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 World Middleweight Championship: Demetrius Andrade (c) (30-0) vs. Jason Quigley (19-1)

When/Where: Friday, 8:00pm, DAZN

Competitiveness: 3: Not a fan of this matchup, but Quigley did win the NABO middleweight title, although it was a decision win over Shane Mosley Jr., and the last notable fighter he faced was Tureano Johnson, who stopped him.
Excitement: 3: Your mileage may vary with Andrade and his style, and needless to say, there are plenty of fans who will gladly skip a Demetrius Andrade fight.
Juice: 1
Prestige: 5
Viewing Ease: 4

Total: 16

 

t3. WBA Super/IBF World Junior Featherweight Championships: Murodjon Akhmadaliev (c) (9-0) vs. Jose Velasquez (29-6-2)

When/Where: Friday, 8:00pm, DAZN

Competitiveness: 3: Velasquez is game, but Murodjon is a bulldozer right now. Don’t let Velasquez’s record fool you, he started 8-6-2 and has won 21 in a row.
Excitement: 4
Juice: 1
Prestige: 5: I’m all for unifications, and Murodjon is well on his way.
Viewing Ease: 4

Total: 17

 

t3. WBA/IBO/Vacant WBO World Women’s Junior Welterweight Championships: Kali Reis (c) (18-7-1) vs. Jessica Camara (8-2)

When/Where: Friday, 8:00pm, DAZN

Competitiveness: 5
Excitement: 2
Juice: 1
Prestige: 5: Kali attempts to add the WBO world title to her WBA and secondary IBO straps.
Viewing Ease: 4: FOUR WORLD TITLE FIGHTS! You need to catch this card.

Total: 17

 

2. WBO World Welterweight Championship: Terence Crawford (c) (37-0) vs. Shawn Porter (31-3-1)

When/Where: Saturday, 9:00pm, Pay-Per-View

Competitiveness: 4: No, Porter isn’t what he once was or on Crawford’s level, but as far as viable challengers go, you can do a lot worse, and the name value is solid.
Excitement: 4
Juice: 3: Is this Porter’s last chance to be a top guy? He has quite the challenge ahead of himself to find out.
Prestige: 5
Viewing Ease: 2

Total: 18

 

1. WBC World Flyweight Championship: Julio Cesar Martinez (c) (18-1) vs. McWilliams Arroyo (21-4)

When/Where: Friday, 8:00pm, DAZN

Competitiveness: 5: An actual interim champion challenging for a world title? Brilliant! Take note, WBA.
Excitement: 5
Juice: 3: This is Arroyo’s third chance at a world title. At 35, is this his last chance?
Prestige: 5
Viewing Ease: 4

Total: 22

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