Fight Night Program – Week of May 4-10
The weekend is approaching, and from Friday to Sunday it will be “fight-o-clock” somewhere in the world. Every Thursday, The Ring will bring you the most up-to-date information on the most relevant fights you need to see in this week-at-a-glance, one-stop enhanced fight schedule. A quick checklist for the cognoscenti, a useful nuts-and-bolts guide for the boxing neophyte is what we’re aiming at.
Here are this week’s most relevant fights:
Friday, May 5 – Tivoli, Italy
Mauro Forte vs. Francesco Grandelli – featherweight – 12 rounds
Forte and Grandelli had a draw in their previous encounter, which snapped an 11-bout winning streak for Grandelli and only the second draw in Forte’s otherwise unblemished record. The rematch is shaping up as a grudge match already.
Also on this card:
Stepanie Silva vs. Mailys Gangroff – women’s junior bantamweight – 10 rounds
Simone Salvatori vs. Johanna Wonyou – women’s bantamweight – 10 rounds
Where to watch it: ESPN+
Friday, May 5 – Magna Centre, Rotherham, England
Tommy Frank vs. Jay Harris – flyweight -12 rounds
A competitive bout with Frank’s British flyweight title on the line, which should make things interesting. This can’t be said about the undercard, with a number of fights pitting debutants against fighters with over 100 defeats. Cringe-inducing matchmaking, at best.
Friday, May 5 – Cuernavaca, Mexico
Albert Ramirez vs. Ricardo Adrian Luna – light heavyweight – 10 rounds
Leïla Beaudoin vs. Elizabeth Chavez Espinoza – women’s junior lightweight – 10 rounds
Vanessa Lepage-Joanisse vs. Giovanna Gonzalez – women’s cruiserweight – 10 rounds
Mehmet Nadir Unal vs. Roberto Moreno – light heavyweight – 6 rounds
Saturday, May 6 – Estadio Akron, Guadalajara, Mexico
Canelo Alvarez vs. John Ryder – super middleweight – 12 rounds
The pre-ordained fight of the week, as it always is when the Cinnamon Kid makes an appearance. Alvarez’s Ring, IBF, WBA, WBC and super middleweight belts will be on the line in this long-awaited homecoming for the biggest draw in boxing today.
What to expect in this fight: Aside from a noisy and raucous crowd and a win by the local favorote, people will be looking for signs of either decay or recovery by Canelo, who left behind a trail of unanswered questions even after his win over Gennady Golovking and more so afer his loss to Dmitry Bivol in the previous fight.
The winner may go on to: A rematch against Bivol has been discussed, but since it was not a wise matchup to begin with, it is more likely that Canelo will remain at 168 for a fight against either David Benavidez, Edgar Berlanga or (should we be so lucky) David Morrell.
Julio Cesar Martinez vs. Ronal Batista – flyweight – 12 rounds
Martinez will have a relatively easy defense of his WBC flyweight title on this one, and it will be interesting to see where he stands today in one of boxing’s elite divisions.
Also on this card:
Gabriel Gollaz Valenzuela vs. Steve Spark – junior welterweight – 10 rounds
Oleksandr Gvozdyk vs. Ricards Bolotniks – light heavyweight – 10 rounds
Nathan Devon Rodriguez vs. Alexander Mejia – featherweight – 10 rounds
Bek Nurmaganbet vs. Argenis Espana – lightweight – 8 rounds
Lawrence King vs. Elio German Rafael – super middleweight – 8 rounds
Abilkhan Amankul vs. Fabian Rios Frausto – junior lightweight – 8 rounds
Where to watch it: DAZN Pay Per View
Saturday, May 6 – Resorts World Arena, Birmingham, England
Joshua Buatsi vs Pawel Stepien – light heavyweight – 12 rounds
The talented and unbeaten Buatsi, a resident of Great Britain by way of Ghana, is long overdue for a title shot, and this could be his final stop before he gets one. Poland’s Stepien, also unbeaten, is on a quest of his own and may just have the right tools to score the mild upset in this one.
Also on this card:
Sean McComb vs. Kaisee Benjamin – junior welterweight – 10 rounds
Ben Whittaker vs. Jordan Grant – light heavyweight – 6 rounds
Lauren Price vs. Kirstie Bavington – women’s welterweight – 10 rounds
Jimmy First vs. Cori Gibbs – lightweights – 8 rounds
Saturday, May 6 – KRK Uralets, Ekaterinburg, Russia
Michel Soro vs. Magomed Kurbanov – junior middleweight – 10 rounds
The notion that Soro is heavily protected in his native France is reinforced by the fact that only one of his half-dozen trips abroad resulted in a win. The unbeaten Kurbanov will try to continue that tradition, and has all the tools to succeed in his quest.
Also on this card:
Zhora Hamazaryan vs. Francisco Fonseca – lightweight – 10 rounds
Evgeny Tishchenko vs. Yves Ngabu – cruiserweight – 10 rounds
Sergey Lubkovich vs. Vadim Lubsanov – welterweight – 8 rounds
Oganes Ustyan vs. Evgenii Pavko – junior welterweight – 8 rounds
Igor Adleiba vs. Maxim Cerniciuc – welterweight – 8 rounds
Saturday, May 6 – Entertainment Sports Arena, Washington, D.C.
Sulaiman Segawa vs. Misael Lopez – featherweight – 10 rounds
Rianna Rios vs. Cara McLaughlin – women’s bantamweight – 8 rounds
Where to watch it: BXNGTV
Saturday, May 6 – Verti Music Hall, Berlin, Germany
Ronny Gabel vs. Ilias Essaoudi – junior middleweight – 10 rounds
Nick Hannig vs. Przemyslaw Gorgon – light heavyweight – 10 rounds
Tim Voessing vs. Deniz Altz – cruiserweight – 10 rounds
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How to watch boxing in 2023 – By Diego Morilla
Diego M. Morilla writes for The Ring since 2013. He has also written for HBO.com, ESPN.com and many other magazines, websites, newspapers and outlets since 1993. He is a full member of the Boxing Writers Association of America and an elector for the International Boxing Hall of Fame. He has won two first-place awards in the BWAA’s annual writing contest, and he is the moderator of The Ring’s Women’s Ratings Panel. He served as copy editor for the second era of The Ring en Español (2018-2020) and is currently a writer and editor for RingTV.com.