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

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


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.


t4. Krush Super Lightweight Championship: Hayato Suzuki (c) (8-3-1) vs. Daizo Sasaki (24-17-1)

When/Where: Sunday, GAORA TV

Competitiveness: 4
Excitement: 3
Juice: 3: In November at K-1, Sasaki defeated Suzuki by unanimous decision, and exactly three months later, he gets a chance to dethrone Suzuki for his Krush championship.
Prestige: 3
Viewing Ease: 1: Warm up that VPN!

Total: 14


t4. WBO World Junior Featherweight Championship: Emanuel Navarrete (c) (30-1) vs. Jeo Santisima (19-2)

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

Competitiveness: 2: The closest that Santisima ever got to a true secondary title in the WBO was the Oriental, which doesn’t carry a ton of clout. Navarrete should rout the Phillipean fighter making his U.S. debut.
Excitement: 4
Juice: 1
Prestige: 5
Viewing Ease: 2: One-fight card for $79.99. The undercard is not, how do you say, good.

Total: 14


3. BBBofC British Junior Featherweight Championship: Brad Foster (c) (11-0-2) vs. Lucien Reid (8-0-2)

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

Excitement: 2
Juice: 3
Prestige: 3
Viewing Ease: 4: Saturday afternoon British boxing on Plus has become a staple in my house and I don’t want it to end.

Total: 17


2. Vacant Legacy Fighting Alliance Light Heavyweight Championship: Alex Polizzi (5-0) vs. Jamal Pogues (7-2)

When/Where: Friday, 9:00pm, UFC Fight Pass

Competitiveness: 5
Excitement: 5: Out of twelve combined wins from these two, ten have been finishes, and the majority have been finished in the first.
Juice: 1
Prestige: 3: You know how this works with Legacy. Fighter wins the belt, fighter leaves it to sign with the big leagues. No harm in not having a reigning champion.
Viewing Ease: 4

Total: 18


1. WBC World Heavyweight Championship: Deontay Wilder (c) (42-0-1) vs. Tyson Fury (29-0-1)

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

Competitiveness: 5
Excitement: 4: Their first bout was an absolute killer. I think it’ll be a little more conservative and tamer this time around, though.
Juice: 5
Prestige: 5: If you follow lineal championships, it’s still Fury’s, and now that Joshua is out of the discussion as the top guy, this is for the best heavyweight on the planet.
Viewing Ease: 2

Total: 21

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