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?

 

t5. Interim WBA World Lightweight Championship: Rolando Romero (c) (12-0) vs. Justin Pauldo (14-1)

When/Where: Saturday, 9:00pm, Showtime

Competitiveness: 2: Pauldo’s never been in a bout that was longer than eight rounds and his second-to-last fight was against a fighter with a losing record.
Excitement: 4
Juice: 1
Prestige: 2: Absolutely unnecessary with both Gervonta Davis and Teofimo Lopez above them as WBA “champs”.
Viewing Ease: 3

Total: 12

 

t5. Interim WBA World Junior Featherweight Championship: Raeese Aleem (17-0) vs. Vic Pasillas (16-0)

When/Where: Saturday, 9:00pm, Showtime

Competitiveness: 3
Excitement: 3
Juice: 1
Prestige: 2: Once again, redundant. Brandon Figueroa and Murodjon Akhmadaliev as WBA champions already.
Viewing Ease: 3: Showtime bringing a damned solid three-deep card.

Total: 12

 

3. WBO World Junior Featherweight Championship: Angelo Leo (c) (20-0) vs. Stephen Fulton (18-0)

When/Where: Saturday, 9:00pm, Showtime

Competitiveness: 4
Excitement: 2: It’ll definitely be more technical than fireworks, but a hell of a matchup, regardless.
Juice: 1
Prestige: 5: The only true boxing world championship on the line this weekend.
Viewing Ease: 3

Total: 15

 

t1. ONE Kickboxing Bantamweight Championship: Alaverdi Ramazanov (c) (61-5) vs. Capitan Petchyindee Academy (143-40-1)

When/Where: Friday, 7:30am, BR Live

Competitiveness: 4: Ramazanov is the more impressive fighter, but Thai fighters tend to give him fits.
Excitement: 3
Juice: 1
Prestige: 4
Viewing Ease: 4: ONE is back after a (for them) lengthy layoff in their typical Friday morning slot.

Total: 16

 

t1. Krush Welterweight Championship: Kazuki Yamagiwa (c) (31-15-4) vs. Kato Torana (5-2)

When/Where: Saturday, 3:30am, Abema

Competitiveness: 4
Excitement: 5: In claiming the welterweight title, Yamagiwa scored first round knockouts over Kazuyoshi and Kaisei Kondo.
Juice: 1
Prestige: 3
Viewing Ease: 3: If you happen to be awake on 3:30 on late Saturday night, it’s there for the viewing!

Total: 16

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