The Boxing Schedule For July 23-24th – Here Comes The Olympics
Olympics On For Next Two Weeks
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Joe Joyce Returns
Fite.TV PPV, $12.99 – 11:15 AM PST
2016 Olympic silver medalist Joe Joyce, who lost to Tony Yoka in the finals of the super heavyweight division, and recently dethroned Daniel Dubois, a folklore-type boxing hero to the U.K., will take a stay busy type fight against a solid heavyweight Carlos Takam, Saturday. Takam is by no means a walk in the park, but the true elite in the division have defeated him and Joyce needs to do the same to get his big fight in the division. The fact that ESPN+ isn’t showing this bout in America is very telling, as it is a one-off PPV on Fite.TV.
The WBC silver heavyweight title and WBO international heavyweight title will be on the line, and though meaningless to the fans, the belts will help Joyce have a chance at a big fight down the road.
The rest of the card is filled up with domestic-level fights that seem evenly matched, but none of which truly inspire me to write about them prior.
Z-Wop Steen vs Henderson Headlines ShoBox
Showtime, Friday, July 23rd, 6 PM PST
Super middleweight Isiah “Z-Wop” Steen, the step-brother of Charles Conwell, is a well-rounded boxer that has worked silently with the world-class Soul City Boxing Gym to get to a leveling-up fight as he will take on Kalvin Henderson, a solid fighter with a lot of knockouts. The fight will see two super middleweights in a similar position, looking to get a marquee win that could land them a big money fight like say, Edgar Berlanga?
This is an exciting trajectory bout for both fighters’ careers. This will be the first time either fighter has been the main event on television before. These are the type of bouts that produce fight of the year-type bouts, so tune-in.
Welterweight Janelson Figueroa Bocachica is an action-fighter with an aggressive personality that could catch on with the masses, as he is a Detroit boxer with personality. The 22-year-old will face the most experienced fighter of his career, Philly’s Shinard Bunch, who only has one loss on his record which is to 2016 U.S. Olympian, Paul Kroll, also from Philly. If Bochachica is going to the next level, we will know on Friday night. Figueroa Bocachica would be a good be an interesting test for Brandun Lee in the near future, as the two are both undefeated and have a history in the amateurs.
The TV opener features super featherweights Martino Jules and Aram Avagyan, who will start the card in an all-action bout of two undefeated fighters.
2019 Olympic Trials Runner-Up David Navarro will return after his professional loss to Dihul Olguin, on the undercard, of a previous ShoBox card, this Friday as well. Navarro’s fight was stopped over a cut, and sources close to the fight said the bout was changed in duration close to its start time. Since it was off-television, the bout wasn’t televised nor filmed for the full duration.
Oscar Valdez returns in September
WBC super featherweight world champion Oscar Valdez and two-time Mexican Olympian will face 2016 Brazilian Olympic gold medalist Robson Conceição, on Friday, Sept. 10 from the AVA Amphitheater at Casino Del Sol in Tucson, Arizona.
The co-feature, undefeated junior lightweight star Gabriel Flores Jr., from Stockton, California, will face Luis Alberto Lopez.
Tickets starting at $25 go on sale next Tuesday, July 27 at 10 a.m. MST and can be purchased by visiting Etix.com.
“I am very excited to fight in my second home, Tucson, Arizona, where I will have my first defense of the WBC super featherweight world title,” Valdez said. “It motivates me to know that I will defend the title in front of my friends and my family, and I will be willing to put it on the line as in all my fights. I’m coming to give a great show to my people, and I can’t wait to see you on Sept. 10.”
“This is the next step in my journey towards a world title, and I will convincingly defeat Lopez,” Flores said. “I’m going to prove once again that I’m ready for the next level.”
The ESPN+ undercard will also see undefeated Puerto Rican sensation Xander Zayas in action.
Early Thoughts: Oscar Valdez is one of the stars at Top Rank, and is coming off the biggest win of his career, against Miguel Berchelt, Valdez will look to make a statement, especially with a new contract. Gabriel Flores Jr. is one of the best prospects in boxing, and in the co-main event, the slot will look to throw his name in the conversation of the prospect of the year with a great performance.
Roger “The Kid” Gutierrez (35-3-1, 20 KOs) will defend his WBA Super Featherweight World Championship against Rene “El Gemelo” Alvarado (32-9, 21 KOs) in a scheduled 12-round trilogy fight that will be the co-main event to Ortiz Jr. vs. Kavaliauskas on Saturday, Aug. 14 at Ford Center at The Star in Frisco, Texas and will be streamed live on DAZN.
The return of Pablo Cesar “El Demoledor” Cano (33-7-1, 23 KOs) from Tlalnepantla, Mexico facing Danielito “El Zorro” Zorrilla (15-0, 11 KOs) to open the DAZN broadcast in a 10-round clash in the 140-pound division.
Early Thoughts: I have no opinion on the WBA super featherweight world champ Roger Gutierrez facing Rene Alvarado for the third time, as it feels like the winner of this will more than likely face Lamont Roach Jr., who seems to be too much for either fighter, in my opinion. The opener Cano vs Zorrilla will tell us a lot about the upside of Danielito Zorrilla, who had a hard fight in his last bout.
Two-division world champion Guillermo Rigondeaux and WBO Bantamweight World Champion John Riel Casimero will face each other, Saturday, August 14 live on SHOWTIME from Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, California in a Premier Boxing Champions event.
The bout was originally set for the two to face each other, but then Rigondeaux stepped aside to allow Casimero to fight Nonito Donaire, but Donaire and Casimero couldn’t agree to terms around drug testing.
