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

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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.

 

5. IBF World Featherweight Championship: Josh Warrington (c) (28-0) vs. Kid Galahad (26-0)

When/Where: Saturday, 3:00pm, ESPN+

Competitiveness: 3: Galahad has long been groomed for this, but I think he needed one more big name, or a bout for a secondary title before being thrown to Warrington.
Excitement: 3
Juice: 1
Prestige: 5
Viewing Ease: 4: ESPN+ has been the go-to for the British boxing scene since its inception, even more than DAZN.

Total: 16

 

4. OneFC Women’s Atomweight Muay Thai Championship: Stamp Fairtex (c) (62-15-5) vs. Alma Juniku (24-4)

When/Where: Saturday, 8:00am, OneFC App

Competitiveness: 4
Excitement: 4
Juice: 3: This is an awesome bout for the future of women’s muay thai. Stamp is 21, Juniku is 18. They will certainly meet each other many more times over this decade.
Prestige: 2: First defense, will grow after.
Viewing Ease: 5

Total: 18

 

3. Bellator Welterweight Championship: Rory MacDonald (c) (20-5-1) vs. Neiman Gracie (9-0)

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

Competitiveness: 4: Depends on which Rory we’re getting, here. Prime Rory, this would be a light 3, but retirement Rory who doesn’t have the fortitude of his faith to hurt anyone? Hell, that’s a 5 against most mammals.
Excitement: 3
Juice: 4: After Rory’s bizarre confession-slash-retirement-question-mark after his last lackluster fight, I don’t know what the fuck to expect in this fight.
Prestige: 4
Viewing Ease: 4

Total: 19

 

t1. Bellator Bantamweight Championship: Darrion Caldwell (c) (13-2) vs. Kyoji Horiguchi (27-2)

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

Competitiveness: 3: Horiguchi outclassed Caldwell in their first bout, slipping in an out of Caldwell and avoiding much damage on the ground, even sinking in a fight-winning guillotine from his back in the third. These are still two of the best bantamweights in the world, but I can’t overlook Horiguchi’s performance.
Excitement: 5
Juice: 4: Like Hamasaki vs. Frey, this is the second meeting in the second promotion for these two. Last time was New Year’s Eve at Rizin for the inaugural bantamweight title. Now they run it back in Caldwell’s promotion for Caldwell’s strap.
Prestige: 4
Viewing Ease: 4

Total: 20

 

t1. Vacant WBC World Cruiserweight Championship/WBO World Cruiserweight Championship/World Boxing Super Series Semifinals: Krzysztof Glowacki (c) (31-1) vs. Mairis Briedis (25-1)

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

Competitiveness: 5: Now that Usyk is moving up to heavyweight, depending on your feelings on Murat Gassiev, this could very well be a matchup of #1 vs. #2 cruiserweights in the world.
Excitement: 3
Juice: 3: The World Boxing Super Series rolls on! The winner here battles the winner of Andrew Tabiti and Yunier Dorticos, and is the presumptive tournament winner.
Prestige: 5
Viewing Ease: 4

Total: 20

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