Another big post for this weekend’s events. Kind of lackluster, if you ask me, but still some interesting matchups that are worth mentioning.
Friday’s Italy card
Honestly, the more I look into this card, the less and less confident I am about being able to watch it. Nothing makes sense on ANY of the sites detailing this bout, which is a shame because I think this is a good matchup.
Michael Magnesi vs Ayrton Osmar Gimenez (12 rounds for the vacant WBC Silver Super Featherweight title): I think that this is a really interesting matchup, as stated, as you’re pitting a former champion up against an up-and-comer in a main event for a (albeit lesser) belt. For Magnesi, a win in this fight could springboard him back into the title fight conversation, not because of a big win but getting back into the W column with his previous body of work. Maybe he could turn this win into a rematch against Anthony Cacace, who took his title from him in a somewhat controversial split decision. Prior to that fight, Magnesi was riding a 7 fight stoppage victory streak, 3 of which including winning and defending the IBO Super Featherweight title. His power has come alive in recent years, where it wasn’t the case earlier in his career. Though the height of Gimenez isn’t listed by BoxRec, he appears to be the larger man by a couple of inches, so Magnesi will likely look to get inside on the younger fighter, utilizing hooks and uppercuts to showcase his power. He won’t have to worry about the power of his opponent, as Gimenez doesn’t carry much pop, so eating a shot or two to get inside is probably a viable option for Magnesi, who has showcased a pretty solid chin in recent fights. On the other hand, Gimenez has shown to be a bit chilly in prior fights, having been sent to the canvas 5 times in his 17 fight career, per BoxRec. As the seemingly longer fighter, I’d expect Gimenez to try and establish his jab early in the contest, though his lack of power may make it hard to stave off the veteran fighter. In short, I just don’t think that Gimenez has the tools to beat Magnesi, especially not with this being the kid’s first 12 round affair coming off of an 8 rounder.
Official Prediction: Michael Magnesi via TKO/KO 7
Saturday’s Australia card
This fight has a much clearer picture as to how to watch this fight from another country, as it is airing on Kayo Sports and broadcasting on FOX Australia. Like the Italian card, this is a one-fight card, but at least this one is for a real title.
Floyd Masson vs Fabio Turchi (12 rounds for the vacant IBO Cruiserweight title): I know absolutely nothing about Masson. Never seen him fight. He’s been climbing the ladder of the Australian heavyweight and cruiserweight scene, which I question the strength of. Coming into this matchup, the one fighter on his résumé who I recognize is Mark ‘Bam Bam’ Flanagan, who’s best known for losing badly to every notable name he’s ever come across. Flanagan brought Masson to a 10 round majority decision where Masson hit the canvas for the first time in his career in round 1. On the other hand, I do know Fabio Turchi, and he’s not good, either. Coming into this fight following a stunning victory where he bullied a 5-12-2 guy in 1 round (Such a résumé to get a title shot in today’s boxing world), he’s also known, like the aforementioned Flanagan, for getting beat tf up by notable names. He even lost to Thomas McCarthy, who’s known best for being Chris Billiam-Smith’s punching bag. If you haven’t noticed, I’m a bit jaded with these so-called “title-fights,” and really the sport of boxing as a whole. Could they not get any other halfway-decent cruiserweight to fight for a vacant belt? (Sergey Kovalev and Mairis Breidis come to mind off the top of my head, sure there’s more) All in all, I’m going with Masson, as I have a feeling that the next fight would be Opetaia vs Masson for a unification (writing that sentence made me throw up in my mouth, and not because of Jai Opetaia). Though maybe they’ll feed Turchi to Opetaia so that Jai can “avenge his countryman’s loss” or some stupid shit like that.
Official Prediction: Floyd Masson via Decision
Saturday’s Japan card
Another event with unknown broadcasting and one appealing fight. Is this the state of boxing?
Kenichi Ogawa vs Krai Settaphon (10 rounds @ Lightweight): After getting KTFO by Joe Cordina and losing his title, Ogawa is moving up to lightweight and starts his campaign against a man that no one’s ever heard of. Setthaphon’s biggest claim to fame is getting beat to hell by everyone’s favorite upset man George Kambosos Jr. Ogawa has shown some real talent in the past (though that may have been the PEDs talking), but I doubt his ability to be a power player at lightweight right now, due to the abundance of big names and his age. Still, his speed and mix of shots (if he’s still got it at 35) could make him a solid just-outside-of-the-rankings guy for younger fighters to take on in the near future. Just enough to test, but not enough to beat. Think the likes of DAZN’s Gary Cully, ProBox TV’s Luis Torres Valenzuela, ESPN’s Keyshawn Davis, etc. gala could be a somewhat-recognizable name to pad their stats, provided of course that he wins. I think he will.
