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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 Junior Lightweight Championship: Vasyl Lomachenko (c) (6-1) vs. Nicholas Walters (26-0-1)

When/Where: Saturday, 10:35pm, HBO

Competitiveness: 5: The undefeated former featherweight champion taking on the current super featherweight champ and one of the best amateur boxers ever. You really cannot ask for a better matchup.
Excitement: 5: Silky-smooth technique against raw, pure power. Walters possesses power in his hands that is absurdly rare for someone his size. Pure cinder blocks. Loma, on the other hand, is serpentine in his angles, his movement, his evasiveness. It’ll be a brilliant fight to watch.
Juice: 3
Prestige: 5
Viewing Ease: 4

Total: 22

 

2. WBO World Lightweight Championship: Terry Flanagan (c) (31-0) vs. Orlando Cruz (25-4-1)

When/Where: Saturday, 12:30pm, BoxNation (UK)

Competitiveness: 3
Excitement: 5:
Juice: 4: Flanagan with another win, will solidifly his claim to being the best lightweight in the world, and Cruz gets a second shot to become the first openly gay male world champion boxer. Lotta pressure for both of these gents.
Prestige: 5
Viewing Ease: 2: Well, it’s relatively easy to watch it, but you’ll have to find a nefarious stream if you live in the U.S.  Really wish this was a SHO/HBO afternoon card.

Total: 19

 

3. Top King 63.5kg Championship: Rungravee Sasiprapa (c) vs. Mathias Gallo Cassarino

When/Where: Sunday, 6:00am, Mono29 (Thailand)

Competitiveness: 4
Excitement: 4
Juice: 4: Actually some here, as this is been a trilogy that has spanned across multiple promotions.
Prestige: 2
Viewing Ease: 1: Unless you have access to Thai cable channels, and I have absolutely no need or want to know why you do, it’s unavailable.

Total: 15

 

4. Vacant BRACE Welterweight Championship: Rick Alchin (13-11) vs. Theo Christakos (5-2)

When/Where: Saturday, 4:00am, UFC Fight Pass

Competitiveness: 3
Excitement: 3: These two may never amount to a hill of beans, but their bouts are pretty fun for what they are.
Juice: 1
Prestige: 1
Viewing Ease: 4: WWE Network has beaten Fight Pass to the punch on most everything, but Fight Pass’s library and live streaming of other fight promotions is their best idea to date and one that WWE seems to be working towards.

Total: 12

 

5. Vacant BBBofC British Middleweight Championship: Sam Sheedy (17-1) vs. Tommy Langford (17-0)

When/Where: Saturday, 12:30pm, BoxNation (UK)

Competitiveness: 2: Langford is obviously being groomed for something bigger, but Sheedy is way out of his league.
Excitement: 2
Juice: 2
Prestige: 3: BBBofC is a highly respected commission and a lot of BBBofC title fights headline cards, even ahead of world title fights in the UK.
Viewing Ease: 2

Total: 11