The struggle receiving most of consideration this weekend is the battle between YouTubers KSI and Logan Paul at Staples Middle in Los Angeles. In August 2018, the 2 social media professionals met at Manchester Area in England and fought to a six-round majority draw. The printed produced an enormous on-line viewers and procured important pay-per-view numbers.
Therefore the rematch Saturday, underneath skilled guidelines. Ali-Frazier it’s not, however you may’t knock the hustle.
Whereas it is an occasion that makes many die-hard followers and traditionalists cringe, it is also a possibility to showcase some promising fighters on a giant stage within the lead-up to the insanity. Between the KSI-Logan Paul undercard and a Prime Rank card with a junior light-weight world title most important occasion, there may be loads of boxing to take pleasure in this weekend.
The combating marine in Fresno
WBO junior light-weight world titlist Jamel “Semper Fi” Herring (20-2, 10 KOs), who gained his belt by outboxing Masayuki Ito on Might 25, makes his first protection of that title in opposition to the undefeated Lamont Roach Jr. (19-0-1, 7 KOs).
It headlines a Prime Rank card on ESPN+, and takes place at Chukchansi Park — a minor league baseball stadium that sometimes serves as the house of the Fresno Grizzlies, the Triple-A affiliate of the Washington Nationals.
Along with his current run of success within the ring, Herring has handled extraordinary challenges in his life. He served two excursions in Iraq as a part of the Marine Corps, and suffered the lack of an toddler daughter, Ariyana, in 2009 from sudden toddler demise syndrome.
He did not come by current successes simply. The 2012 U.S. Olympian hit a tough patch in his profession in 2016 and 2017, when he misplaced two out of three fights (to Denis Shafikov, and later Ladarius Miller), and he reached knowledgeable crossroads.
Since then he has gained 4 fights in a row and located himself as a boxer after becoming a member of the camp of WBO welterweight titlist Terence Crawford.
Quite a bit is on the road this weekend for Herring. With a victory, he may land on a serious card being deliberate for China in early February, and Carl Frampton has been talked about as a potential opponent for 2020, amongst others.
First he has to get by Roach, for whom it is a main step up in competitors. Roach most lately was featured on the Canelo Alvarez-Daniel Jacobs undercard in Might, scoring a choice victory over Jonathan Oquendo.
Herring’s service within the navy might be highlighted in a serious approach Saturday evening. Native struggle promoter Rick Mirigian mentioned there might be a flyby from naval air jets and fireworks. Marines from Camp Pendleton additionally will line up throughout Herring’s entrance as he is led into the ring by a navy convoy.
Devin Haney makes his first title protection
Haney (23-0, 15 KOs) will defend his light-weight world title for the primary time in opposition to an unknown and untested Alfredo Santiago (12-0, four KOs) as a part of the KSI-Paul card.
Some would dismiss the proficient younger Haney as a “paper champion,” given the truth that he did not truly seize his WBC world light-weight title within the ring. Haney was promoted from interim to full titleholder by the WBC after the sanctioning physique elevated Vasiliy Lomachenko as a “franchise champion.”
Haney made it clear that he has no such reservations.
“I really feel like a world champion — I labored my approach up,” Haney mentioned. “I knew that, presumably, profitable the interim title would result in Lomachenko vacating, or being franchise. I labored my approach up. I knew precisely what I used to be doing and it occurred the best way it occurred and may’t no person take that away from me.”
There isn’t any denying the expertise of the 20-year-old Haney, who, in contrast to different potential challengers, is critical about going through Lomachenko within the close to future. He’s a quick, technically sound boxer whose punching energy is coming alongside as he develops bodily.
What’s extra, he completely believes that if it had been as much as Lomachenko, they’d face each other contained in the ring.
“I feel, truthfully, if it had been as much as him, he’d face me — however his crew does not really feel prefer it,” Haney mentioned. “There are simpler fights on the market.”
No matter how he “gained” his first main world title, his expertise — and simply as importantly, his focus and work ethic — are plain, and it appears like he might be a pillar of the game for the subsequent decade.
