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

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

Combat

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

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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. WBC World Minimunweight Championship: Chayaphon Moonsri (c) (54-0) vs. Panya Pradabsri (34-1)

When/Where: Friday, Thailand 7 TV

Competitiveness: 2
Excitement: 3
Juice: 1
Prestige: 5: The only world championship on the line this weekend.
Viewing Ease: 1: NOPERS! Unless you have a Thai TV hookup.

Total: 12

 

4. WBO European Junior Middleweight Championship: Hamzah Sheeraz (c) (11-0) vs. Guido Nicolas Pitto (26-7-2)

When/Where: Saturday, 2:00pm, ESPN+

Competitiveness: 2: Pitto is coming off of a first-round TKO over a young, undefeated, power-punching prospect. So, here he takes on (checks notes) ….oh.
Excitement: 4: See above.
Juice: 1
Prestige: 2
Viewing Ease: 4

Total: 13

 

3. Vacant ACA MMA Heavyweight Championship: Daniel Omielanczuk (24-9-1) vs. Tony Johnson Jr. (13-5-1)

When/Where: Thursday, 10:00am, ACA-MMA.com

Competitiveness: 4
Excitement: 2
Juice: 2: After an eye-poke no-decision and a decision loss, Johnson is making his third consecutive crack at the ACA heavyweight title.
Prestige: 3
Viewing Ease: 3: Who doesn’t want some Thanksgiving morning heavyweight slobberknockers??

Total: 14

 

2. WBC Silver/Commonwealth/BBBofC/Vacant EBU European Heavyweight Championships: Daniel Dubois (c) (15-0) vs. Joe Joyce (11-0)

When/Where: Saturday, 2:00pm, ESPN+

Competitiveness: 5: I know Dubois is younger, more exciting, more hype around him, but what has he shown that’s made him a -450 favorite over Joyce? Yes, Joyce is 35, but he didn’t start his pro career until he was 31, and his amateur career until his 20s. There’s not a ton of heavy miles on him. Joyce has the technique, the better wins, and the experience.
Excitement: 3
Juice: 3: This is basically to determine the next British world heavyweight championship contender.
Prestige: 3
Viewing Ease: 4

Total: 18

 

1. Vacant IBF Intercontinental Welterweight Championship: Daniyar Yeleussinov (9-0) vs. Julius Indongo (23-2)

When/Where: Friday, 8:00pm, DAZN

Competitiveness: 5: Olympic gold medalist takes on former world champion.
Excitement: 4
Juice: 3: Indongo is a former world champion, and at 37, winning this secondary belt and being a mandatory challenger might be his last shot.
Prestige: 3
Viewing Ease: 4

Total: 19

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