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.

 

t4. Interim WBA Lightweight Championship: Rolando Romero (c) (13-0) vs. Anthony Yigit (24-1-1)

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

Competitiveness: 4
Excitement: 2: Yigit hasn’t fought in over two years, so I doubt he’s going to come storming out of the gates.
Juice: 1
Prestige: 3: God, I hate the WBA. Statistically, you, good reader, are more than likely a WBA champion of some sort.
Viewing Ease: 3

Total: 13

 

t4. K-1 Lightweight Championship: Gonnapar Weerasakreck (c) (109-29-3) vs. Taio Asahisa (17-7)

When/Where: Saturday, 6:00am, Abema TV

Competitiveness: 2: Not really the competition warranted against a top fighter like Gonnapar.
Excitement: 3
Juice: 1
Prestige: 5
Viewing Ease: 2: It’s not ideal to not have a more US-friendly outlet, but it’s better than nothing.

Total: 13

 

t2. WBC Women’s World Junior Bantamweight Championship: Lourdes Juarez (c) (31-2) vs. Diana Laura Fernandez (23-3)

When/Where: Friday, Untelevised

Competitiveness: 4
Excitement: 1: 54 wins, eight knockouts. So, ya know.
Juice: 3: This is Fernandez’s third attempt at a world title after falling two previous times.
Prestige: 5
Viewing Ease: 1

Total: 14

 

t2. Bellator Women’s Flyweight Championship: Juliana Velasquez (c) (11-0) vs. Denise Kielholtz (6-2)

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

Competitiveness: 4: Kielholtz has been mowing through her competition and is a legit number one contender to Velasquez.
Excitement: 3: Despite being an esteemed professional kickboxer, Kielholtz has more win by submission than knockouts. Her last four bouts, all wins, have all been finishes.
Juice: 1
Prestige: 3
Viewing Ease: 3

Total: 14

 

1. WBA Super/WBC/WBO/IBF World Junior Middleweight Championships: Brian Carlos Castano (c) (17-0-1) vs. Jermell Charlo (c) (34-1)

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

Competitiveness: 5: Castano silenced any potential doubters by walking through Patrick Teixeira in February.
Excitement: 5
Juice: 4: World titles unification is all the juice needed.
Prestige: 5
Viewing Ease: 3

Total: 22

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