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

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

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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.

 

t1. WBA World Junior Featherweight Championship: Daniel Roman (c) (24-2-1) vs. Moises Flores (25-0)

When/Where: Saturday, 9:00pm, Showtime

Competitiveness: 5
Excitement: 3
Juice: 3: Flores is such a curious case. He’s coming off a fight 364 days ago against Guillermo Rigondeaux for this same title. He was originally ruled knocked out by a punch that landed just at the bell. The ref ruled it legal, the Nevada State Athletic Commission did not. Thus a No Contest, and Flores is back for another crack.
Prestige: 5: Just because it’s WBA, I need to clarify, that Roman is their “Super” champion. I hate the WBA.
Viewing Ease: 3

Total: 19

 

t1. WBO World Junior Flyweight Championship: Angel Acosta (c) (17-1) vs. Carlos Buitrago (30-3-1)

When/Where: Saturday, 9:00pm, Fite.tv ($34.99)

Competitiveness: 4
Excitement: 5: Seventeen wins by knockout for Acosta is insane for his weight class. That’s unreal power.
Juice: 2
Prestige: 5
Viewing Ease: 3: Fite TV: Good! $34.99: Bad!

Total: 19

 

3. Vacant CES Bantamweight Championship: Andre Ewell (12-4) vs. Dinis Paiva (11-6)

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

Competitiveness: 5
Excitement: 4: Both very entertaining fighters with a lot of finishing tools in their utility belts.
Juice: 3: Interesting story here, as Paiva has fought all seventeen of his pro fights for CES, and has yet to fight for a title. Bet on the crowd rooting hard for the homegrown kid.
Prestige: 2
Viewing Ease: 3

Total: 17

 

t4. IBF World Welterweight Championship: Errol Spence Jr. (c) (23-0) vs. Carlos Ocampo (22-0)

When/Where: Saturday, 9:00pm, Showtime

Competitiveness: 2: Carlos Ocampo is 22 years old. He will be a world champion someday. It won’t be this weekend. Way too much, way too soon. Spence has been on a rampage. His last four fights: Chris Algieri, Leonard Bundu, Kell Brook, Lamont Peterson. All by T/KO.
Excitement: 5
Juice: 1
Prestige: 5
Viewing Ease: 3: Showtime putting on a hell of a doubleheader on Saturday night.

Total: 16

 

t4. Vacant Cage Warriors Bantamweight Championship: Brian Bouland (7-1) vs. Ilia Topuria (5-0)

When/Where: Saturday, 3:00pm, UFC Fight Pass

Competitiveness: 4
Excitement: 4: Classic striker vs. grappler matchup. Bouland has finished his last three by KO, and Topuria has won every bout by submission, with four in the first round.
Juice: 1
Prestige: 3: Fighting for vacant titles sucks, but Cage Warriors is one of the best regionals in the world and has produced a ton of talent. If you’re a titleholder for Cage Warriors, you’re on the map and on the radar.
Viewing Ease: 4

Total: 16

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