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The Sports Daily > Undercard Superstar
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. WBO World Bantamweight Championship: Zolani Tete (c) (25-3) vs. Siboniso Gonya (11-1)

When/Where: Saturday, 5:00pm, BT Sport (United Kingdom)

Competitiveness: 3
Excitement: 4
Juice: 2: Two South African boxers competing for gold is a moment of pride for a continent not entirely rich with championship boxers currently.
Prestige: 5
Viewing Ease: 2: No U.S. options, so have fun finding a UK stream.

Total: 16

 

 

2. IBF World Junior Bantamweight Championship: Jerwin Ancajas (c) (27-1-1) vs. Jamie Conlan (19-0)

When/Where: Saturday, 5:00pm, BT Sport (United Kingdom)

Competitiveness: 2: Conlan has a paper record and is just out of eight-rounders. A split-decision over a 22-10-1 Yader Cardoza isn’t star-making or even title-fight material. Frank Warren, you ass.
Excitement: 4: Both of these guys have crazy power for their weight class. Quick pounders.
Juice: 1
Prestige: 5
Viewing Ease: 2

Total: 14

 

 

t3. Lion Fight Cruiserweight Championship: Chip Moraza-Pollard (c) (5-0) vs. Jordan Smith (12-0)

When/Where: Saturday, 2:00pm, FloCombat

Competitiveness: 4
Excitement: 3
Juice: 1
Prestige: 2: Cruiserweight isn’t a marquee division in Lion Fight, or even in muay thai, and Moraza-Pollard is a new champion.
Viewing Ease: 3: Usually Lion Fight calls AXS home, but they’re across the pond and can be found on the rather pricey, yet comprehensive, FloSports network.

Total: 13

 

 

t3. Titan Fighting Championship Bantamweight Championship: Jose Torres (c) (5-0) vs. Gleidson DeJesus (7-2)

When/Where: Friday, 7:00pm. UFC Fight Pass

Competitiveness: 3: DeJesus is a fine challenger, especially for a promotion like Titan, but Torres is something very, very special.
Excitement: 4: Torres has shown an ability, and a fire to finish fights any which way.
Juice: 1
Prestige: 2
Viewing Ease: 3

Total: 13

 

 

5. Fight To Win Pro Female Purple Belt NoGi Flyweight Championship: Andrea Lee vs. Mo Black

When/Where: Friday, 8:00pm, FloGrappling

Competitiveness: 2
Excitement: 4: I don’t think KGB can participate in anything that isn’t interesting or fun
Juice: 1
Prestige: 1: Firstly, it’s an inaugural title, and secondly, it’s for purple belts.
Viewing Ease: 3

Total: 11