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. WBC World Heavyweight Championship: Deontay Wilder (c) (40-0) vs. Tyson Fury (27-0)

When/Where: Saturday, 9:00pm, Pay-Per-View

Competitiveness: 5
Excitement: 4: It could stink. I doubt it, but Fury is a very technical, methodical fighter, contrary to her personality, and Wilder is a hard-swinger with not a ton of accuracy.
Juice: 3: These two have really tried to do the trash talk/press conference brawl route, but it mostly came off as forced. Fury is naturally charasmatic, while Deontay is…well, not.
Prestige: 5
Viewing Ease: 2

Total: 19

 

t1. WBC World Light Heavyweight Championship Adonis Stevenson (c) (29-1-1) vs. Oleksandr Gvozdyk (15-0)

When/Where: Saturday, 7:45pm, Showtime

Competitiveness: 5: Now this is the good stuff. An outstanding matchup featuring a longtime champand fresh, undefeated challenger. Gvozdyk is ready for this, and Stevenson is going to have his hands full.
Excitement: 4
Juice: 2: Not much personal beef, but the continued death march of the Ukranians towards taking over boxing can be furthered here.
Prestige: 5
Viewing Ease: 3

Total: 19

 

t1. Vacant LFA Bantamweight Championship: Miles Johns (6-0) vs. Adrian Yanez (7-2)

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

Competitiveness: 5
Excitement: 5: Both guys are very well-rounded and can finish in many different ways, so this should be a fun matchup.
Juice: 3: If the UFC really is abolishing the flyweight division, bantamweight really is going to be an absolute shark tank, and the winner is probably going right in to it.
Prestige: 3
Viewing Ease: 3

Total: 19

 

4. IBF/WBA Super/IBO World Junior Middleweight Championships: Jarrett Hurd (c) (22-0) vs. Jason Welborn (24-6)

When/Where: Saturday, 9:00pm, Pay-Per-View

Competitiveness: 2: Two split-decision wins over Tommy Langford really shouldn’t equal a co-main on a $75 pay-per-view, but here we are.
Excitement: 3
Juice: 1
Prestige: 5
Viewing Ease: 2: $75 for a one-fight card. Lordy, the Showtime prelims are much deeper.

Total: 13

 

5. Bellator Kickboxing Featherweight Championship: Gabriel Varga (c) (16-6) vs. Shan Cangelosi (9-5)

When/Where: Saturday, Tape-Delay

Competitiveness: 2: Not so much, but they needed to find an Italian challenger, and Cagelosi is who they found.
Excitement: 3: Varga isn’t usually a blast to watch, but I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt after his last fight against Kevin Ross. Maybe a late-stage excitement surge?
Juice: 1
Prestige: 3
Viewing Ease: 1

Total: 10

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