Shawn Porter vs. Yordenis Ugas – March 9, 2019
We have to wait four months for Porter to fight next, and when he does return it is in a fight of average quality. No wonder Kenny Porter (Shawn’s father and trainer) was growing frustrated with his son’s situation, and possibly itching for a break away from the PBC. Porter’s style can make for a hard watch. He should be too rough-and-tumble for Ugas who wins well at the level below, but could find Porter’s ring savvy and brute strength-approach too much to overcome.
Errol Spence Jr vs. Mikey Garcia – March 16, 2019
A gross mismatch or an intriguing attempt to jump the weights and prove professional greatness? Many are split on the legitimacy of this contest. Garcia has fought most of his career at the top end of the sport. Jumping around the weights, it seems that welterweight is a bridge too far. Given that Spence Jr is physically big for 147 this could be a monumental task for the West Coast stylist.
However, I think Garcia might do pretty well. That equates to winning a few rounds, not looking out of his depth, and possibly even presenting Errol with some early problems. As the fight wears on it is assumed that Spence will slide away. Don’t forget, Spence is not only a lot bigger than Garcia but he’s also very skilled. It’s a tough one indeed for the challenger; not insurmountable for someone of Mikey’s ability. Look for Spence to win on points.
Lamont Peterson vs. Sergey Lipinets – March 24, 2019
Bizarrely, this is one of the bouts on the list that actually intrigues me more than most. Peterson is a solid fighter who loses when he steps up in competition. Sturdy, experienced, always willing to bring it – I’m not averse to a bit of Peterson. Lipinets has had far fewer pro fights. His loss to Mikey Garcia, however, showed that he can mix it up with the best and not be completely overawed. If Lipinets can implement a gameplan, remaining disciplined and focused, then he could be the favourite here. Peterson’s underrated skills, coupled with an innate desire to succeed, could swing it in his direction. A 50-50 affair.
Caleb Truax vs. Peter Quillin – April 13, 2019
Is there any point to this fight? Seriously, I like Truax, but why are we seeing this? As I put pen to paper April 13 is the guts of five months away. Quillin is done with the sport, that’s pretty clear. This reeks of another run towards a payday while there’s still time left. Truax is a working-class road warrior who’s paid his dues and got a taste of the limelight against James DeGale. Regardless, Quillin should win this if he has anything left.
Danny Garcia vs. Adrian Granados – April 20, 2019
Not the worst fight on the list by any means. Granados has a fair few losses on the record but remains relevant in a way similar to Mauricio Herrera or Jesus Soto Karass when they were operating in their primes, despite early career defeats. I thought Adrien Boner narrowly beat Granados (it was officially a split decision) but the Illinois man cried foul on the result. Many agreed with his protestations. Either way, it goes to show that if you give a good account of yourself, in victory or defeat, then further opportunities are always around the corner. Garcia should beat him – probably over the distance.
Slightly underwhelmed with the quality of the majority of these fights. At least there is a plan in place, and FOX appears relatively accessible to fight fans. I expected a couple more meaningful contests considering this was a new deal for Al Haymon’s stable, in front of a new audience that needs to be wooed. The deal with FOX probably signals the beginning of the end for Showtime in boxing. Just like Bob Arum leaving HBO for ESPN, these power players are often ahead of the curve.