Fight fans have an absolutely loaded weekend of prizefighting to look forward to There are four major cards to fill the boxing void all four cards featuring title fights. Three in the US and one loaded UK card.
The action kicks off at “Fight Camp” in Brentwood, UK. As undefeated light-heavyweight, Ghanaian native, Joshua Buatsi, who now fights out of the UK, puts his perfect 15-0 record on the line against Ricards Bolotniks of Latvia, for the WBA international Light heavyweight title. Bolotniks is coming off of a highly impressive upset victory over Serge Michel, on the undercard of Dickens-Walsh back in December of 2020. The Latvian sports an 18-5-1 record. Buatsi, who is currently ranked number two by the WBA, has beaten two consecutive undefeated fighters in his last two fights including a fourth-round destruction of Daniel Blenda Dos Santos, in his last outing back in May. Undefeated welterweight Michael McKinson puts his 20-0 record on the line against once-beaten Przemyslaw Runowski (19-1) whose lone defeat came to the highly touted Josh Kelly back in 2019. He has run off two consecutive stoppage victories since the lost including his last outing a fourth-round stoppage of Michal Syrowatka in December of 2020. The undercard also features three highly touted prospects back in action. Raymond Ford takes on rugged veteran Reece Bellotti. Super featherweight Joe Cordina takes on American prospect Joshua Hernandez. Ukashir Farooq climbs back through the ropes to take on a rugged Mexican veteran by the name Luis Gerardo Castillo.
The action then moved to the US as undefeated Welterweight phenome Vergil Ortiz makes has a homecoming fight at the star in Frisco, Texas against former world title challenger Egidijus Kavaliauskas who came up short in his only world title shot to Terence Crawford back in December of 2019. He bounced back nicely from the stoppage loss by stopping Mikael Zewski last December. Ortiz last fought in March when he battled fellow Texan and former world champion Maurice Hooker. Ortiz scored a dominant seventh-round KO over Hooker in the battle of native Texans. In the co-main, even two rugged warriors lock up for the third time as Roger Gutierrez who defeated Rene Alvarado in their rematch back in January by unanimous decision in a fight of the year type fight in which he dropped Alvarado twice, which was ultimately the difference on the cards. In the first fight, Alvarado back in 2017 Alvarado scored a seventh-round KO when Gutierrez’s corner threw in the towel to waive off the brutal slugfest. On the undercard, Felix Alvarado defends his IBF junior flyweight title against Erick Lopez. Alvarado captured the IBF crown back in 2019 by stopping Randy Petalcorin in seven rounds back in late 2018. He has defended his title two times since including his last time out, which was also in Dallas, Texas when he stopped DeeJay Kriel in10 . Also in action are the highly touted Rincon Brothers from Dallas, Texas. George Rincon is an 11-0 Jr welterweight and Alex is a 7-0 154-pounder.
Moving a few hours north to Tulsa, Oklahoma, another thrilling trilogy headlines a highly entertaining card. As Josh Franco of San Antonio, Texas, defends his WBA Super Flyweight title against the man he won it from, Andrew Maloney. Back in June of 2020 via unanimous decision Franoc captured the title from Maloney. The two met again in November of last year but unfortunately ended as a No-Decision after just two rounds due to an accidental head butt. Andrew’s twin brother Jason Maloney takes on Chicago-based prospect Josh “Don’t Blink” Greer on the undercard in a must-win fight for both men. Greer a once highly touted prospect is coming off a loss and a draw in his last two fights and has not secured a victory since October of 2019 when he narrowly outpointed Antonio Nieves. Maloney was stopped by Naoya Inoue in a world title bid back in October 2020. He also fell short in a previous world title bid against Emmanuel Rodriguez back in 2018. Undefeated junior welterweight blue-chip prospect Arnold Barboza also returns to action as he takes on road warrior Antonio Moran. Barboza sports a 25-0 record and is coming off a career-best win with a 10-round unanimous decision over former world title challenger Alex Saucedo, last October. A fight that sent the fan-favorite Saucedo into retirement.
The weekend’s final major card takes place in Los Angeles, California, as two bantamweight world champions collide. Cuban legend and WBA bantamweight champ Guillermo Rigondeaux steps in with John Riel Casimero of the Philippines who holds the WBO belt at the 118-pound division. Rigo, won his vacant strap back in February of 2020 when he outpointed Liborio Solis. Casimero captured his WBO title by stopping Zolani Tete in three rounds back in November of 2019. The Filipino successfully defended his strap against hard-hitting Ghanaian contender Duke Micah back in September of last year. An exciting co-main event features undefeated bantamweight prospect Gary Antonio Russell (18-0), the younger brother of featherweight world champ Gary Russell Jr against the former world champion, Emmanuel Rodriguez (19-2) who is coming off a very controversial points loss to Reymart Gaballo last December in a fight nearly everyone thought Rodrigues had won.