Boxing fans are in for a treat in the coming months with Showtime televising seven big fights involving top fighters in the sport. These are fights in some cases that fans would normally have to pay to see, but in this case, they’ll all be shown on regular Showtime rather than through their pay-per-view arm. The fights are as follows:
Jesus Cuellar (28-1, 21 KOs) vs. Abner Mares (29-2-1, 15 KOs) – This is a good fight matching former three division world champion Abner Mares challenging for the WBA against challenger Jesus Cuellar. Mares lost his last fight to Leo Santa Cruz a year ago, and he’s had eye problems since that time. The eye problems are now taken care of and he’s ready to resurface against one of the bigger punchers in the featherweight division. I think Mares is past it at this point in his career. He probably could extend his time as a time fighter and get good results if he moved back down to bantamweight, but I think he wants the weight. As such, I see Mares losing to Cuellar and continuing to lose to other fighters in the featherweight division.
Jermall Charlo (24-0, 18 KOs) vs. Julian Williams (22-0-1, 14 KOs) – The big punching Jermall Charlo, the bigger puncher of the Charlo brothers, will be defending his IBF junior middleweight title against #1 IBF Julian “J-Rock” Williams in a 50-50 fight that could go either way. Charlo just finished battling former WBA Austin Trout in a war in his last fight. Charlo won a close decision, but he looked bad in running out of gas after six rounds. It might be time for Charlo to move up to middleweight. I suspect that’s what he’ll do if he loses to Williams.
Badou Jack (20-1-2, 12 KOs) vs. James DeGale (23-1, 14 KOs) – James DeGale will be putting his IBF super middleweight title on the line in a unification match against WBC super middleweight champion Badou Jack. It’s likely going to take place at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.
Carl Frampton (23-0, 14 KOs) vs. Leo Santa Cruz (32-1-1, 18 KOs) – This is a rematch of their fight from last July at the Barclays Center in New York. Frampton will be defending his WBA World featherweight title against Santa Cruz at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada. It’s nice that Santa Cruz’s management was able to negotiate a neutral venue for the fight rather than taking the fight in New York again, which has a large Irish community that would support Frampton like they did last time the two fought each other.
Dejan Zlaticanin (18-0, 11 KOs) vs. Mikey Garcia (35-0, 29 KOs) – This is a tough fight for WBC lightweight champion Dejan Zlaticanin in facing former two division world champion Mikey Garcia at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada. The fight will be on the undercard of the Frampton vs. Santa Cruz card. Zlaticanin just recently won the vacant World Boxing Council lightweight title with a 3rd round knockout win over Franklin Mamani last June. It’s too bad Zlaticanin has to fight Garcia so quickly, because he probably won’t be able to hold onto his title.
Adrien Broner (32-2, 24 KOs) vs. Adrian Granados (18-4-2, 12 KOs) – This is a risky fight for the former four division world champion Adrien Broner. He doesn’t need to face Adrien Granados in order to get a title shot against WBA 140lb champion Ricky Burns, but he’s doing it nonetheless to show the boxing world he’s for real. If the results don’t work out in Broner’s favor, then he’ll need to hit the reset button on his career. I don’t think many fans would be ready for the shocking news of Broner losing the fight. Broner is shaky nowadays, so anything is possible with him
Danny Garcia (32-0, 18 KOs) vs. Keith Thurman (27-0, 22 KOs) – This is a good fight matching WBC welterweight champion Danny Garcia and WBA champion Keith Thurman. You have to favor Thurman in this match due to his size, speed and power.