Pick It: TBRB #3 Erickson Lubin vs. #5 Sebastian Fundora (Saturday, Showtime, 10:00 PM EST)
They might not be the highest grossing weight classes in boxing, but it’s hard to argue any two classes have delivered more for fans over the last six years than Jr. bantamweight and Jr. middleweight. They have featured deep round robins of action with multiple classics along the way. Is another one coming on Saturday?
The 26-year old Lubin (24-1, 17 KO) and 24-year old Fundora (18-0-1, 12 KO) could have found safer ways to wait for a chance at the winner of Jermell Charlo-Brian Castano II but, with an incentive by way of a WBC interim strap, they are choosing each other. An intriguing undercard featuring Tony Harrison vs. Sergio Garcia should make for a hell of a show.
Additional Shows to Watch For
Saturday - #1 Golovkin vs. Murata (DAZN, 5:10 AM EST)
This middleweight unification clash would likely be the top pick if it were on a little earlier and both guys had been more active recently. As is, many readers will wake up the result and catch it later in the States. 40-year old IBF titlist Gennadiy Golovkin (41-1-1, 36 KO) may be one fight away from a third scrap with Saul Alvarez and a chance at the world super middleweight crown. 36-year old WBA titlist Ryota Murata (16-2, 13 KO) is back for the first time in over two years with a chance to spoil a multi-million dollar pot. Flyweight titlist Junto Nakatani will also be in action.
Saturday - Mayer vs. Han (ESPN+, 6:55 PM EST)
31-year old 2016 US Olympian Mikaela Mayer (16-0, 5 KO) made her progressions, arrived in the title scene, and now holds both the WBO and IBF belts at 130 lbs. A potential showdown with WBC titlist Alycia Baumgardner is already sparking a war of words. 38-year old Jennifer Han (18-4-1, 1 KO) can make a big cut in line after falling short against lightweight queen Katie Taylor in her last outing.
Saturday - #5 Garcia vs. #9 Tagoe (DAZN, 9:00 PM EST)
Outside the ring issues played into over a year off for 23-year old Ryan Garcia (21-0, 18 KO) but the young lightweight contender is back. Is he ready for the pressure of the spotlight again? Success isn’t all about the physical and Garcia is being positioned as a centerpiece of a company. 33-year old Emmanuel Tagoe (32-1, 15 KO) has only been stopped once in his pro debut and has a chance to break from the pack in a big way. The undercard features a ladies unification clash at flyweight, Marlen Esparza vs. Naoko Fujioka.
Cliff Rold is the Managing Editor of BoxingScene, a founding member of the Transnational Boxing Rankings Board, a member of the International Boxing Research Organization, and a member of the Boxing Writers Association of America. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org