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?

 

So here are your five best gold options for the weekend.

 

5. WBO Intercontinental Middleweight Championship: Jaime Munguia (c) (36-0) vs. Kamil Szeremeta (21-1)

When/Where: Saturday, 3:30pm, DAZN

Competitiveness: 3: Szeremeta is coming off of picking himself off the canvas four times against GGG before it was mercifully stopped, so no rest for the weary, as he’s in for a world of pain again.
Excitement: 5
Juice: 1
Prestige: 2: This is probably Munguia’s only defense of a secondary belt before he goes for world gold at middleweight.
Viewing Ease: 4

Total: 15

 

4. WBC World Middleweight Championship: Jermall Charlo (c) (31-0) vs. Juan Macias Montiel (22-4-2)

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

Competitiveness: 3: Montiel has never had so much momentum after absolutely flattening James Kirkland in the first round, but it’s still a mismatch.
Excitement: 4: Even moreso than his brother, Charlo has some serious stopping power.
Juice: 1
Prestige: 5
Viewing Ease: 3

Total: 16

 

t2. WBA Super/IBF World Bantamweight Championships: Naoya Inoue (c) (20-0) vs. Michael Dasmarinas (30-2-1)

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

Competitiveness: 2
Excitement: 5: I’ve said it over and over, but Inoue might be the most exciting fighter in the world in any discipline.
Juice: 1
Prestige: 5: Inoue still has to fight the Filipino duo of Nonito Donaire and Johnriel Casimero to unify bantamweight.
Viewing Ease: 4

Total: 17

 

t2. WBC World Women’s Flyweight Championship: Ibeth Zamora Silva (c) (32-6) vs. Marlen Esparza (9-1)

When/Where: Saturday, 3:30pm, DAZN

Competitiveness: 5: The most competitive title fight of the weekend by far. Two top-5 fighters.
Excitement: 2
Juice: 1
Prestige: 5
Viewing Ease: 4: Little Saturday afternoon boxing? I’m here for it.

Total: 17

 

1. WBO World Women’s Junior Lightweight Championship: Mikaela Mayer (c) (14-0) vs. Erica Anabella Farias (26-4)

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

Competitiveness: 5: Farias is a former world champion, but this is a weight class she hasn’t fought at in nearly a decade.
Excitement: 3
Juice: 3
Prestige: 5
Viewing Ease: 4: An absolutely stacked card.

Total: 20

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