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.


5. IBF World Minimumweight Championship: Pedro Taduran (c) (14-2-1) vs. Rene Mark Cuarto (18-2-2)

When/Where: Saturday, Untelevised

Competitiveness: 3: Cuarto’s dance card isn’t inspiring at all for a world title contender.
Excitement: 3
Juice: 1
Prestige: 5
Viewing Ease: 1: A world title and not even a streaming option, absolutely brutal in 2021.

Total: 13


4. ONE Kickboxing Flyweight Championship: Ilias Ennahachi (c) (36-3-1) vs. Superlek Kiatmuu9 (126-28-2)

When/Where: Friday, 7:30am, B/R Live

Competitiveness: 5
Excitement: 3: Kiatmuu9 is a decision machine, but Ennahachi is capable of some violence.
Juice: 1
Prestige: 3: Ennahachi making his second defense, slowly building his title up.
Viewing Ease: 3

Total: 15


3. Vacant WBO Oriental Heavyweight Championship: Joseph Parker (27-2) vs. Junior Fa (19-0)

When/Where: Saturday, 1:30pm, DAZN

Competitiveness: 4
Excitement: 4
Juice: 2: The two best Oceanic heavyweights in a bout that somehow hasn’t happened yet.
Prestige: 3: The title is secondary, but definitely puts the winner in world title contention.
Viewing Ease: 4

Total: 17


t1. WBC World Flyweight Championship: Julio Cesar Martinez (c) (17-1) vs. McWilliams Arroyo (20-4)

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

Competitiveness: 3
Excitement: 4
Juice: 2: Arroyo makes his third attempt at a world championship.
Prestige: 5
Viewing Ease: 4: It was good news for everyone’s wallet that DAZN and Canelo reached an agreement. Otherwise we’d be plunking down almost a Benjamin for this.

Total: 18


t1. WBC/WBA Super World Super Middleweight Championships: Saul Alvarez (c) (54-1-2) vs. Avni Yildirim (21-2)

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

Competitiveness: 3: By some bizarre-ass metric, Yildirim was the WBC mandatory for this slot.
Excitement: 5: Canelo is just a fucking blast to watch these days. He’ll give you your money’s worth most of the time.
Juice: 1
Prestige: 5
Viewing Ease: 4

Total: 18

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