The Ecstasy of Gold: 5 Best Title Fights of the Weekend

The Ecstasy of Gold: 5 Best Title Fights of the Weekend


The Ecstasy of Gold: 5 Best Title Fights of the Weekend


The championship fight. The pinnacle of achievement across combat sports for centuries. A premiere attraction that draws millions every year. But not all title bouts are created equally.

So which title bouts every week are the ones to watch? We’ll look over every title fight from across the combat sports landscape and give you the five best based on five criteria:


  • Competitiveness: Is this an even matchup? Or just a warm body to throw at a champion? It’s a title fight, so we want the best possible at that division in that promotion.
  • Excitement: How exciting will this fight be? A clash of two elite talents throwing everything they have at each other in an attempt to win the gold? Or a half-dead plod-fest devoid of action or risk?
  • Juice: A sort of catch-all term for all the factors behind the matchup. Is there a story leading up to the match? A true rivalry? Anticipated rematch? Do the fighters dislike each other? Were the circumstances leading to the fight extraordinary, or was it just a promoter putting two names against each other? Is there a lot of excitement or hype going into it?
  • Prestige: Applies to the belt itself, but also to the fighter wearing it. Is this a long-tenured champion defending? Is this an interim title or one that was vacated? Has the champion increased the prestige of the title or is this a fight that will increase the prestige of it?
  • Viewing Ease: We all don’t mind suffering for our art (or hobbies), but sometimes paying twenty dollars for a choppy stream, or searching your cable plan for a channel you’re pretty sure was just invented three days ago in the 6000s isn’t the best of times. How easy, affordable, and stress-free is this bout to watch?


So here are your five best gold options for the weekend.


1. IBO/IBF/WBO/WBA/WBC World Female Middleweight Championship: Cecilia Braekhus (c) (32-0) vs. Kali Reis (13-6-1)

When/Where: Saturday, 11:00pm, HBO

Competitiveness: 3: Reis is a bonafide top contender, but until Katie Taylor or Claressa Shields dethrones her, Braekhus is the queen of women’s boxing.
Excitement: 2
Juice: 3: First female bout shown on HBO is a pretty big damned deal.
Prestige: 5
Viewing Ease: 3

Total: 16


2. LFA Interim Middleweight Championship: Ian Heinisch (c) (9-1) vs. Gabriel Checco (12-2)

When/Where: Friday, 9:00pm, AXS

Competitiveness: 5
Excitement: 4: All ten of Checco’s wins are by stoppage, we’ll see if he can make it eleven.
Juice: 1
Prestige: 2: I despise interim titles, and a promotion like LFA really shouldn’t have them, at all.
Viewing Ease: 3

Total: 15


3. IBO/IBF/WBA/WBC World Middleweight Championships: Gennady Golovkin (c) (37-0-1) vs. Vanes Martirosyan (36-3-1)

When/Where: Saturday, 11:00pm, HBO

Competitiveness: 2: This is an absurd matchup, but good on Vanes for taking it when others passed.
Excitement: 3
Juice: 1: This has been such a clusterfuck that I’ll be happy when this is just over and we can move on towards an actual fight.
Prestige: 5
Viewing Ease: 3

Total: 14


4. Enfusion 70kg Championship: Jonay Risco (c) (56-12-1) vs. Davit Kiria (31-16)

When/Where: Saturday, 1:00pm,

Competitiveness: 4: Risco is coming off of a career-making win over Buakaw, and another name-win could propel him into the big leagues.
Excitement: 2
Juice: 1
Prestige: 3
Viewing Ease: 3: Really happy that Fite is getting into the Enfusion game. Some of the best of the best have come through their doors.

Total: 13


5. Vacant Invicta Bantamweight Championship: Katharina Lehner (7-0) vs. Sarah Kaufman (19-4)

When/Where: Friday, 8:00pm, UFC Fight Pass

Competitiveness: 2
Excitement: 1: It’s a Sarah Kaufman fight, which means it’s going to be a plodding 25 minutes.
Juice: 1
Prestige: 3: Usually Invicta titles are a one-way ticket to the UFC, but after how soon the UFC split with Kaufman, I doubt they’re in any hurry to bring her back.
Viewing Ease: 4

Total: 11

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