The Fight Night Guide brings you a brief preview of every upcoming weekend’s most relevant fights compiled by the writing staff of Zona de Boxeo and The Sweet Science, 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 @TSSboxingnews @Morillaboxing
Belfast, Northern Ireland, Saturday April 21
Carl Frampton vs Nonito Donaire, 12 rounds, interim WBO featherweight title
Originally programmed for April 7, this rare fight between two former FOTY participants holds more interest for “The Jackal” Frampton (24-1-0, 14 KOs) who has more to gain than his embattled and presumably over-the-hill foe. The local fighter is coming off a 10-round unanimous decision against Mexico’s Horacio García in the same venue where he will be facing “Flash” Donaire (38-4-0, 24 KOs), fresh off his win over the also Mexican (no relation) Ruben Garcia, at the Alamodome, in San Antonio, Texas. Before facing his own Garcia, Frampton had two high-profile bouts against Leo Santa Cruz, with the pair splitting majority decisions at one apiece in two extraordinary bouts. – J.J. Álvarez
What to look for in this fight: A true “do or die” bout for both opponents in a division full of quality fighters. Donaire has his work cut out for him against the 31-year old Frampton, who will get a lot of support from his people, but Donaire says that this factor does not concern him because he has been involved in similar situations before. In any case, if Donaire shows up in great condition he should come out on top thanks to his better overall boxing skills, but the Irish fighter is a tireless athlete who will force him to give his best for the full distance.
Zolani Tete vs Omar Narvaez, 12 rounds, WBO bantamweight title
A demolishing defeat would be, without a doubt, the end of the line for “Hurricane” Narvaez. But the Trelew, Chubut, Argentina native claims that he is “rejuvenated” after his convincing last bout in a rematch against Venezuela’s Jesus Vargas back in February. A two-time world titlist, Narvaez, 42, will try to demonstrate that he is still very much alive and that his record-breaking career is still moving along. And if he defeats South Africa’s Tete (26-3-0, 21 KOs), the South American will become the first Argentine to hold championships in three separate divisions by adding Tete’s 118-pound belt to his old 112 and 115 trinkets. A southpaw just like Narvaez, Tete is fresh off a record-breaking performance of his own in his defeat of his countryman Siboniso Gonya back in November when Tete landed a demolishing right hook just five seconds into the fight to send his foe to the canvas and have the ref wave off the bout six seconds later for what is now the shortest title fight ever. – J.J. Álvarez
What to look for in this fight: If he is well prepared, it wouldn’t be surprising to see Narvaez beating Tete on points, although he would need all the experience and versatility he could possibly muster against a pure puncher like the South African champ. Likewise, the Argentine would have to reverse a trend that does not bode well for him: his two losses have been against bigger foes abroad (against Nonito Donaire in 2011 and more recently against Naoya Inoue in 2014).
Brooklyn, New York, Saturday April 21
Adrien Broner vs. Jessie Vargas, 12 rounds, catchweight (144 pounds)
A true clash of contrasting styles between two former champs with no title at play but with a great deal at stake as both are in dire need of a signature win that would put them back on the map. Without looking nearly as good as he did in his best years, Broner (33-3-0, 24 KOs) is coming off a loss to Mikey García at 140 back in July, while Vargas won by unanimous decision against Aaron Herrera back in December after sending him to the canvas in the sixth. – J.J. Álvarez
What to look for in this fight: Known as a forward-charging fighter, Vargas will risk it all by turning the fight into a physically demanding affair against a foe who loves to put his technique and his speed first, always banking on his defense and counterpunching to neutralize his foe’s aggression. Should be fun to see who manages to impose his style.
Jermall Charlo vs. Hugo Centeno Jr., 12 rounds, interim WBC middleweight title
It will be the second fight at 160 for “the other” Charlo (26-0-0, 20 KOs), after relinquishing the IBF super welterweight title. A wide favorite to get the win, Charlo is looking to challenge the main man in the division in WBC beltholder Gennady Golovkin. For this, it is imperative to produce a solid win over Centeno (26-1-0, 14 KOs), who was stopped by then-unbeaten Immanuel Aleem back in August in Miami. – J.J. Álvarez
What to look for in this fight: Everything points towards the possibility that Centeno Jr. will not make it to the full distance in this fight, which was originally scheduled for March 3rd but had to be postponed due to an injury. Everything in Charlo’s resume suggests that he has more than enough tools to make Centeno the victim of his power and aggression at the Barclays Center. But we’ve seen bigger surprises before, so we’ll have to wait and see.
Gervonta Davis vs. Jesús Cuellar, 12 rounds, WBA super featherweight title
Before they can climb through the ropes at the Barclays Center on Saturday, both Davis and Cuellar will have another demanding challenge: the scale, which has been a special kind of torture for both of them lately. Argentina’s Cuellar (28-2-0, 21 KOs) was defeated by Abner Mares by split decision back in December 2016, when he was trying to defend his WBA belt for the second time. Since then, the Argentine southpaw has indicated that he was having a lot of trouble making 126. Before this defeat, Cuellar was on an 11-win streak. Davis (19-0-0, 18 KOs) has also had problems staying below the division’s weight limit. After earning his belt with a seventh-round stoppage of Jose “Sniper” Pedraza back in January, Davis lost the title on the scales seven months later when he was getting ready to face Costa Rica’s Francisco Fonseca, a fight he won by eighth-round stoppage.– J.J. Álvarez
What to look for in this fight: Considered one of the best young guns in the scene today, Baltimore’s Davis is a big favorite to make a splash against Cuellar in the latter’s debut at 130. But of course, Cuellar has a puncher’s chance, and that makes every fight interesting. This one should not be the exception.
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