2 Caleb Plant (21-1, 12 KO)

It’s the best fight that can be made at super middleweight without the sport’s red-headed megastar in the mix. Will the offense of Benavidez prove too much for the savvy and style of Plant? Was Plant’s explosive finish of Anthony Dirrell a hint of more firepower to come, opening the door for an Alvarez rematch?

This one will be for an interim WBC belt, essentially a more concrete mandatory position. For Alvarez to remain undisputed, he would presumably need to face the winner. The WBC has shown they will be creative about maintaining their relationship with Alvarez (see: franchise nonsense) but considering how much revenue the first Alvarez-Plant fight generated, and how much an Alvarez-Benavidez clash might fetch, this could end up being an eliminator with real merit.

It’s not the only quality interim clash in March, as two more rock solid clashes will be coming over the next two weekends:

03/04: 126 - #3 Mark Magsayo (24-1, 16 KO) vs. #5 Brandon Figueroa (23-1-1, 18 KO)

03/11: 154 - #3 Tim Tszyu (21-0, 15 KO) vs. #4 Tony Harrison (29-3-1, 21 KO)

The winner of Magsayo-Figueroa will have an interim WBC strap. WBC featherweight titlist Rey Vargas failed in an attempt to move to Jr. lightweight so logically this fight could lead to either Vargas-Magsayo II or Vargas-Figueroa. Neither would be a bad outcome.

At Jr. middleweight, an injury to champion Jermell Charlo opens the door for Tim Tszyu to deepen his experience and really earn the crack at the crown he lost. Tony Harrison can upend Tszyu’s hopes and earn a rubber match within Charlo. Given how good the second Charlo-Harrison fight was, boxing fans win no matter who gets their hand raised here. 

Unification Fever Blazes On

On the women’s side, the unification wheel continues to turn and lands at strawweight on the undercard of Jose Ramirez-Richard Commey.

03/25: 105 - Seniesa Estrada (23-0, 9 KO, WBA) vs. Tina Rupprecht (12-0-1, 3 KO, WBC)

Estrada is one of the best in the world but Rupprecht could be a real threat. Rupprecht is the last person to defeat the lady with the other two belts in this weight class right now, Yokasta Valle. Considering the trends in women’s boxing, it would be disappointing if this ended up anywhere other than the Estrada-Rupprecht winner versus Valle later this year.  

Additional Title Fights in March


03/25: 200 - #2 Lawrence Okolie (17-0, 14 KO, WBO) vs. David Light (20-0, 12 KO)


03/10: 108 - Evelyn Bermudez (17-1-1, 6 KO) vs. Tania Enriquez (20-0, 9 KO); vacant IBF/WBO

Cliff Rold is the Managing Editor of BoxingScene, a founding member of the Transnational Boxing Rankings Board, a member of the International Boxing Research Organization, and a member of the Boxing Writers Association of America.