Starting off this weekends boxing is a small card that I’d like to highlight from France, Cedrick Peynaud who headlines against Romain Nemery for the IBF European welter weight title. The reason this fight is interesting is because Peynaud fought Conor Benn twice and in many people’s eyes was unlucky to not come away with the verdict in the first fight. Peynaud is one of those fighters who has to fight in the away corner but still manages to pull off the upsets on a regular basis. Most recently he came back and beat Mohammed Kani who was 16-1 at the time. Peynaud is an embodiment of the reason people say records mean nothing as his 7-6-3 record masks a very decent fighter. Nemery himself is another of those fighters that are better than their record suggests and his 9-8-3 record hides a decent domestic level fighter. For me Peynaud should become the new IBF European Welterweight champion on points after a hard fought fight. If he does win it’ll be interesting to see where he goes next.
also on Friday a Mayweather promotions show full of up and coming prospects such as Rolando Romero, Richardson Hitchins and Xavier Martinez. All three prospects should win their respective bouts without to much difficulty however the fight thats most exciting on this card is Kevin Newman II vs Mark Anthony Hernandez. This is a rematch with their last fight taking place in 2017. Hernandez won almost every round last time out as the away fighter. I think he’s likely to win the rematch as well as he’s fought the better competition and been more active within those 2 years. He is again the away fighter and this might cause a problem with Vegas scorecards being notoriously bad however as long as he doesn’t get robbed I expect him to win on points in this rematch.
The first card on Saturday that interests me is a card out of Russia where various prospects are facing tough tests. I’m not going to list all of them but the ones that I think could go on to win a world title are Evgeny Tishchenko who’s a 6,5 cruiserweight who as a 5-0 pro is facing someone that is 20-0 which shows how fast they are going to move him. Magomed Kurbanov is a Russian superwelterwight prospect who could easily go on to win a title in that division as he’s only 24 and the super welterweight division doesn’t have a massive drop off from the champions to the contenders as shown by recent upsets in the division. Muhammedkhuja yaqubov is a super feather weight prospect whos in a decent test this weekend and considering he’s 24 I can see him winning a title at some point.
Out of the UK we have one of the weaker Matchroom shows of the year with katie Taylor moving up a weight to attempt to become a two weight world champion vs Christina Linardatou. Taylor should win this on points however I am a bit disappointed that instead of doing the Delfine Persoon rematch or fighting Amanda Serrano. If Katie Taylor had have won convincingly vs Delfine Persoon I feel that the fight with Serrano would have been made however recent comments made by Hearn about how Taylors fights over the years might be catching up with her suggests that his move up is a way of securing as much of a legacy as possible before fighting more of the big names in the division. Katie Taylor’s legacy is already great and becoming a two weight champ will add to it before she moves into the bigger fights next year.
Talking about legacy Anthony Crolla will be having his last fight on this card after an eventful but successful career. His last opponent will be Frank Urquiaga whos most notable achievement so far is losing a close decision to Edis Tatli for the EBU Light weight title. Crolla should win here in his last farewell in front of his home Manchester fan base and I wish him all the best in retirement after a career where he massively overachieved after early losses saw many count him out.
The rest of the undercard of this bill consists of Terri Harper defending her IBO title vs Viviane Obenauf who is most known in the UK for stopping Natasha Jonas last year. Terri Harper has worked her way from the small hall shows before signing a deal with Matchroom recently. I personally find myself supporting the fighters that come from the small shows more because of just how much harder it is to advance from beyond area level at these shows. Terri Harper so far has shown that she has decent punch power so far in her career and I think she gets a late stoppage in her fight Saturday. Elsewhere on the undercard Martin Bakole will be fighting Rodney Hernandez. I expect Bakole to win this but Hernandez is one of the better heavyweight journeymen so i’m not sure whether it’s on points or a late stoppage.
