Pick It: TBRB #1 Sunny Edwards vs. #4 Jesse Rodriguez (Saturday, DAZN, 8:00 PM EST)   

Two of the best flyweights in the world, both undefeated, both in their 20s, both with alphabet belts in tow, are putting it all on the line. 23-year old WBO titlist Jesse Rodriguez (18-0, 11 KO) will have home nation advantage as he tries to close 2023 as strongly as he established himself in 2022 with wins over Carlos Cuadras and Srisaket Sor Rungvisai.

27-year old IBF titlist Sunny Edwards (20-0, 4 KO) seeks to deepen a resume that already includes excellent wins over Moruti Mthalane and Felix Alvarado. It’s an interesting style clash between two battlers who can compete at a high skill level. There is special potential here. Former unified junior featherweight titlist Murodjon Akhmadaliev will also be in action on the undercard, potentially (though perhaps not realistically) putting him in line for the winner of Naoya Inoue-Marlon Tapales.  

Additional Shows to Watch For

Friday - Green vs. Crews Dezurn (DAZN, 7:30 PM EST)

Two of the best super middleweights in the world are in action. 34-year old Shadasia Green (13-0, 11 KO) is closing in on a title shot and is a serious threat to division leader Savannah Marshall. Could she be a threat to Claressa Shields as well? 36-year old former titlist Franchon Crews Dezurn (8-2, 2 KO) will try to derail Green with the vacant WBC belt on the line. This bout will be chief support to the latest Jake Paul show for people who are into that whole thing. 

Saturday - Plata vs. Bormann (DAZN, 12:00 PM EST)

Two of the best in the lower weight ranks clash for a pair of titles at junior flyweight. 29-year old WBA and WBC titlist Yesica Nery Plata (29-2, 3 KO) makes her first start since unifying her belts in January with a win over then-unbeaten Kim Clavel. She follows up Saturday with undefeated 33-year old Saraha Bormann (17-0, 7 KO). Bormann will have home court in Germany.  

Saturday - Kelly vs. Ramirez (DAZN, 2:00 PM EST) 

Junior middleweights top the bill on this afternoon card from the UK. 29-year old Josh Kelly (14-1, 7 KO) has won four in a row since a stoppage loss to David Anavnesyan. 29-year old Placido Ramirez (24-3, 17 KO) has been stopped twice but is unbeaten in his last six, winning five and, according to BoxRec, garnering a No Contest in his last fight when a fan entered the ring and struck him. Let’s hope that doesn’t happen again.

Saturday - Voda vs. Grandelli (ESPN+, 2:30 PM EST)

It’s featherweight action from Italy. Undefeated 30-year old Stefan Voda (14-0, 5 KO) will make the trip to face 29-year old Francesco Grandelli (17-2-2, 3 KO). Grandelli has been stopped once, two fights ago in the first round.

Saturday - #4 Morrell vs. Agbeko (Showtime, 9:00 PM EST)

The weekend carries an air of the bittersweet with this card. It is the final voyage for Showtime Championship Boxing, a staple of the game since Marvin Hagler-John Mugabi in 1986. The game will roll on with the faces locked in at Showtime recently headed to Amazon Prime. Still, it’s a sea change and one that takes with it a lot of memories. Fittingly, there will be a nostalgia act on the undercard in a rematch between Robert Guerrero and Andre Berto. Chris Colbert versus Jose Valenzuela gives us a rematch of a hotly debated Colbert decision earlier this year. In the main event, 25-year old David Morrell (9-0, 8 KO) will take his next step toward big fights if he can get by 31-year old Sena Agbeko (28-2, 22 KO). 

It’s not the best Showtime card ever, but it’s the last one and if the recap video is anything like the exit  credits for HBO, it will be worth watching for that alone. 

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 roldboxing@hotmail.com