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. WBO World Junior Middleweight Championship: Jaime Munguia (c) (33-0) vs. Patrick Allotey (40-3)

When/Where: Saturday, 7:00pm, DAZN

Competitiveness: 2: Rematch with Dennis Hogan? Nah. Huge matchup with Jessie Vargas? Pass. Gimme Ghanan club fighter Patrick Allotey!
Excitement: 3
Juice: 1
Prestige: 5
Viewing Ease: 4: Back to back big cards on DAZN Friday and Saturday. Friday’s card beats the hell out of Saturdays, though.

Total: 15

 

4. Vacant Interim WBC World Lightweight Championship: Devin Haney (22-0) vs. Zaur Abdullaev (11-0)

When/Where: Friday, 7:00pm, DAZN

Competitiveness: 5: Two young guys with impeccable records that will definitely not be ready to face Loma, as they’re to do after one wins. Haney is a dash higher ranked with a little higher ceiling and should be the favorite, but not by very much.
Excitement: 4
Juice: 2
Prestige: 1: What fucking bullshit this is. The actual WBC World Lightweight championship was defended TWO WEEKS AGO! SUCCESSFULLY! They created this title out of thin goddamned air LAST WEEK! DEATH TO INTERIM TITLES!
Viewing Ease: 4

Total: 16

 

3. WBC World Female Super Middleweight Championship: Franchon Crews Dezurn (c) (5-1) vs. Alejandra Jimenez (12-0-1)

When/Where: Saturday, 7:00pm, DAZN

Competitiveness: 5
Excitement: 2
Juice: 3: This is damned interesting and two damned interesting fighters. Jimenez, and I can’t believe I’m typing this, used to be a world heavyweight champion in boxing, who competed as high as 236 POUNDS, and now she’s here at super middleweight, coming in at or under 168lbs. That’s absolutely bananas.
Prestige: 3: It’s a legit world title, for sure, but women’s super middleweight isn’t exactly a very populous or relevent division in combat sports.
Viewing Ease: 4

Total: 17

 

2. WBO World Junior Featherweight Championship: Emanuel Navarrete (c) (28-1) vs. Juan Miguel Elorde (28-1)

When/Where: Saturday, 11:00pm, ESPN+

Competitiveness: 3: In a weekend jam-packed with mismatches, this is a bad one, but not quite as egregious as some of the other offerings this weekend. At least Elorde was a secondary regional champion for the WBO.
Excitement: 5: In Navarrete’s last eleven bouts, he’s finished his opponents in the last ten, the only one being his first bout with Isaac Dogboe.
Juice: 1
Prestige: 5
Viewing Ease: 4

Total: 18

 

1. WBO World Female Featherweight Championship: Heather Hardy (c) (22-0) vs. Amanda Serrano (36-1-1)

When/Where: Friday, 7:00pm, DAZN

Competitiveness: 5: The most evenly-matched boxing world title fight (not counting Haney-Abdullaev as a world title fight) this weekend and it’s not particularly close.
Excitement: 2
Juice: 3: Serrano is a seven-weight world champion, a legend in the sport, and once held this very title, the WBO Featherweight title. This is Hardy’s, a budding star in boxing and MMA, first-ever world title defense and the biggest fight of her life. Will she take the next step to superstardom, or will Serrano add to her already massive belt collection?
Prestige: 5
Viewing Ease: 4

Total: 19

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