Fight Week Picks (May 3-6)

Honestly, after the terrible weekend of fighting that just passed, I realized how good a Saturday becomes when there’s something interesting going on in either boxing or MMA. Poor showing from me predictions-wise this past week, hoping for a big bounce-back campaign to kick off May.

Wednesday May 3, ProBox TV card

This is a Mexico card for ProBox, which means it’s not as enjoyable as their normal, Florida-based cards. Still, I don’t think anyone will complain about some boxing in the middle of the week, especially when it’s free on YouTube. I should note that this card has some more potential than most Mexico ProBox cards, as Eddy Reynoso is partnering with them this time around to showcase some of his young talent. Could be interesting. The card begins at 8pm Eastern

Fernando Angel Molina vs Kevin Piedrahita (10 @ Light): Angel Molina via Decision

Jonathan Lopez vs Osvaldo Saul Nunez Medina (10 @ Super Feather): Lopez via KO/TKO round 8

Joselito Velazquez vs Porfirio Gonzalez Marin (8 @ Fly): Velazquez via KO/TKO round 3

Lazaro Lorenzana vs Alexis Rios Munguia (8 @ Super Welter): Lorenzana via Decision

Nikita Miroshnichenko vs Carlos Gallego Montijo (6 @ Super Welter): Miroshnichenko via KO/TKO round 2 (feel like I remember reading or watching something about this kid a while ago and thought he seemed talented, but can’t find anything online)

Friday May 5, FightZone UK card

Never heard of FightZone before recently, but it kind of reminds me of a UK version of ProBox TV. 1 fight card this time around, but should be fun and could be a site to monitor for the future. It may be hard for US fans to view, as the card starts at 1pm Eastern on a weekday, but whatever.

Tommy Frank vs Jay Harris (12 @ Fly): Harris via KO/TKO round 6


RCC Boxing card in Russia

Another YouTube card, which is cool. 3 interesting fights on this event, which starts at 7 am Eastern, so a nice lead into the big fights later on.

Magomed Kurbanov vs Michel Soro (12 @ Super Welter): Kurbanov via Decision

Zhora Hamazaryan vs Francisco Fonseca (10 @ Light): Fonseca via KO/TKO round 6

Evgeny Tishchenko vs Yves Ngabu (10 @ Cruiser): Tishchenko via KO/TKO round 2

DAZN card in Mexico

This is going to be a super fun event. Undisputed title on the line, a solid card, and the idea of one of boxing’s top stars in a homecoming fight, which also serves as his “prove-it” fight, should make this event really entertaining. Fight card starts at 7 pm Eastern, with expected main event walks at 11

Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez vs John Ryder (12 @ Super Middle for Undisputed title): That’s right, I labeled this fight as a “prove-it” for Canelo. Not that he’s a P4P ATG, I think history will show that he’s at least top 30 all-time. But does he still have it? Let’s be honest, Canelo has faded bad in his last two fights, a loss against Bivol at 175 and GGG 3 at 168. He said he was nursing an injury from the Callum Smith fight, and that may be so, but he needs to go out there and prove that he can handle the likes of John Ryder with relative ease. Because let’s face it, Ryder should have very little to almost no shot at beating Canelo. His style simply shouldn’t work against Alvarez’s counter-punching and defense. Sure, Ryder has made a name for himself by essentially being a pain in the ass to take on for 12 rounds. He gave Billy Joe Saunders, Rocky Fielding, Callum Smith, and Daniel Jacobs (albeit a shot one) a very tough time in the ring, despite only coming out of this fights 1-3, and controversially so. I don’t think this fight warrant’s a nitpicking breakdown of styles and how each guy could win, this fight feels too clear-cut for that, and I’ll save that for next week. Official Prediction: Saul Alvarez via Decision (probably something along the lines of 118-110, 117-111)

Julio Cesar Martinez vs Ronal Batista (12 @ Fly for WBC title): JCM via KO/TKO round 10

Gabriel Gollaz Valenzuela vs Steve Spark (10 @ Super Light): Spark via KO/TKO round 8

Oleksandr Gvozdyk vs Ricards Bolotniks (10 @ Light Heavy): Gvozdyk via KO/TKO round 4 [I think a lot of people forget how good Gvozdyk is, I had him beating Beterbiev before the stoppage, he could be a really tough title challenger]

Nathan Devon Rodriguez vs Alexander Mejia (10 @ Feather): Rodriguez via Decision (What I like about this fight is that Mejia just fought Hopey Price not too long ago and gave him pretty much no trouble, so we can see how the super young but promising Rodriguez fares and compare the two performances)

