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.


1. WBC World Junior Lightweight Championship: Miguel Berchelt (c) (37-1) vs. Oscar Valdez (28-0)

When/Where: Saturday, 10:00pm, ESPN

Competitiveness: 5: One of the best fights that can be made in boxing. The immovable four-year champion against the unstoppable, undefeated former champion coming up to attempt to rule another division.
Excitement: 5
Juice: 3
Prestige: 5: The only world championship on the line this weekend.
Viewing Ease: 4

Total: 22


2. EBU European Welterweight Championship: David Avanesyan (c) (26-3-1) vs. Josh Kelly (10-0-1)

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

Competitiveness: 4
Excitement: 4: Well, Kelly is openly calling for Avanesyan to bring the pressure, we’ll see if he responds in kind.
Juice: 3: This fight has been building for literally years, and there’s no love lost between the two.
Prestige: 2
Viewing Ease: 4

Total: 17


3. Vacant LFA Flyweight Championship: Nate Smith (6-1) vs. Victor Altamirano (8-1)

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

Competitiveness: 5
Excitement: 3: Both of these flyweights are big fans of submissions, so could we have a fun scramble-fest? Or a tepid kickboxing match?
Juice: 1
Prestige: 3: As always, any LFA title is a one-way ticket to the bigs.
Viewing Ease: 4

Total: 16


4. Vacant BBBofC English Welterweight Championship: Darren Tetley (20-1) vs. Samuel Antwi (12-1)

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

Competitiveness: 5
Excitement: 2
Juice: 1: Antwi is coming off of wins over an 8-17 and 5-21-3 fighters, and Tetley is coming off of a loss. Not exactly runaway freight trains of momentum, here.
Prestige: 3: The BBBofC title is a great catapult of British and European fighters towards world title contention.
Viewing Ease: 3

Total: 14


5. Vacant Commonwealth Lightweight Championship: Gavin Gwynne (12-2) vs. Sean McComb (11-0)

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

Competitiveness: 3
Excitement: 2
Juice: 1
Prestige: 2: Not as prestigious as the BBBofC titles that are on the line this card.
Viewing Ease: 3: Friday afternoon boxing. Excellent for people who make their own schedule and work at home like me, but for the working person? Not great.

Total: 11

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