San Diego, Calif., October 6, 2018 – If you consulted your regular boxing TV listings or scrolled through your cable TV guide in an average U.S. city, you might not think there is any action for you to watch. Happily, you’d be wrong.
Two of the new streaming services offering boxing from around the world will have full slates of action for viewing from afternoon until early morning Sunday. Yes, you’ll have to sign up and subscribe, but it’s a perfect day to enjoy your free trial time and see whether you like what you see.
Heavyweight prospects highlight UK card on ESPN+
ESPN+ will air two cards from Great Britain and Mexico live Saturday. First up from Leicester Arena, unbeaten 140-pound contender Jack “El Gato” Catterall (22-0, 12 KOs) faces Ohara “Two Tanks” Davies (18-1, 14 KOs) in a 10-round bout with potential world title implications. The more intriguing fight is in the heavyweight division and well worth your time. Prospect Daniel “Dynamite” Dubois (8-0, 8 KOs) faces a decent gatekeeper opponent in former world title challenger Kevin “Kingpin” Johnson of the United States (32-10-1, 16 KOs) also scheduled for ten rounds. Johnson, age 39, is by far the most experienced opponent the 21-year-old Dubois has faced, but the American is well past his prime. Nevertheless, he will do his best to school the youngster.
Two-time Olympic gold medalist Nicola Adams of Great Britain (4-0, 3 KOs) fights for an interim WBO flyweight title belt against Isabel Millan of Mexico (22-4-1, 8 KOs). Adams is part of the Olympic Class of 2012, which also includes Katie Taylor and Claressa Shields barnstorming into the women’s pro ranks.
Mexico’s Luis Nery back in action in bantamweight title defense
From the Gasmart Stadium in Tijuana, Mexico, an outdoor venue built on the site of an old gas station, former WBC bantamweight world champion Luis “Pantera” Nery (26-0, 20 KOs) fights Jason “Dillinger” Canoy of the Philippines (27-8-2, 19 KOs) in his return for a vacant WBC silver bantamweight title.
Nery shocked the boxing world with a TKO win over former world champion Shinsuke Yamanaka In August 2017 and returned home a hero. Things haven’t gone well since. He tested positive for the banned substance zilpaterol by VADA as part of the WBC’s Clean Boxing Program. Nery and his team blamed – wait for it – tainted Mexican meat. For his rematch with Yamanaka in March, Nery blew the bantamweight limit of 118 pounds by three pounds, after initially weighing in five pounds heavy. He won, but was suspended by the WBC for “unprofessional conduct.”
Nery’s rising star has been tarnished, but boxing fans can forgive quickly with a strong performance. A 10-year pro, Canoy has never been knocked out as a professional. Nery, meanwhile, is riding a seven-bout knockout streak. Nery and Canoy both made weight at 118 pounds even.
In the co-feature, Kenia Enriquez (20-1, 9 KOs) will defend her interim WBC light flyweight world title against 19-year-old knockout artist Norleidys Graterol (7-0, 7 KOs). This is a quality matchup and should provide serious female fireworks.
DAZN USA makes its debut from Chicago with Vargas vs. Dulorme
If the action on ESPN+ isn’t quite enough, DAZN USA, backed in part by promoter Eddie Hearn of Matchroom Boxing, will air two cards from opposite ends of the planet.
In DAZN’s first U.S. fight card at the Wintrust Arena in Chicago, fans can watch four featured bouts starting at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT including two title fights and a main event featuring boxers looking to advance their title chances. Undercard coverage for the 10-bout card starts at 6 p.m. ET/3 p.m. PT.
Former two-division contender Jesse Vargas of Las Vegas (28-2 10 KOs) looks to become a two-time champion at welterweight against Thomas Dulorme of Puerto Rico (24-3 16 KOs). Even more critical, a win would put either Vargas or Dulorme into position to face the new WBC champion Shawn Porter as the mandatory challenger.
Vargas will tell anyone he still believes he won his 2015 fight against Timothy Bradley, marred due to referee timing mistakes. He went on to win the vacant WBO world welterweight title against Sadam Ali the following year, then lost it in 2016 via unanimous decision to Manny Pacquiao. In his last fight, he fought to a draw with Adrien Broner.
Vargas, never one to lack confidence in himself, believes he can deliver a ‘tremendous’ victory and kickstart an exciting period in the peak of his career. “This man is no walk in the park, he (Dulorme) fights with his heart and always gives it his all, but I have prepared properly and record a tremendous victory. It’s going to be a great show and I’m proud to be headlining it,” said Vargas. H
“This is the first step in the new phase of my career … Shawn Porter is my boy and he’s a great fighter, he’s got a lot of experience, great stamina and power. I will fight the top guys, all the champions, there are some huge fights to make out there at Welterweight. We’re all going to go at it and we’re going to see who ends up on top.”
Dulorme’s last fight was a 2017 loss to Cuban Yordenis Ugas. He’s likely to be rusty but he has some pop in the hands and may be hungry enough to overcome any obstacles to surprise Vargas.
Beterbiev wants back in the light heavyweight sweepstakes
In the co-main event, Russia’s Artur Beterbiev (12-0, 12 KOs) defends his IBF World Light-Heavyweight title against undefeated challenger Callum Johnson (17-0, 12 KOs) of Great Britain. An accomplished amateur, Beterbiev was once considered a serious threat, but disappeared just as the division became red hot due to a contract dispute with promoter Yvon Michel. His last fight was in November 2017 against Enrico Koelling of Germany for the then vacant IBF title.
Now Beterbiev has his problems resolved and has no time to waste. He is a potential opponent for the likes of Eleider Alvarez, Dmitry Bivol, and also the winner of the December 1 fight between WBC and lineal champion Adonis Stevenson and Badou Jack. There is also former champion Sergey Kovalev, who has no love for his countryman Beterbiev who beat The Krusher as an amateur. Johnson has faced limited opposition and will have an uphill climb against the hard-hitting Russian. But he points out that Kovalev “was once an indestructible beast” like Beterbiev.
In the opening fight, Daniel Roman of Los Angels (25-2-1, 9 KOs) defends his WBA Super-Bantamweight crown against British challenger Gavin McDonnell (20-1-2, 5 KOs).
Battle of the big men: Miller vs. Adamek
It might be thrilling for all the wrong reasons, but you won’t be able to take your eyes off the heavyweight bout between Jarrell “Big Baby” Miller of Brooklyn (21-0-1, 18 KOs) and Polish veteran Tomasz Adamek (53-5, 31 KOs). Miller surely lives up to his name. He’s a big personality, and the biggest of big men. Miller was criticized for weighing in at at 304 pounds for his last fight in April. Miller hit the scale on Friday at an eye-popping 317 pounds, 90 more than Adamek at 227 pounds.
Miller’s response via social media: “Dinner has been served. I choose to be big, some choose to be small. NOT MY FAULT BLAME THE FISH AND CHIPS.” And the burgers, fries, and shakes apparently. Miller has fought as low as 242 pounds, but he’s fought in the 260 to 280 range until recently, when he’s fought between 280 and 300 pounds. Miller says he simply feels better and has more power at the higher weight. Adamek is a warhorse and still draws big crowds in Poland. This is his first fight back in the U.S. since his 2014 loss to Vyacheslav Glazkov.
Gayle Lynn Falkenthal, APR, is President/Owner of the Falcon Valley Group in San Diego, California. She is a veteran boxing observer covering the Sweet Science for Communities. Read more Ringside Seat in Communities Digital News. Follow Gayle on Facebook and on Twitter @PRProSanDiego.
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