Sky Sports card in Birmingham

Really kind of a mid card, nothing really screams out at me in terms of good matchups. I feel that this is an un-needed step back for Buatsi, which I hate, but the card is still worth noting on here. The card starts at noon Eastern

Joshua Buatsi vs Pawel Stepien (12 @ Light Heavy): Buatsi via KO/TKO round 8

Sean McComb vs Kaisee Benjamin (10 @ Super Light): Benjamin via Decision

Tyler Denny vs Macaulay McGowan (10 @ Middle): Denny via Decision

Ben Whittaker vs Jordan Grant (6 @ Light Heavy): Whittaker via KO/TKO round 3

UFC 288: Sterling vs Cejudo

Overall a pretty good card, maybe not as good as some of the other PPV events but still a good card throughout. Would have been better if Charles Oliveira didn’t get injured in training for Beniel Dariush, but the Belal vs Burns short-notice add to the card does help mitigate that loss a bit. Main event should be rocking, card has some serious depth. As always, only the interesting fights throughout the card will be on here. Early Prelims start at 6 pm Eastern, with normal prelims starting at 8 and the main card at 10

Aljamain Sterling vs Henry Cejudo (Bantamweight Title Fight): The UFC has been kind of funny recently, where they had their prior generation, so to speak, of top-end, major draw guys leave for a long time, like Jon Jones, Conor McGregor, and Henry Cejudo, all stars of their divisions gone, either assumed retired or off the grid. So, they were replaced by the UFC with new faces: Light Heavyweight got the rise of Jiri Prochazka and Jamahal Hill, Lightweight and Featherweight got guys like Volkanovski, Makhachev, and retuned names like Holloway, Poirier, and Gaethje, and Bantamweight got Suga Sean O’Malley and Aljamain Sterling. But now, those seemingly lost guys are coming back, one-by-one, and wreaking havoc in the divisions that had moved on without them. Jon Jones moved up to Heavyweight and now holds the belt there. McGregor returned from a seemingly career-ending injury to coach on The Ultimate Fighter, and will surely get a title shot with a win over Michael Chandler this summer. And now, after almost a 3 year layoff, Henry Cejudo returns to Bantamweight to challenge for the title against Aljo. I won’t delve into the styles here: we haven’t seen Cejudo since 2020, I doubt he’ll be the same fighter. But if he returns with the same ability that he left with, he’s going to give Sterling hell. I can’t see Cejudo getting taken down, and I can’t se Aljo’s high-output style lasting against Cejudo, as he will be able to counter attack quickly when Sterling opens himself up. Overall, I think the old generation is coming back to find success again, which will surely send the already-deep Bantamweight division into an even bigger frenzy. Official Prediction: Henry Cejudo via Decision

Belal Muhammad vs Gilbert Burns (Welterweight): Burns via Decision

Jessica Andrade vs Xiaonan Yan (W Strawweight): Yan via Decision

Movsar Evloev vs Bryce Mitchell (Featherweight): Mitchell via Submission

Kron Gracie vs Charles Jourdain (Featherweight): Gracie via Submission

Drew Dober vs Matt Frevola (Lightweight): Frevola via Decision

Kennedy Nzechukwu vs Devin Clark (Light Heavyweight): Nzechukwu via KO/TKO

Khaos Williams vs Rolando Bedoya (Welterweight): Bedoya via Decision

Braxton Smith vs Parker Porter (Heavyweight): Smith via KO/TKO

Rafael Estevam vs Zhalgas Zhumagulov (Flyweight): Estevam via KO/TKO

Joseph Holmes vs Claudio Ribeiro (Middleweight): Ribeiro via KO/TKO

Daniel Santos vs Johnny Munoz (Bantamweight): Munoz via Decision

2-0 off of the ProBox card. Don’t know why BoxRec showed such a different card but was a good viewing either way.

18-6 on the weekend in total, not bad but I overestimated a clearly past-prime Cejudo so I’m slightly upset at myself for that.

I didn’t think it would be possible, but I don’t think Canelo actually proved whether or not he was still at his peak. I think the official cards were a bit too wide, I had it 116-111 but there were rounds I gave Ryder and Canelo that could have gone either way. Scoring all 12 for Álvarez is asinine. Yes, he clearly won but wasn’t dominant enough for me against a sub-standard opponent to say that he’s still at his best.

151-57 on the year