Early Thoughts: The bout will be exciting when it is fight week, sure Rigondeaux is well past his prime, but still a legend, and Casimero, is an exciting action fighter. The build-up will be rather mild.
Club Shows To Follow
Murat Gassiev Returns In Russia
What a weird run it has been for Murat Gassiev, one of the breakout stars of the World Boxing Super Series tournament, who was outclassed by Oleksandr Usyk in the finals of that tournament for the cruiserweight four belt world title unification in 2018, only to have just one fight since on Halloween of last year in Russia at heavyweight. Gassiev, who was originally going to move up to heavyweight and fight on DAZN, now is off-TV fighting in a stay-busy type fight.
Albright vs Hill, July 23rd
RDR Promotions Nahir Albright vs Jeremy Hill is a make-or-break fight for both fighters as both have one loss on their record a piece. Albright, nicknamed “Woo” from Philly, has been built upon the RDR Promotions banner, but has never faced a fighter in the pros, like Hill. Albright will be fighting for his fifth time in 2021, mid-way through the year, which is impressive.
Hill, managed by Adam Glenn, the son of New York boxing legend, Jimmy Glenn, took a ShoBox fight, two bouts ago against Steven Ortiz, in which Hill lost, but fared well. Hill has faced stronger competition to this point, so it’ll be interesting to see what happens in this bout.
Also on this card, Muhsin Cason, a very solid professional who is building his record up and another Adam Glenn managed boxer, Steven Galeano, who has been training year-round and is currently undefeated.
Dawson Jr fights Saturday, July 24h
Mark Dawson Jr will be in action in Philly, the following day as RDR Promotions back-to-back doubleheader will conclude with a bout with undefeated prospect Dawson Jr. fighting undefeated Ivan Pandzic. Dawson Jr., was a stand-out U.S.A. Boxing amateur who hasn’t been as active as he might have hoped since turning professional. Dawson’s last fight was a majority decision win, and Dawson Jr. will look to improve from his last performance.
Pandzic is a six-foot-four-inch fighter, who is very awkward.
Boston Boxing, Friday on YouTube
Boston Boxing does a good job at keeping northeast fighters active, and a fighter to watch for is women’s lightweight Shayna Foppiano, who is currently undefeated and if she can put together a few more wins, should get some form of a major televised fight in the near future.
Heavyweight Arslanbek Makhmudov returns in Mexico. One of my favorite pro-ready amateurs, big puncher Angel Perez will also be on this undercard as he is building his record up at 19-years-old. Perez has legit one-punch power and is unsigned by a major promoter, as far as I know.
The card is being put on by Eye of the Tiger Management, more than likely because of travel restrictions in Canada, due to COVID-19.
Super flyweight Jasmine Artiga, who is signed to Peter Kahn’s Fight Game Advisors should be in action in Orlando, Florida. Artiga is a life-long athlete and a big-ticket seller in the Florida region.
Pan-Am Qualifiers Results
Once again, flyweight Steven Navarro stole the show, as Navarro claimed gold and punched his ticket to international competition. Currently, the two best fighters in the United States in the USA Boxing program are Steven Navarro and Jahmal Harvey. Navarro is just a level above his peers currently, and I believe Navarro is already looking like a favorite to medal at the Olympics, if not get gold.
Texas’ Kayla Gomez is looking like one of the most dominant women in USA Boxing currently as she picked up a gold medal in Mexico as well. Gomez has a pure pressure style and a ton of experience to go with it.
Other winners are Joel Iriarte, who won gold, as well as Jewry Rodriguez and Julius Ballo. All looked like they can have success overseas.
Ali Feliz, Jeskah Guerra, and Faith Mendez earned silver medals.
UFC on ESPN: Sandhagen vs. Dillashaw
Saturday, July 24th – 1 PM PST undercard, 4 PM PST main card on ESPN
The bout is headlined by two-time UFC champion T.J. Dillashaw coming off a two-year PED suspension from the sport to facing surging Cory Sandhagen. The bout will be Dillashaw’s first since being suspended. Dillashaw’s last fight was a knockout loss to Henry Cejudo, prior to that he had defeated former training partner and rival, Cody Garbrandt.
Sandhagen is a 29-year-old who holds wins over Marlon Moraes, Frankie Edgar, Raphael Assunção, and John Lineker. Sandhagen’s lone loss is to the current UFC champion, Aljamain Sterling. The winner should face the winner of Sterling vs. Peter Yan for the belt later this year.
Also on the card, women’s bantamweight Aspen Ladd who trains in the Sacramento, Ca area will be in action in the co-main event, Ladd is seemingly a fighter the UFC has high hopes for and is facing Macy Chisson, a tough fighter with a rather unspectacular record on paper, but known for grinding out victories. Game veteran Darren Elkins will be featured on the card as well, Elkins’ experienced a career revival once drug testing was implemented as he went on an extended winning streak during the initial phase of USADA in the UFC as well as blue-chip prospect, Maycee Barber, a 23-year-old fighter, who is looking to regain momentum after a loss derailed some of her momenta in the octagon, and fan-favorite Mickey Gall, who is best known for beating CM Punk, will open the main card.
Notables on the prelims are Sijara Eubanks, who made it to The Ultimate Fighter finale only to miss weight and see Roxanne Modafferi replace her to face Nicco Montano for the inaugural UFC Women’s Flyweight title, as well as Hannah Goldy, who will be opening the card, and has a strong following on social media as she has nearly 100,000 followers on Instagram.
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