The Fight Night Guide brings you a brief preview of every upcoming weekend’s most relevant fights compiled by Zona de Boxeo editor and TSS writer Diego Morilla, with all the basic information you need to know to check out the action and to know what to expect from every fighter. Follow us every week at #FNG @TheSweetScience @Morillaboxing
New York, NY, Saturday Dec. 9
Vasyl Lomachenko vs. Guillermo Rigondeaux, 12 rounds, WBO junior lightweight title
Will the “Double-Double” deliver as promised? Ukraine’s Lomachenko (9-1, 7 KOs) and Cuba’s Rigondeaux (17-0, 11 KOs, 1 NC) are two legitimate pound-for-pound entrants, and this is the first time in history in which two double Olympic medalists will face each other. Does it matter? It does, from the historic point of view. Does this translate into an extraordinary fight? I want to see it to believe it. Even though their accomplishments in the pro ranks are numerous, there are still lingering questions about their respective abilities to look great against men of their size and talent, and in that regard this could not be a more even fight (even in spite of Loma’s noticeable height advantage and the fact that Rigo is coming up in weight). Tons of angles, months of pre-fight analysis, a sold-out crowd and the entire boxing world watching. This better be good!
Check out the predictions of The Sweet Science’s panel of experts
Also appearing in this card:
Michael Conlan vs. Luis Fernando Molina, 6 rounds, featherweights
Shakur Stevenson vs. Oscar Mendoza, 6 rounds, featherweights
Christopher Diaz vs. Bryant Cruz, 10 rounds, junior lightweights
Bryant Jennings vs. Donnie Haynesworth, 8 rounds, heavyweights
Las Vegas, Saturday Dec. 9
Orlando Salido vs. Mickey Roman, 10 rounds, junior lightweights
Just another kill-or-be-killed fight for pride and bragging rights between two tough countrymen. Nothing to see, here, really! Or maybe this is exactly what boxing is all about. Despite their deceptive records, both Román (57-12, 44 KOs) and Salido (44-13-4, 31 KOs) have made a name for themselves for being the ultimate overachievers, always being involved in terrific bouts after being written off again and again by fans and press alike. They have had long unbeaten streaks and ugly stretches of bad luck, but they always manage to be in the conversation when the KO of the Year or the Fight of the Year votes are counted. Wars is what they’ve given us, a war is what they’ve promised, and a war is what we’ll get. Set your beer bucket next to your sofa and get your eye drops on. You don’t want to blink or run to the fridge for too long on this one.
What to look for in this fight: It is only fitting that this bout will happen on the same day in which double Olympic gold medalists will be having what is expected to be one of the most technical fights in history. This one promises to be the antithesis of that.
Tevin Farmer vs. Kenichi Ogawa, 12 rounds, vacant IBF junior lightweight title
Farmer (25-4-1, 5 KOs) will face Japan’s Ogawa (22-1-0, 17 KOs) for a vacant belt in an intriguing matchup between an overachiever and an unknown entity. The 27-year old Farmer had a rough start after losing his debut and going 7-4-1 in his first twelve bouts, but he snapped out of it with a demolishing 18-0 streak in five years, and he will try to put the finishing touches on this terrific comeback against the once-beaten 29-year old Ogawa, who will be making his first trip outside his native Japan, now looking forward to become a threat in a talent-rich division. Whoever wins, will be considered just that, aside from being a champion.
Also appearing in this card:
Francisco Vargas vs. Stephen Smith, 10 rounds, junior lightweights
Denis Shafikov vs. Rene Alvarado, 10 rounds, junior lightweights
London, England, Saturday Dec. 9
James DeGale vs. Caleb Truax, 12 rounds, IBF super middleweight title
DeGale (23-1-1, 14 KO) has been out of the radar for a while now, and questions abound about his current situation. And Truax (28-3-2, 18 KO) might be just what we need in order to find out. Not a fight that is rising a lot of eyebrows, but I honestly feel that this one has the potential to steal the No. 1 spot in your YouTube viewing list for Sunday.
Lee Selby vs. Eduardo Ramirez, 12 rounds, IBF featherweight title
Selby (25-1, 9 KO) has had a rough year, with a few cancellations and mishaps affecting his progress, and none of his dream matchups materializing. But now he finds himself against a very live underdog in Ramirez (20-0-3, 7 KO), who can easily be the one who will put Selby in trouble and jeopardize (or perhaps facilitate, if he manages to make him look bad) a potential Selby-Frampton mega-bout.
Hialeah, Florida, Friday Dec. 8
Jean Pascal vs. Ahmed Elbiali, 10 rounds, light heavyweights
Another one bites the dust, apparently. Pascal (31-5-1, 18 KOs), a former light heavyweight titlist from Haiti fighting out of Canada, has indicated that this bout against Egypt’s Elbiali (16-0, 13 KO), will be his final bout, and he has apparently hand-picked the perfect opponent to retire in style, choosing an unknown entity with no major wins to his credit, thus leaving the sport after defeating an unbeaten contender on the way out the door while his name still carries at least part of the luster that it did when he beat Chad Dawson a few years ago and had a couple of extremely entertaining rumbles with the likes of Carl Froch and Bernard Hopkins.
What to look for in this fight: Just what we needed: another big name in the ballot for the IBHOF election five years from now. Pascal may eventually get there, but not in his first year of eligibility, and beating Elbiali won’t help his case a lot, but it should be a fun scrap to watch from this once awesome fighter.
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