Saunders makes his stateside debut
Billy Joe Saunders (23-0, 15 KOs), who’s now the defending WBO tremendous middleweight titlist, will face Marcelo Coceres (28-0, 13 KOs) in his first bout on American soil because the co-feature to Saturday evening’s spectacle in Los Angeles. The outspoken Saunders lately instructed ESPN that he would not have been a part of the undercard in an occasion like this if it was in England, however he believed this was a possibility to additional his model in a big media market.
That call comes with some stress, and expectations of truly opening just a few eyes. Whereas he is bombastic outdoors the ring, he has typically been a bit boring within it as soon as the bell rings. That is why, regardless of having gained titles at 160 and 168, he is been unnoticed of the combination when it comes to the marquee fights obtainable in both division.
For his half, Saunders says he is able to shake that status, beginning with Saturday’s struggle. Given the prospect, Saunders needs to “introduce my title and my star with my fists, and present them the extent I must be at.”
There may be loads of motion and prospects galore in both of these divisions, although, and Saunders may get into the combination by making extra definitive statements throughout his fights.
In Coceres, Saunders is going through a fighter with a report that seems higher than his precise high quality. Saturday’s title problem is Coceres’ first struggle away from his house nation of Argentina. It is a struggle designed for Saunders to attain some fashion factors in opposition to Coceres. It might be disappointing for him to slog by one other 12-round resolution.
On the prefight information convention, Saunders was nonetheless feeling the consequences of the lengthy flight from the U.Okay. to California. However by the point his struggle rolls round Saturday evening, he expects to be as much as the problem at hand.
“I feel I’ve received to win impressively, yeah,” Saunders mentioned. “I am getting used to this time zone. I am drained now — I have been right here since Sunday — so hopefully I am feeling recent and rejuvenated to place an excellent efficiency on.”
Robeisy appears to rebound
We have seen some high-profile upsets in 2019, however none had been as surprising as two-time Olympic gold medalist Robeisy Ramirez falling in his professional debut. On Aug. 10 in Philadelphia, Adan Gonzalez floored Ramirez within the first and outhustled him within the different three rounds.
This wasn’t within the script for the extremely touted Cuban boxer, who was signed to a profitable deal by Prime Rank earlier this yr. Within the interim, the 25-year-old has made a major change in his nook. He employed Ismael Salas, who can be Cuban and a former head coach of the nation’s nationwide newbie squad.
Within the skilled ranks, Salas has skilled the likes of Guillermo Rigondeaux, Yuriorkis Gamboa, Jorge Linares, Danny Inexperienced, Jessie Vargas, Rances Barthelemy and Nonito Donaire.
“Clearly, the Cuban amateurs coaches know Salas, and given the end result of the primary struggle, it is a step in the best course,” mentioned Carl Moretti, Prime Rank’s director of boxing operations.
There isn’t any denying the newbie pedigree of Ramirez, who defeated newly minted WBO 126-pound champion Shakur Stevenson for the gold medal on the 2016 Olympic Video games in Rio de Janeiro, however given early returns, we’ll must see if his fashion will translate as knowledgeable.
Flores to pack the home once more
The undercard in Fresno additionally options 19-year-old Gabe Flores Jr. (15-0, 6 KOs), who’s matched in opposition to Aelio Mesquita in a light-weight bout. Whereas Herring-Roach is the night’s most important occasion, and heavyweight Kubrat Pulev is within the co-feature, this younger man from close by Stockton would be the large ticket-seller on this present.
That was actually the case on Might four on the Stockton Area, when two world champions — Artur Beterbiev and Jerwin Ancajas — shared high billing on the marquee. Flores scored a highlight-reel knockout of Eduardo Reis within the third spherical, and he was the one who crammed the seats. On the identical evening that Canelo fought Jacobs in Las Vegas, that struggle card was nonetheless in a position to attract over 10,000 within the constructing.
In response to Mirigian, who additionally manages Flores and is greatest recognized for turning unified junior welterweight champion Jose Ramirez right into a bona-fide attraction within the Central Valley, there might be at the very least 9,000 to 10,000 in attendance on the ballpark on Saturday evening.