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Largest storylines to observe forward of Teofimo Lopez vs. George Kambosos and Stephen Fulton vs. Brandon Figueroa


Boxing followers needs to be prepared for a busy evening on Saturday, with a pair of huge occasions on the docket. On DAZN (8 p.m. ET), Teofimo Lopez lastly steps into the ring with George Kambosos Jr., whereas a Showtime card (10 p.m. ET) returns to Las Vegas for an excellent bantamweight unification bout between Stephen Fulton Jr. and Brandon Figueroa.

Lopez will likely be defending his WBA, IBF and WBO light-weight titles towards Kambosos in a battle that has been rescheduled again and again because the preliminary purse bid in February. In the meantime, Figueroa will put his WBC world tremendous bantamweight belt on the road towards Fulton, who’s risking his WBO world title, in a unification bout that anchors the motion on Showtime.

As we shut in on battle evening, let’s check out the most important storylines heading into an enormous Saturday evening.

1. It is lastly time to maneuver on for Lopez

Triller’s try and make a splash within the boxing world by delivering a large purse bid to win promotional rights to Lopez vs. Kambosos was one of the vital irritating journeys in sports activities in 2021. Sadly, it additionally resulted in almost a yr of Lopez’s profession being wasted, and only one yr after Lopez shared many Fighter of the 12 months awards with Tyson Fury. As a substitute of rapidly taking good care of his IBF obligatory duties towards Kambosos and ending 2021 with a second battle, probably towards one of many many large names within the light-weight division, Lopez was caught in impartial because the date was pushed again and again. Issues got here to a head with probably the most ridiculous postponement of all, as Triller canceled an Oct. 4 date when CEO Ryan Kavanaugh “realized” {that a} Monday date throughout NFL season would battle with Monday Night time Soccer, an American sports activities staple since 1970. Whereas Lopez ultimately agreed to the date change — certainly one of at least 4 adjustments in “official” date, with many different dates floated — Kambosos refused and Triller was dominated in default of their purse bid, turning duties over to Matchroom Boxing who dealt with reserving the brand new date with little drama.

On the threat of overlooking Kambosos, who’s a reputable and expert fighter, the most important story coming into Saturday is that, hopefully, Lopez can lastly transfer on to extra fights the followers actually need to see. That will begin with a rematch with Vasiliy Lomachenko, the longtime pound-for-pound elite whom Lopez upset to turn into unified light-weight champion in October 2020. However choices for large fights abound within the light-weight division. Devin Haney, Gervonta “Tank” Davis and even Ryan Garcia are all large cash fights within the division. Kambosos goes to get his shot as a result of boxing is structured in a approach the place obligatory opponents are sometimes solely obligatory for the sanctioning our bodies and nobody else. Now, it is time for Lopez to care for enterprise as anticipated earlier than transferring on to larger and higher issues.

2. Fulton vs. Figueroa is a sneaky good battle

Unification bouts are nearly by no means a nasty factor for boxing. Fulton and Figueroa are combating in not solely a bout to unify the WBC and WBO titles at 122 kilos, however the winner has a professional likelihood to determine themself because the world’s prime junior featherweight, with solely two-belt champion Murodjon Akhmadaliev having a declare in any other case. Already ticking the containers of being a unification bout and between two of the three elite fighters within the division, Fulton vs. Figueroa can also be only a good battle. Neither man is a celebrity when it comes to public notion, however these are the form of fights, balancing large threat with large reward, that may take both to the subsequent degree.

Figueroa is an motion fighter, pleased to press the tempo and let his palms go. That might be an important stylistic problem for Fulton, who’s extra of a direct, technical boxer with a whole sport constructed off a unbelievable jab. That stylistic conflict is fascinating and will make for a battle worthy of the battle’s divisional significance. In an evening that includes two stable playing cards of boxing motion, Figueroa and Fulton often is the ones who ship a battle that leaves everybody speaking.

3. Each playing cards have stunning depth

It is easy with boxing to fall into the expectation that boxing playing cards will function one related battle on prime, in the event that they even handle that a lot. As a substitute, each the DAZN and Showtime playing cards have a number of compelling fights. Setting apart the primary occasions, listed below are some fights to control:

  • Azinga Fuzile vs Kenichi Ogawa: The DAZN co-feature sees Fuzile and Ogawa conflict over the vacant IBF junior light-weight title. Much like Fulton vs. Figueiroa, this can be a battle that includes a slicker boxer (Fuzile) towards a extra direct attacker (Ogawa). This needs to be battle for a world championship.
  • Ra’eese Aleem vs. Eduardo Baez: The Showtime co-feature at tremendous bantamweight might not have a world title however is an intriguing conflict of a sizzling prospect in Aleem and a tricky opponent in Baez who’s on a two-fight run of handing fighters their first profession defeats. Baez will look to set again one other profession when he faces Aleem, who was purported to battle former unified champion Danny Roman when Roman pulled out of the battle seemingly to guard his No. 1 IBF rating.
  • Gary Antonio Russell vs. Alexandro Santiago: Russell is an undefeated prospect who suffered an unlucky lead to his most up-to-date outing, a no-contest coming after a conflict of heads simply 16 seconds into his battle with Emmanuel Rodriguez. Santiago is something however a light-weight contact, coming in on an eight-fight successful streak and arguably deserved the win in his 2018 bout with Jerwin Ancajas for the IBF tremendous flyweight title.





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