Unification fever was everywhere in April with new partially unified titlists crowned at middleweight, welterweight, and Jr. lightweight on the men’s side and super middleweight and flyweight on the women’s.
We’re not done yet.
One of the best fights of 2021 came at Jr. middleweight, and it left us without a conclusion. One of the biggest questions of the month to come is definitely…
Will Charlo-Castano II Have a Winner?
When the scores were read last May, it was a perfect split, one for each man and one dead even. The sequel is coming on:
- 05/14: 154 - TBRB #1 Jermell Charlo (34-1-1, 18 KO, WBA/WBC/IBF) vs. #2 Brian Castano (17-0-2, 12 KO, WBO)
Charlo and Castano provided a thrilling encounter and one where debate was ample at the end with voices like former champions Andre Ward, Shawn Porter, Sergio Mora, and Julian Williams weighing in favor of Castano. The score in Charlo’s favor was hardest to swallow at 117-111. It was a close, highly competitive fight. Nine rounds in Charlo’s favor wrung untrue. The draw and single point edge for Castano all seemed more closely aligned with reality.
Castano has a chance to make his case again. Charlo has a chance to render it moot. Fans have a chance to see the two best super middleweights in the world try to top what was already a fantastic fight. It’s easily, on paper, the fight of the month but not the only excellent fight on the schedule.
Alvarez at Light Heavyweight, Part II
Saul Alvarez has already proven he can win at light heavyweight, toppling longtime stalwart Sergey Kovalev for a belt he quickly abandoned. If Alvarez can get another belt in the classr, will he stick around? We’ll find out on:
- 05/01: 175 - #1 Dmitry Bivol (19-0, 11 KO, WBA) vs. Super Middleweight Champion Saul Alvarez (57-1-2, 39 KO, WBA/WBC/IBF/WBO)
It’s impossible to ignore the bigger picture at light heavyweight with a three-belt clash between lineal king Artur Beterbiev and Joe Smith Jr. already scheduled. Alvarez is expected to defend his super middleweight title against Gennadiy Golovkin in the fall but given his star power it’s not impossible to think the WBA grants him some grace to consider further unification in the higher class once that business is settled.
Alvarez has to win first.
Bivol isn’t Kovalev, in more than one way. He doesn’t have the same experience or punching power. Bivol also doesn’t have the same age. Prior to the extinction of HBO, Bivol was building an impressive run at light heavyweight and since added a win over Joe Smith Jr. The momentum has stalled though. This is the chance of a lifetime for a fighter who is still only 31.
This fight doesn’t feel like it has the buzz it should. Don’t sleep on it.
Interims and Regulars Abound
Along with these two major contests, the month of May will see a lot of action with an influence on the title pictures of various weight classes by way of secondary straps.
- 05/21: 168 - #1 David Benevidez (25-0, 22 KO) vs. David Lemieux (43-4, 36 KO); interim WBC
- 05/21: 160 - #7 Zhanibek Alimkhanuly (11-0, 7 KO) vs. Danny Dingum (14-0-1, 8 KO); interim WBO
- 05/28: 160 - Erislandy Lara (28-3-3, 16 KO, WBA regular) vs. Spike O’Sullivan (31-4, 21 KO)
- 05/28: 135 - #3 Gervonta Davis (26-0, 24 KO, WBA regular) vs. Rolando Romero (14-0, 12 KO)
Additional Title Fights in May
- 05/13: 154 - Hannah Rankin (11-5, 2 KO, WBA) vs. Alejandra Ayala (14-5, 8 KO)
- 05/21: 140 - Chantelle Cameron (15-0, 8 KO, WBC/IBF) vs. Victoria Bustos (23-6)
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.