Official Prediction: Ogawa via Decision
Saturday’s DAZN card
Finally, some good f’ing boxing. Though the main event is a bit of a joke, this is a legitimately good card with a very easy method of viewing. Is it sad that this is the premier fighting event of the weekend? Absolutely, but it should still be fun.
Anthony Joshua vs Jermaine Franklin (12 rounds at Heavyweight): AJ, an Eddie Hearn hype job, gets fed an even worse Eddie Hearn hype job in what should be a very quick main event that’ll have the Joshua nut-huggers out in full force. After getting completely outclassed twice against Oleksandr Usyk (don’t ask Glenn Feldman what he was watching last August, he couldn’t tell you and neither could I), AJ will return to the ring in the UK to put another great name on his long list of classy, remarkable Ws in the last 4 years. Those being 300-pound Andy Ruiz and Kubrat Pulev. Truly the #1 heavyweight in the world, right? He’ll give Fury a real challenge. In all seriousness, AJ comes into this fight as the much bigger and longer man, so range finding and one-twos will probably be the mainstay of this fight. And Franklin, he of the split-decision W against Jerry Forrest fame, is the much slower and less powerful man, so yeah, a lot going against AJ in this one. AJ should stop this fight in less than 6, or he should become a full-time body builder. The choice is his.
Official Prediction: Joshua via KO/TKO round 3 (Eddie Hearn will cry and announce AJ-Usyk 3 to the applause of the dozens attending this event)
Other interesting fights on this card
Matteo Signani vs Felix Cash (12 rounds for the EBU Middleweight belt): Cash via Decision
Austin Williams vs River Wilson-Bent (10 rounds at Middleweight): Williams via TKO/KO round 4
Fabio Wardley vs Michael Polite Coffie (10 rounds at Heavyweight): Wardley via KO/TKO round 8 (2 Fabios on this post, cool)
Campbell Hatton vs Louis Fielding (8 rounds at Lightweight): Hatton via Decision
Ziyad Almaayouf vs TBA (probably 4, maybe 6 rounds at Super Lightweight): Almaayouf via Decision
Saturday’s ESPN+ card
Another one-and-done event, but this one has two things put together that these other cards don’t. 1) a legit Title fight (albeit a vacant one) against two respectable and deserving opponents and 2) ease of viewing.
Isaac Dogboe vs Robeisy Ramirez (12 rounds for the vacant WBO Featherweight title): Dogboe goes for a second WBO world title, being the former Super Bantamweight titleholder for the organization before being beat twice by Emanuel Navarrete. Since the move up, Dogboe has just been OK, winning 4 straight but none in overly convincing fashion, going the distance 3 of 4 times and all 3 decisions being split or majority wins for ‘Royal Storm.’ Still, he is the one in this matchup with the title experience, should still be in his fighting prime at 28 years old, and should be more than comfortable being the smaller fighter in the ring. Which he will be: Dogboe gives up 3 inches (8 centimeters) of height to Ramirez and a whopping 4 inches (10cm) of reach). Ramirez also appears to be the one carrying his power into this matchup: Dogboe has seemingly left his pop at super bantamweight, whereas Ramirez is carrying a 3 fight stoppage streak into the bout. And at 29, he’s still in his fighting prime, and with far less damage to his body with only 12 professional fights compared to Dogboe’s 26. As much as I like Dogboe, I think that his pathway to victory is much less clear than Ramirez’s, so I’ll go with the Cuban-American.
Official Prediction: Ramirez via KO/TKO round 10
How I’d Prioritize these fights
- DAZN card (Meh main event but the only fight card with more than 1 interesting bout)
- ESPN+ “card” (only 1 intriguing fight but the best matchup of the weekend)
- Australia card (terrible fight but for major title and bonus points for a clear way to view the fight)
- Italy card (No one cares about the Silver titles, no undercard or pathway to watch)
- Japan card (no way to watch, abysmal card, only somewhat interesting to me because I’ve liked Ogawa in the past)
Real riveting stuff this weekend. Reminder (really just for myself): I’m 73-28 on the year. God why must the UFC have this week off?