Boxing Preview: May 17-19th, 2018, Badou Jack, Gary Russell, JoJo Diaz
Stevenson vs Badou Jack [SHOWTIME, Saturday, 10 PM EST]
Adonis Stevenson has one of the most unlikable pasts and presents in the sport of boxing from his conviction of being a pimp as well as essentially being named fighter of the year in 2013 and then going on to fight in bouts that seemingly no one was overly excited to see. Stevenson has had a largely forgettable career, which is sad to say for a boxer with one-punch knockout power, in a division that Andre Ward and Sergey Kovalev near their prime during the majority of their career.
Badou Jack, on the hand, is a fighter who is largely underrated as his career has mostly been looked back upon his one-punch knockout loss to Derek Williams despite defeating Anthony Dirrell, Lucian Bute, George Groves as well as a draw against James DeGale which most felt was a win for Jack. The only question is can Jack take the power of a true light heavyweight as his frame is not one of the more imposing of the division.
The bout is going with little fanfare since both fighters rightly or wrongly have been written off by pundits and the fans, one for seemingly holding the light heavyweight title hostage while the over being viewed as a constant underdog, but oddly not one people rally behind.
Gary Russell Jr vs JoJo Diaz [SHOWTIME, Sat, 10 PM EST]
WBC featherweight champion Gary Russell Jr will look to make his third title defense as he is facing 2012 U.S. Olympian Joseph Diaz Jr in Russell hometown of Oxon Hill, Maryland at the MGM National Harbor, broadcast on Showtime.
Russell, a transcendent talent who is largely inactive for most of the year as he has fought just once per year over the last three years. Russell, who has the fastest hands in the division combines that with one-punch knockout power and a solid amateur pedigree.
Diaz Jr, on the other hand, is the perfect example of hard work paying off as Diaz Jr is clever southpaw who is not known for his power, but is very tricky and deceptive in his movement. Diaz Jr. over the past couple of years has made leaps going from being a developmental fighter to a top-tier talent in the division. It is important to note that Diaz Jr., a normally subdued fighter has been vocal in calling out, Russell Jr in the build-up to this fight.
the other Gary Russell’s
On the undercard in Maryland, Gary Russell Jr.’s brothers, all of whom have the first name Gary, will be in action as Gary Antuanne Russell as well as Antonio Russell will be in action. Dangerous power-punching middleweight Immanuwel Aleem will also be in action.
Romero Duno [ESPN2, Thurs, 10 PM EST]
Romero Duno, the super featherweight who brutally knocked out Christian “Chimpa” Gonzalez is looking to find himself as one of Golden Boy Promotions unsung heroes as he looks to win on an ESPN2 televised card from Fantasy Springs Resort in Indio, Ca. Duno is a humble power-punching super featherweight who trains at the Wild Card Boxing Gym, not unlike the greatest Filipino boxer ever, Manny Pacquiao.
Oscar Duarte vs Rey Perez
Oscar Duarte is a super featherweight prospect who is a brutal come forward plodder known for his power and overwhelming opponents. Rey Perez is a journeyman Filipino fighter, who recently beat Christian “Chimpa” Gonzalez.
This is a major step-up in competition for Duarte with the winner potentially facing Duno on a future card.
Lee Selby vs Josh Warrington
In potentially a hidden gem of the weekend, IBF featherweight title will be on the line as Lee Selby takes on undefeated Josh Warrington in Leeds. Both fighters have been groomed to this moment as they have faced decent opposition but never been in a true 50-50 fight. Selby, who does have a loss from early in his career should be the slight favorite as he is the more experienced fighter.
Two-time Olympic gold medalist Nicola Adams will be in action in a ten-round bout on the undercard of the Leeds card mentioned above. Adams is a flyweight, who is a true puncher in all of women’s boxing.
2016 Olympic bronze medalist Nico Hernandez will be in a 12-round fight in just his fifth bout. Hernandez, who has essentially promoted himself and is garnering all the buzz for his career based on his organic fanbase in Kansas. Hernandez is only lesser known in the boxing world, because he fights at a lighter weight, which to some promoters is the kiss of death.
Talented featherweight Victor Morrales Jr. will also be featured on the undercard. Morrales is a poised boxer who looks to exchange as well as box and had a few noteworthy accomplishments in the amateurs.
Yazmin Rivas, Liliana Palmera
The WBA super bantamweight title will be on the line as the champion, Liliana Palmera will look to defend it against Yazmin Rivas in Columbia.
Ryoichi Taguchi vs. Hekkie Budler
The IBF light flyweight title will be on the line as Ryoichi Taguchi takes on former world champion Hekkie Budler in Japan as two veterans will face each other at the end of their career.