Boxing

Fast Forward – There’s Titles and There’s Titles…

Fast Forward – There’s Titles and There’s Titles…

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FAST FORWARD

We do have some world title fights this week which should ease the pain of not having recognisable fights to sustain our interest from last week – you might want to switch codes and watch Connor MacGregor’s comeback in the UFC though if ye are feeling the absence of anything pugilistic.

In boxing matters, tonight, Saturday the 23rd of January, once again there are plenty of international cards with such exotic names as Kazakhstan, Russia and Thailand added to the international mix, but of those fights worthy of mention – world title fights no less – we find ourselves in Connecticut, the USA. The WBA interim world title fight for the super bantamweight belt is between Vic Pasillas and Raeese Aleem. With a long amateur career, Pasillas has the pedigree to win this one and is certainly fancied. Aleem on the other hand, like Pasillas is undefeated and both have come into the fight on the back of an incredible running series of notable wins – both have stopped their last 6 opponents. This looks a tasty fight though Pasillas is still the most favoured by those in the know…

The full WBO world title is to be contested between Angelo Leo and Stephen Fulton at super bantamweight. Once again these are two undefeated fighters. Michael Conlan is in line to fight the winner, so we do have an extra reason for keeping an eye on this contest. Defending champion, Leo is expected to relinquish his belt to the slick boxer who has a decent amateur pedigree and experience from the World Series of Boxing. Certainly, Fulton ahs the skill but the defending champ has every reason hanging round his waist to do what he can to brawl his way to retaining the belt. Another great fight that might not have caught our attention had we not had a dearth of fights from which to pick to watch…

Late on in the week on Friday the 29th of January in Florida, we have more heavyweight intrigue as Bermane Stiverne returns against an unnamed opponent, and the WBA cruiserweight title shall be decided between Beibut Shumenov and Raphael Murphy. Stiverne may just be there for a payday but he has been a very important servant to the sport. Hopefully we get to see his skills to tea up the main event.

As for Shumenov, with eastern European boxing suffering from the loss by Loma and the Kovalev doping failure, could this serve as a reminder that they are still formidable – I certainly think so…

The main event in the arena is, three years after winning it in 2017, Manual Charr getting to defend his WBA regular world heavyweight title against the undefeated Trevor Bryan. The relevance of this regular WBA title has been spectacularly lost amongst the worldwide debates over AJ/Fury/Wilder. Not many people can see how this ranks anywhere near their level and the people fighting for the belt are, at best, B list fighters at an A+ party. Perhaps once Charr defends it the winner could get a chance to take on the other fighters in and around the WBA list like Robert Helenius, Oleksandr Usyk, Luis Ortiz and so on, it may become more relevant…  But it has a long way to go as it piles farce upon farce, with Bryan being the current interim champion, Helenius the gold champion and Charr the actual champion, apart from AJ being the actual, actual champion. It’s clearly ridiculous so the sooner the WBA sweep this away, the better… As to who wins, probably one of them does…

FUTURE HISTORY

Saturday 30th January

ARGENTINA

The IBF female super flyweight title fight is between Micaela Milagros Lujan and Debora Vanesa Gomez.

LOS ANGELES

The IBF super middleweight clash for the titles between Caleb Plant and Caleb Truax.

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