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

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

Combat

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. IBO/WBC/WBA Super World Middleweight Championship: Gennady Golovkin (c) (38-0-1) vs. Saul Alvarez (49-1-2)

When/Where: Saturday, 8:00pm, Pay-Per-View

Competitiveness: 5: These two are clearly evenly-matched, but what has time done to GGG in the meantime?
Excitement: 5
Juice: 4: Well, the time has come…again. Two of the best in the world, and certainly two of the biggest, face off in a rematch of a tightly-contested megafight. Thanks to Adelaide Byrd, what should have been a close win for GGG turned into a draw after an absurd 118-110 Canelo card. Now it’s time to run it back.
Prestige: 5
Viewing Ease: 2

Total: 21

 

t1. Glory Middleweight Championship: Alex Pereira (c) (38-6) vs. Simon Marcus (49-4-2)

When/Where: Friday, 10:30pm, ESPN3

Competitiveness: 5
Excitement: 3: In their first encounter, Pereira used his size to his advantage, battering Marcus almost at will and not letting him clinch, sending him to the canvas.
Juice: 4: Pereira defeated Marcus for the middleweight title, now after two wins, Marcus gets a chance to bring it home for the third time, which will be a record.
Prestige: 5
Viewing Ease: 4

Total: 21

 

3. WBC World Junior Welterweight Championship: Jose Carlos Ramirez (c) (22-0) vs. Antonio Orozco (27-0)

When/Where: Friday, 10:00pm, ESPN

Competitiveness: 5: Orozco has been taking his career slowly, yet, surely. At 30, he’s getting his first title shot, but his trajectory is where he should be.
Excitement: 5: In their last nine fights, they have six combined knockouts.
Juice: 1
Prestige: 5
Viewing Ease: 4

Total: 20

 

4. Fight To Win Pro Masters Black Belt No-Gi Super Heavyweight Championship: Elliot Marshall (c) vs. James Puopolo

When/Where: Friday, 8:30pm, FloGrappling

Competitiveness: 4: Two of the better big men in grappling at the moment. Marshall has transformed his career from a middling light heavyweight in the UFC to a multiple-time BJJ champion.
Excitement: 3
Juice: 1
Prestige: 3: Fight To Win has roughly 832 titles, but this is one that is actually being held by a F2W veteran and defended, not a vacant title. Bumps it up an extra point.
Viewing Ease: 4

Total: 15

 

5. WBO World Junior Middleweight Championship: Jaime Munguia (c) (30-0) vs. Brandon Cook (20-1)

When/Where: Saturday, 8:00pm, Pay-Per-View

Competitiveness: 1: Cook is a secondary-title hopeful, who’s never even fought in the States and only once outside of Canada, a loss. He shouldn’t be fighting for a world title on the biggest card of the year.
Excitement: 2
Juice: 1
Prestige: 5
Viewing Ease: 2: Hey HEY now, that price tag! Yikes.

Total: 11

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