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Halloween boxing trick or treating on ESPN+, Showtime, and DAZN

Written By | Oct 29, 2021
Tempers flared between Jose Zepeda (L) and Josue Vargas (R) during the weigh-in prior to their fight Saturday at The Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden in New York City. Photo: Mikey Williams/Top Rank Inc via Getty Images Halloween boxing

Tempers flared between Jose Zepeda (L) and Josue Vargas (R) during the weigh-in prior to their fight Saturday at The Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden in New York City. Photo: Mikey Williams/Top Rank Inc via Getty Images

SAN DIEGO, Calif., October 29, 2021 –  Boxing fans get the fun-size Halloween trick or treating version of fights a day early Saturday on Halloween weekend. Several solid matchups promise plenty of entertainment, with one major championship fight and several title eliminators. We’ll give you our quick preview in our handy rundown, so you know which houses have the best candy.

London: Cameron vs McGee, Babic vs. Molina – DAZN 2 pm ET/11 am PT  

Chantelle Cameron and Mary McGee shake hands after the weigh-in ahead of their WBC, IBF and Ring Magazine Super-Lightweight Title fight. Photo: Mark Robinson, Matchroom Boxing

Chantelle Cameron and Mary McGee shake hands after the weigh-in ahead of their WBC, IBF, and Ring Magazine Super-Lightweight Title fight. Photo: Mark Robinson, Matchroom Boxing

First up from the O2 Arena, unified super lightweight champion Chantelle Cameron of Northampton (14-0, 8 KOs) defends her WBC and Ring titles against veteran challenger and IBF champion Mary McGee of Gary, Indiana (27-3, 15 KOs).

Cameron showed McGee the proper respect. “This is going to be my toughest fight yet and something I’ve been screaming for years now. I never change, so I want to make an exciting fight, and Mary’s going to bring that to the ring as well. I feel like my engine is better. I don’t stop.”

McGee picked up her title in 2020 and made one defense earlier this year, winning by ninth round TKO. “My plan is to beat her, to overwhelm her,” said McGee. “I’m ready to win those belts. I want to win titles, but I’m not just here to hold titles. I want to build a legacy for my son and myself. When I came back to boxing, it was after I had my child. I decided that this was a way to make him proud of me.”




McGee should give Cameron a competitive fight. However, the 2016 Rio Olympics gold medalist Cameron has blasted through her opposition and has a fresher, better amateur pedigree. It would be a surprise if anything changed against McGee.

Heavyweight fright night

Alen Babic (left) weighed 214 pounds and Eric Molina weighed 257 ahead of their heavyweight fight Saturday. Photo: Mark Robinson, Matchroom Boxing.

Alen Babic (left) weighed 214 pounds, and Eric Molina weighed 257 ahead of their heavyweight fight Saturday. Photo: Mark Robinson, Matchroom Boxing.

For sheer boxing junk food entertainment, don’t miss Alen “The Savage” Babic of Croatia (8-0 8 KOs), wreaking havoc against veteran Eric Molina of Texas (28-7, 20 KOs). Babic is a big talker and big puncher who lives up to his moniker. Molina has lost three of his last five bouts and took the fight on 13 days’ notice. Talk about a recipe for disaster.

“I think I’m going to smash him, and I’m going to do it for my brother Dillian Whyte,” said Babic. Whyte was originally scheduled to fight in the main event against Otto  Wallin but withdrew due to injury.

“I want to be knocked out. How can you be fearful when I want to be defeated. I crave it, please somebody defeat me, I love it. I want to take the oh from my record. I don’t like it. (Eff) you, oh!” said Babic, who says he fights for the ‘average Joe.’ “I don’t just want to box for the boxing fanatics. You will value me. It’s just a matter of time.”

Molina says Babic has just one gear, forward. “When you’re reckless, you eventually run into a wreck. That’s what makes it exciting. I feel like my abilities, my counter punches, I think this fight leaves a big opportunity for me to win.” Umm, no. But enjoy the show while it lasts.

New York: Zepeda vs Vargas, ESPN+, 10 pm ET/7 pm PT

The natural competitive tensions between Mexican and Puerto Rican fighters boiled over at the weigh-in Friday between Jose Zepeda and Josue Vargas Friday. Photo: Mikey Williams/Top Rank Inc via Getty Images

While the rest of the ESPN universe devotes itself to college football, ESPN+ streams live from the Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden features a classic Mexico vs. Puerto Rico main event matchup between two Bronx-based junior welterweights. Those natural tensions between the fighters caused a scuffle at Friday’s weigh-in. As each fighter held his nation of origin’s flag jockeying for position in front of photographers, it devolved into a shoving match.

Jose Zepeda (34-2, 26 KOs) fights Josue Vargas (19-1, 9 KOs) in a ten-round bout. Zepeda was in the 2020 Fight of the Year against Ivan Baranchyk but had a sluggish win against Hank Lundy in May. Zepeda says Vargas lacks experience, and that’s the difference.

