September is now upon us. As the summer winds down, the boxing schedule moves forward. As usual there are fights on the various platforms but quite frankly, it's not the greatest ledger of bouts. But here's a look at the top five that are scheduled for this month.
1- Saul Alvarez vs Gennadiy Golovkin III (Sept. 17th, Las Vegas, NV -- DAZN PPV)
Golovkin has been yearning for another crack at Canelo since losing a closely contested split decision back in 2018. Currently his record versus the Mexican star is 0-1-1, but many believe that he should have at least one victory to his credit in what has been a heated rivalry that began as middleweights in 2017.
This is certainly a case of familiarity breeding contempt, as whatever respect these two had for one another has evaporated. (Hey, punching someone in the face for 24 rounds can have that effect on a relationship).
Many believe that Golovkin -- who turned 40 years old earlier this year -- is simply too long in the tooth. But others think that no matter how many times these two square off, a good fight is always bound to break out. Some added intrigue to this bout was added when 'Canelo' was soundly defeated by WBA light heavyweight titlist, Dmitry Bivol, back in May.
2- Leigh Wood vs. Mauricio Lara (Sept. 24, Nottingham, UK -- DAZN)
Back in March Wood scored one of the most dramatic knockouts of the year, as he stopped Michael Conlan in the 12th round of their contest for the WBA featherweight title. As it stands now, that's the fight-of-the-year.
FIGHT HIGHLIGHTS | Leigh Wood vs Michael Conlan
Now he faces 'Mr Mayhem', Maurcio Lara from Mexico, who I like to say, 'fights as if he's double parked.' This is a guy who comes out hurling leather as hard as he can from the opening bell, and just keeps attacking. Don't believe, well, watch these clips of his slugfest against Emilio Sanchez in March.
FIGHT HIGHLIGHTS | Mauricio Lara vs. Emilio Sanchez
What's interesting is that despite coming in with the belt, Wood is ranked sixth in the division, while Lara is fourth in Ring Magazine's ratings.
3- Luis Ortiz vs. Andy Ruiz (Sept. 4, Los Angeles, CA -- FOX PPV)
It's rare that you get a heavyweight match-up involving two top 10 boxers (Ruiz is rated fifth by Ring, with Ortiz right behind him at six) but this is exactly what you have here. No real title is on the line, but this is certainly a pivotal bout. The winner stays in line for a big payday, while the loser goes to the back of the line.
Ruiz should be the younger, fresher fighter of the two. But keep this in mind, since that huge upset over Anthony Joshua in June of 2019, he has fought just twice. Ortiz hasn't been that much more active since he got stopped by Deontay Wilder in their rematch, but this is actually his second outing of the year. Back on New Years night he scored a sixth round stoppage of Charles Martin.
Ortiz can still bang, but has become more and more of a plodder in his advanced age. But Ruiz was decked in his last outing by Chris Arreloa. One thing is clear, neither man will have to work hard to find one another inside that ring.
4- Joe Joyce vs. Joseph Parker (Sept. 24, Manchester, UK -- ESPN+)
I love me some 'Juggernaut". This is what I wrote about him a couple of months ago:
I don't think he can possibly be in a boring fight because of his style, which is good, because quite frankly, Parker (a former belt-holder), has seemingly been in snoozers for years. If there is a guy who can get him into one, it's Joyce.
By the way, this is another match-up of two Ring rated heavyweights. Parker is number three, while Joyce is seventh.
5 (TIE) - Mikaela Mayer vs. Alycia Baumgardner, Savannah Marshall vs Claressa Shields ( Sept. 10, London, UK -- ESPN+)
OK, I admit, I'm hedging here, but I am looking forward to both of these bouts on what is truly ladies night at the O2 Arena, as this whole card is filled with female fighters. Katie Taylor and Amanda Serrano set a high bar for this quartet to live up to, but regardless, it's clear that women's boxing is making significant strides.
Mayer and Baumgardner have been trading barbs the past several months in what has been a very entertaining Twitter battle, while Marshall and Shields have had a simmering feud that will finally be settled inside the ring.
In what was a bit of a surprising announcement, Danny Roman, went on Twitter earlier this week and stated his intentions to retire from the sport.
Roman, still just 32 years old, will walk away from professional boxing with a mark of 29-4-1(10 KOs), and can say that he became a unified champion at 122, traveled the world (having gone to Japan to win and defend his titles) and made some pretty good money the past several years, having appeared on DAZN and then Showtime.
Not bad for a guy who was released after an early loss by Thompson Boxing, and then re-signed by the company.
Roman was a good, solid fighter, one that always gave an honest effort. But beyond that, he was one of the most humble and amiable individuals that you will ever come across. The game of boxing will miss him.
Good luck to him in his future endeavors.
Speaking of surprises, it was Marv Nation that won the purse bid for the vacant WBC junior welterweight title bout between Jose Zepeda and Regis Prograis with an offering of $2.4 million, which far out-paced every other bidder.
For those of you who don't know, but Marv Nation is a local outfit based in Southern California, who has done a series of club shows. So yes, they are actually promoters.
My guess is that they wont be staging Zepeda-Ramirez at the Derby Room in Pomona.
DiBella Entertainment won the bid for the IBF eliminator at 175 between Jean Pascal and Joshua Buatsi....DAZN has a card this Friday from Mexico featuring Juan Franciso Estrada....Word is that Jake Paul will face Anderson Silva in late October. That's actually an interesting match-up....As you read this column, I will be in Miami. Yes, the Hurricanes are only playing Bethune Cookman, but I wasn't missing Mario Cristobal's first game as the UM head coach.... I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org....