Felix Cash vs Jack Cullen is the most competitive match up on this card as they fight for Cash’s Middleweight commonwealth title. Cash was a decent amateur but hasn’t shown as much as might have been expected in the pro’s while Jack Cullen has come out of no where really to get himself into a big domestic tear up where he has a decent chance of winning. I have no idea who wins this however I’d like Cullen to win due to having one of boxing’s best nicknames in “Little Lever’s Meat Cleaver”
Qais Ashfaq a 2016 Olympian fights for his first title on the card vs Joe Ham. Over 10 rounds they’ll be competing for the WBA Continental super Bantam weight title. Ashfaq so far hasn’t put a foot wrong and I expect on Saturday for him to pick up another points win to advance his career. While Joe Ham is a solid domestic fighter he shouldn’t have enough to derail Ashfaq’s career. The other thing of note in this fight is that they met 4 times reportedly in the amateur’s however I don’t know who won the fight’s unfortunately. Elsewhere on the card Gamal Yafai makes a return after a year out vs Lee Clayton. He should pick up a victory here and most likely inside the distance as well. Both Dalton Smith and Nathan Farrell build their young records up against journeymen as well on this card.
Miguel Berchelt vs Jason Sosa headlines a card in California for Berchelt’s WBC super featherweight world title, this will be Berchelt’s 6th defense of his title and I expect him to successfully defend his title here again. Sosa is a good fighter but I think Berchelt is in the prime of his career while for me Sosa has declined a little bit. Hopefully whoever wins this fight does go on to unify the division vs one of the other champions.
The other big card coming out of the USA is Canelo Alvarez vs Sergey Kovalev. Canelo is one of the best fighters in the world right now and in this fight he moves up two divisions to fight the most recognizable name in the light heavyweight division. I’m very excited for this fight as even though Kovalev is past his best he is still a true light heavyweight while Canelo started his career at super welterweight. For me Canelo will have problems early with Kovalev’s solid jab before taking over with a consistent body attack on Kovalev’s body which has been shown to be weak before. Canelo should get massive credit for fighting the best and taking risk after risk and I wouldn’t be hugely surprised if he lost this however I think Canelo becomes the new WBO light heavyweight champion via a points decision or a late 9-12 stoppage.
Ryan Garcia fights Romero Duno in a step up from his other fights however I personally don’t see why so many people are thinking that Duno will beat Garcia as while Garcia isn’t nearly as good of a fighter as he is popular Duno is also nothing special. Ryan Garcia should pick up two minor titles via 12 round decision or late stoppage yet again.
Bakhram Murtazailev fights Jorge Fortea in a 10 round fight for the Eurasian Boxing Parliament Super Welterweight title in …. Las Vegas on the Canelo undercard which doesn’t make to much sense but it does give us the chance to see one of the top super welterweight prospects in Murtazailev who I expect to notch his 14th career stoppage in this fight. Also on the undercard Seniesa Estrada defends her interim WBA world Fly title vs Marlen Esparza. I haven’t watched either of these ladies so I can’t make a pick but looking at the records it should be a good competitive fight.
Blair Cobbs fights Carlos Cervantes for the NABF Welter title in a 10 round contest on this same card. Blair Cobbs is a very entertaining fighter with a great backstory and while I think he should win this fight quite comfortably h’es been matched quite hard. If you want to learn more about his pretty insane backstory then search him up on google and you should find a piece thats been written on him relatively recently.
Meiirim Nursultanov fights Cristian Olivas over 10 rounds in what is a standard test for up and coming prospects in the middleweight division. Olivas has fought three prospects in his last three fights and while he’s lost them all he comes to fight and provides a decent test where the prospects could easily slip up. Bektemir Melikuziev fights Clay Collard where I expect him to win by KO as while Collard is a tough guy who has beaten multiple prospects I think Bektemir even at 2-0 is one of the best prospects in the world right now. Evan Holyfield makes his pro debut on this card as well which will be interesting as he is the son of Evander Holyfield one of the best fighters in the last 50 years having been the Undisputed Cruiserweight champion and the Undisputed Heavyweight champion. Hopefully his son can follow in his footsteps albeit at a smaller weight of super welterweight. Another prospect in Tristan Kalkreuth faces a step up in competition vs Twon Smith who has caused some problems to prospects in the past.
That is all this week for the significant boxing cards this week as we are treated to yet another monster fight in Canelo vs Kovalev after having multiple weekends of great action in Josh Taylor vs Regis Prograis and Beterbiev vs Gvozdyk. I hope that all the fighters this week get home safely and that we have another great weekend of fights. I’ll do my weekly write up on Thursday next week a long with a few other posts as I was a little late this week so I apologize for that. Until next week,enjoy the fights this weekend friends.