“Wherever he takes it, I’m going to take it,” said Zepeda of Vargas. “I already proved I could go as hard as it gets. His team probably doesn’t know it yet, but Saturday, he will get to see that boxing is not a game. He hasn’t been with any top 20 fighters. He’s going to realize what he got into this Saturday.”

Vargas says he’s thrilled to be in a hometown fight. “I feel ready, very confident. He said I don’t have the experience he has, but hey, I’ve been in the ring {sparring} the best. I can name them. I’ve been in there with Mikey Garcia, Floyd Mayweather, Gervonta Davis, Teofimo Lopez. The list could keep on going.” Vargas is a new father and said he’s now fighting for his family.

The outcome here depends on which version of Zepeda shows up: the one who blasted and outlasted Baranchyk or the one who struggled against Lundy.



Las Vegas: James vs Butaev and Ennis vs Dulorme, Showtime Boxing, 10 pm ET/7 pm PT

Trick or treat? Jamal James (left) faces a Halloween mystery in Radzhab Butaev. Photo: Esther Lin, Showtime Boxingv

Trick or treat? Jamal James (left) faces a Halloween mystery in Radzhab Butaev. Photo: Esther Lin, Showtime Boxing

Showtime Boxing puts a tripleheader with quality sweets in your trick or treat bag. In the main event, WBA Welterweight Champion Jamal James (27-1, 12 KOs) fights undefeated Radzhab Butaev of Brooklyn via Russia (13-0 10 KOs) at the Mandalay Bay Resort in Las Vegas. James’ only loss was to Yordenis Ugas, and he’s highly motivated to win Saturday to earn a title shot and revenge rematch.

“At this level, everyone hits hard. We’re not fighting cupcakes. Every opponent you get in there with can hurt you. I’ve been in there with guys who hit extremely hard, and I beat them. It’s nothing new to me,” said James. I want to win Ugas’ title and make there one WBA champion.”

Veteran Joel Diaz of Indio, California, now trains Butaev. He has a solid amateur record but his pro record is spotty. He suffered a decision loss to Alexander Besputin two years ago, changed to a no-contest when Besputin got popped for doping.  The rest of his opposition has been lackluster.

“I believe that everything I’ve been through will be the difference in this fight,” said Butaev. “Fighters have different advantages against different opponents, but the most important advantage is the will for victory. I believe that my will is at the highest level.” He promised “that Mexican style. “Fans love brawls, and that’s what we’re working on. I’m ready to bring the war to the ring.”

Jaron’  Boots’ Ennis back in the ring against veteran Thomas Dulorme

Unlike Zepeda and Vargas, Jaron Ennis (left) and Thomas Dulorme kept themselves in check at the weigh-in. Photo: Esther Lin, Showtime Boxing

Hardcore fans are eager to see the co-main event featuring undefeated rising welterweight star Jaron “Boots” Ennis of Philadelphia (27-0, 25 KOs) and veteran contender Thomas Dulorme (25-5-1, 16 KOs) of Puerto Rico. Ennis is a flashy 24-year-old who hasn’t gone past six rounds and keeps getting better every outing. In April, he blew out durable Sergey Lipinets who had never been stopped.

“I’m going to continue to do what I’ve been doing, and that’s putting on dominating performances. Everyone knows I’m in and out like a robbery,” laughed Ennis, who promised fireworks. “I’m from Philly, so everyone knows I have that dog in me. Watching me is one thing, but when you’re in there with me, it’s a whole different thing.”

Dulorme is coming off two decision losses, but he always puts up a real challenge, and he is another decent eye test for Ennis.

“You don’t always need strength in boxing to overcome obstacles. You need experience and technique. I believe I have those attributes and that it’s going to help me come out on top. I’ve sparred all the best, and I’m going to use it in my fight,” said Dulorme.

In April, Jaron “Boots” Ennis made a big statement in the competitive welterweight division with his win against Sergey Lipinets. Photo: Amanda Wescott, Showtime Boxing

Count on Ennis to put a scare into Dulorme and the rest of the welterweight division. He’s a terrifying talent. His only real peer is another rising star who happens to be in the same division, Vergil Ortiz Jr. They’re on a collision course and it will be a real treat when it happens.

Gayle Lynn Falkenthal is an award-winning boxing journalist covering the Sweet Science for Communities and for boxing fans worldwide. Read more Ringside Seat in Communities Digital News.  Follow Gayle on Facebook and on Twitter @PRProSanDiego.

Copyright © 2021 by Communities Digital News

 

 

Gayle Falkenthal

Gayle Lynn Falkenthal, MS, APR, is President of the Falcon Valley Group, a San Diego based communications consulting firm. Falkenthal is a veteran award-winning broadcast and print journalist, editor, producer, talk host and commentator. She is an instructor at National University in San Diego, and previously taught in the School of Journalism & Media Studies at San Diego State University.