By Steve Kim Updated on March 28, 2024

Boxing Bonanaza

Picture for Boxing Bonanaza

There's a busy boxing weekend ahead of us with Top Rank, PBC and Golden Boy all putting on shows. Here's a preview of what's to come in the next couple of days...

-- From the Desert Diamond Arena in Glendale, Arizona on Friday night, Top Rank brings an interesting card that will be streamed on ESPN+.

The main event will feature a junior lightweight tussle between former two-time champion, Oscar Valdez (31-2, 23 KOs), and Liam Wilson. Both boxers are coming off recent losses to Emanuel Navarrete. Last year, Wilson floored 'el Vaquero' early on but unfortunately was the victim of a (very) long count that eventually evaporated any chance of him pulling the upset. While Valdez was thoroughly defeated by Navarrete over the summer.

Many wonder if this will be Valdez's last stand. A victory, and he becomes the WBO interim 130-pound champion, with more lucrative fights ahead of him. A loss, and it's clear he's on the back nine of what has been a very accomplished career. Only the likes of Shakur Stevenson and Navarrete have defeated him. In the past, a victory over the likes of Wilson would be expected. Now, we're not so sure. 

Picture for Boxing BonanazaTop Rank

As for Wilson, who has bounced back with two victories since his loss to Navarrete, it's another chance to upset the apple cart after opening some eyes last February. 

“He has been in a lot of wars. I have that tendency as well,'' said Wilson (13-2, 7 KOs) If a fight gets rough, I get dragged into it. So, I’m ready for anything. I’m going to use my abilities. I’m going to stick to my game plan. But I’m also ready for a war.”

In the night's co-main, the ladies undisputed minimumweight title is on the line between Seniesa Estrada and Yokasta Valle, who have been trading barbs for a couple of years now. Yeah, this is an old fashioned grudge match. They don't much like one another. Look for them to be mean girls to one another this Friday evening. 

Seniesa & Valle Trade Explosive Barbs In Face off Interview | TALK THAT TALK | FULL EPISODE


“You can’t let any of the emotions or anger from the past get to you. I’ve been in fights before where I was able to experience that," said Estrada (25-0, 9 KOs), who is coming off a hand surgery after her most recent performance." In my fight with Marlen Esparza, there was a huge rivalry between us. It all came down to who was going to stay mentally focused and stick to the game plan with all the tension leading up to the fight. This fight means even more because it’s for undisputed.”

-- Then on Saturday night from the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Premier Boxing Champions kicks off it's 2024 campaign on the Prime Video platform with a pay-per-view card that doesn't really have what I'd call a true marquee match-up, but overall, it does feature a pretty strong ensemble cast.

Picture for Boxing BonanazaPBC

Much has been talked about in terms of Tim Tszyu no longer facing the dulled blade that is Keith Thurman, who leads the league in inactivity the past five years.

With that said, Sebastian Fundora, is considered an upgrade to most observers. The 6'6 'Towering Inferno' was knocked out last year versus Brian Mendoza (who then went on to lose to Tszyu later that fall), but he brings a fan-friendly, action style to the table, and a real physical challenge with his height and length. 

Picture for Boxing BonanazaPBC

This is a clash between the number one and number four ranked junior middleweight by Ring Magazine. Their champion is Jermell Charlo, who has not fought in the division in a couple of years. 

Rolando Romero-Isaac Cruz should be an interesting battle. Romero isn't exactly poetry in motion, but he does have a set of heavy hands. He was very fortunate to escape with the WBA 140-pound title last year against Ismael Barroso. 'Pit Bull' Cruz is built like a fire hydrant, and is a physically tough and rugged fighter.

The junior middleweight contest between the aforementioned Mendoza, and Serhii Bohachuk (who was slated to originally face Fundora on this show) should be a slugfest given the two respective styles. This bout will have the WBC interim 154-pound tag attached to it. So the winner is, at least in theory, in line for a title shot at junior middleweight.

-- Finally, at the YouTube Theater in Inglewood, California, the WBA cruiserweight title is up for grabs as Gilberto 'Zurdo' Ramirez' challenges Arsen Goulimirian. Ramirez is a bit of an anomaly in that he's a Mexican boxer with a solid record (45-1, 30 KOs), and a world title (WBO super middleweight) to his credit, but isn't all that popular. 

He's never truly resonated with the Mexican base, mostly because of his methodical way of going about business. He wins, but not in a way that has truly captured the imagination of his people the way Canelo Alvarez, or even Jaime Munguia have. He's been a beige spot, on a beige wall. 

Picture for Boxing BonanazaGolden Boy Promotions

This contest here could help change that perception, as the Abel Sanchez-lead Goulimirian (who is rated sixth in the division by Ring)  is a hard-nosed, pressure fighter, who isn't hard to find.

“It’s going to be a war. I know he likes to fight on the inside and that’s my specialty as well. I believe the combination of my strength and power will allow me to be victorious," said Ramirez, who after an unsuccessful title bid against Dmitry Bivol at 175, is now at cruiserweight. 

“I feel comfortable at this weight,” ‘Zurdo’ noted. “Naturally, as I got older, it was tougher to make weight and now everything seems to be easier. Like I always say, there’s no better teacher than experience in this life. I’m not training differently as a cruiserweight. I’m always working on the basics of boxing. Going into a higher division, one of the main things is that I’m able to lift  heavy and not worry about gaining muscle mass.”



This weeks edition of 'the 3 Knockdown Rule' with Mario Lopez and I, features an in-studio appearance from trainer, Rudy Hernandez, who didn't pull any punches:



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About Author
Boxing Bonanaza
  • Hosted 'the Main Event' on KIEV 870, and then later XTRA AM1150 ( a three hour show devoted to boxing) from 1996 to 1999.
  • Joined one of the first boxing websites, 'House of Boxing' in 1999, and then later became one of the founders of Maxboxing, that started in 2001, till his departure in 2014.
  • From 2014 to 2018, he was the lead columnist for
  • Was a boxing reporter for from 2018 to 2020.
  • He has written for Ring Magazine, International Boxing Digest and Boxing News.
  • Is the co-host of 'the 3 Knockdown Rule' with Mario Lopez, which has become of the most popular boxing podcasts the past several years.
  • Steve has also served as an announcer and analyst for RingTV, Thompson Boxing, 360 Promotions and CBS Sports Network.