Joe Joyce’s fight in Manchester with Joseph Parker is a fight on the lips of every British boxing fan this weekend. This clash of top heavyweight contenders has everything one could ask for in a headline, and is likely to spark discussion points for weeks to come. But this grueling showdown isn’t the only move happening this weekend. In fact, we’re in an attractive bunch of fits this weekend.
World titles, international clashes, pound-for-pound practitioners, and the prospects for pure gold. This weekend you will be proud of all of that and more. Among the shadows cast by the main event giants, here are the five best non-heavy fights taking place this weekend.
Kid Galahad vs Maxi Hughes – IBO Lightweight Championship
Originally scheduled to be the co-main event for the canceled Mauricio Lara vs Leigh Wood match, this lightweight scrap is a worthy headline. Hughes has been rolling over for the past couple of years, taking home the British lightweight title and the IBO crown. While this title isn’t seen as a true world belt, it has worked wonders for “Maximus”. He was written off when Liam Walsh handed him his fifth career loss in 2019, but he’s been undefeated since and looking better every time he fights.
Galahad takes risks here. The 32-year-old hasn’t fought in ten months, since his shock knockout loss to Kiko Martinez while defending his featherweight title. Galahad is now moving on to lifting two weights to meet Hughes, who is the form of his life. The Qatari-born designer deserves massive credit for having risked his battle to come back. It should make for an incredible absorption fit.
Hannah Rankin vs. Terry Harper – WBA & IBO Super Welterweight Championship
The same night he snatched Galahad’s title from his grasp, Harper was KO’ed in her world title defense. Alycia Baumgardner left the ring that night with the WBC Championship, which “Belter” had to watch as she used it to secure an O2 date with Mikaela Mayer. Now Harper gets a chance to rule as world champion once again.
However, it will not be easy. Rankin has seen quite a stir since being suspended by Savannah Marshall in 2020. The win over veteran star Maria Lindbergh made her dream of lifting a world title come true. The Scotsman successfully defended his belt last time against Alejandra Ayala by winning 10 rounds. But doing the same against “Belter” is an entirely different proposition.
Shakur Stevenson vs. Robson Conceicao – WBC & WBO Super Featherweight Championship
Can anyone stop Shakur? The Olympic silver medalist, who was already the world welterweight champion at 25, makes boxing look easy. After defeating Oscar Valdez in a title unification match in April, a win over Conceicao would put him in the Fighter of the Year discussions. Stevenson lost his titles on the scale at weigh-in on Thursday, breaking the 130-pound limit. But the championship will still be at stake for Conceicao.
Beating the Brazilian is easier said than done. Ask Valdez, who needed a controversial decision to defeat him last year. Conceicao has won his only match since then, when he inflicted the first loss to rival Xavier Martinez’s career. Many people talk about Conceicao as an uncrowned champion. His victory over Shakur is his chance to change that for the better.
Amanda Cyrano vs Sarah Mahfouz – WBC, WBO, IBF, and IBO Featherweight Championship
Cyrano is returning to the ring for the first time since her fight with Katie Taylor in April. ‘The Real Deal’ was scheduled to compete for Jake Paul-Hasim Rahman Jr’s canceled card. She now finds herself looking to unite her titles with IBF Champion Mahfouz.
This is not a soft touch for Serrano. Mahfouz is unbeaten and is looking forward to reaching the top. This is Mahfouz’s first fight outside of her native Denmark, while Cyrano will take off in the UK as well. Another big women’s match in a year that boasted a seemingly endless supply. Serrano has the advantage here but don’t expect to walk.
Kishon Davis vs. Omar Tenda
Moderate step in the class for the Olympic silver medalist, but Davis must negotiate. This fight is not on the list due to its competitive par. You should watch this match because it’s a chance to get on the ground with the 5-0 “Businessman”.
It looks like Davis will be one of the defining talents of American boxing in the future. The couple, who is an amateur and a very close friend of Shakur Stevenson, spoke of their desire to hold world titles simultaneously in the future. With Davis only running one weight class around Stevenson, one wonders if some friendly fire might be in their collective future.
* 18 + | BeGambleAware | Odds are subject to change
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