The boxing schedule keeps moving forward on this upcoming holiday weekend, and it's highlighted by a pair of cards on DAZN and Showtime on Saturday night. One features a star-crossed fight featuring the recognized lightweight champion of the world, while the other is a junior featherweight unification bout.
From the Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden in New York (DAZN), Teofimo Lopez finally fulfills his IBF mandatory versus George Kambosos. Meanwhile on the other side of the country, WBO 122-pound champion, Stephen Fulton, faces off with WBC titlist, Brandon Figueroa from the Park Theater in Las Vegas as the headliner on Showtime.
It's been awhile since we saw the talented Lopez, who last year upset the highly regarded, Vasiliy Lomachenko, to become the IBF, WBA and WBO champion (alongside his WBC 'franchise' designation, for whatever that's worth). In just his 16th pro bout Lopez showed that he is among the elite in the sport.
However, instead of capitalizing on this victory by continuing to build his brand, he and his management hatched a plan that had them entering into a purse bid for this bout. Shockingly it was won by Triller, who offered an exorbitant bid of over $6 million.
From there this fight was beset by postponements (which stemmed from Lopez contracting Covid, to a disagreement on when and where this bout should be rescheduled), and in the end, Triller defaulted on this event, and this weekends event being promoted by Matchroom Sports.
This was an object lesson on how to kill career momentum. Truth be told, this year has been completely squandered by Lopez and his team who never understood that the hard work in becoming a true star, wasn't accomplished by beating Lomachenko, but had really just begun. You almost get the sense that they are now starting over in this regard.
Mikey Williams/Top Rank
With that said, Lopez is still one of the most gifted young boxers in the sport, and out of the quartet of Gervonta Davis, Devin Haney, Ryan Garcia, and himself, he has by far the best resume'. It would be a significant upset if Kambosos should somehow win this fight. From there, Lopez will go back with Top Rank -- with whom he made amends with after his dalliance with Triller -- and he will have a chance to reset his standing within the sport in 2022.
While Lopez-Kambosos might be the highest profile bout of the weekend, the best pure match-up is between Fulton and Figueroa, who battle it out to become boxing's latest unified champion. What makes this pairing so intriguing is that it's a stark contrast of styles. Fulton is the well-schooled boxer with sharp skills, against Figueroa who is the consummate pressure fighter, who has a high work rate.
Back in May, Figueroa wore out Luis Nery, applying constant pressure on him and then ending things with a knifing body shot that had Nery writhing in pain on the canvas in round seven. Pressure busted his pipes. But don't expect the two-fisted pressure of Figueroa to overwhelm Fulton, who showed in his January outing with Angelo Leo, that he can more than hold his own on the inside.
What really makes this fight so appealing, isn't just the fact that Fulton is rated third in the division by Ring Magazine, with Figueroa right behind him at four, but also that they are both young boxers in their physical prime. Fulton, is 27 years old, while Figueroa is 24. Imagine that, a bout that wasn't over-marinated.
'Cool Boy' Fulton is aiming to show that Jaron 'Boots' Ennis isn't the only emerging star from Philadelphia. While Figueroa, who is the quintessential Joel Diaz trained combatant, believes that he will push him to the brink, and beyond.
This is a fight that is certainly no turkey.
Speaking of Thanksgiving weekend fight cards, Triller brings you Triad Combat from the Global Life Field from Arlington, Texas. This is a new hybrid fighting style that incorporates both boxing and MMA rules in a triangular ring with two minute rounds. You also get a Metallica concert to boot.
To get a better synopsis of this, watch this video..
Triad Combat Rules & Regulations #TrillerFightClub
The main event features former heavyweight title challenger, Kubrat Pulev, facing Frank Mir. This pay-per-view can be purchased on Fite.TV, or part of the TrillerVerzPass.
On the DAZN undercard is a battle between Azinga Fuzile and Keniche Ogawa for the vacant IBF junior lightweight title, along with prospects, Raymond Ford and Reshat Mati.... Meanwhile, Showtime on Saturday will also feature 122-pound contender, Ra'eese Aleem, and the talented Gary Antonio Russell on it's telecast....DAZN actually has a card from Mexico on Friday....Are the New England Patriots the most sound team in the AFC?....Does the Baker Mayfield era in Cleveland feel like it's coming to an end?.....For my money, pecan pie is the best Thanksgiving dessert... Is 'Nothing Else Matters' the best Metallica song?, or is it 'Enter Sandman'?....Speaking I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org