JUNIOR LIGHTWEIGHT TITLEHOLDER JAMEL HERRING WILL DEFEND HIS BELT AGAINST GIFTED SHAKUR STEVENSON IN A HUGE FIGHT FOR BOTH MEN ON SATURDAY.
OSCAR RIVAS (27-1, 19 KOs) VS. RYAN ROZICKI (13-0, 13 KOs)
- When: Friday, Oct. 22
- Where: Olympia Theatre, Montreal
- TV/Stream: ESPN+
- Division: Bridgerweight (224-pound restrict)
- At stake: Vacant WBC title
- Pound-for-pound rating: None
- Odds: NA
- Also on the cardboard: Sebastien Bouchard vs. Sergio Ortega, welterweights; Steve Rolls vs. Gregory Trenel, tremendous middleweights
- Prediction: Rivas KO 5
- Background: The winner of this battle will turn out to be the inaugural champion of the newly created division between heavyweight and cruiserweight, the brainchild of the WBC. Rivas, a career-long heavyweight who’s 6 foot, ½ inch, has some credentials. He stopped one-time heavyweight title challenger Bryant Jennings in January 2019 and was aggressive in a unanimous-decision loss to Dillian Whyte six months later. He weighed 239¼ kilos for the Whyte battle however dropped all the way down to 221¼ for his most-recent bout, a third-round stoppage of Sylvera Louis in March. He’s a pure bridgerweight, if there’s such a factor. Rivas was scheduled to face Jennings once more for the “title” however the American reportedly pulled out over quarantine restrictions associated to COVID-19. He was changed by Rozicki, a relative unknown who has fought as a cruiserweight his total profession. The Canadian has by no means confronted an elite opponent and has taken half in solely two scheduled 10-round bout but is combating for what the WBC calls a world championship.
JAMEL HERRING (23-2, 11 KOs) VS. SHAKUR STEVENSON (16-0, 8 KOs)
- When: Saturday, Oct. 23
- Where: State Farm Arena, Atlanta
- TV/Stream: ESPN and ESPN+
- Division: Junior lightweights
- At stake: Herring’s WBO title
- Pound-for-pound rating: None
- Odds: Stevenson 6½-1 favourite (common of a number of shops)
- Also on the cardboard: Nico Ali Walsh vs. James Westley, middleweights
- Prediction: Stevenson UD
- Background: This is likely one of the best-possible matchups in boxing, as Herring and Stevenson arguably are the 2 of the three finest 130-pounders on this planet, together with Oscar Valdez. Herring, 35, is a late bloomer who overcame losses to Denis Shafikov and Ladarius Miller in 2016 and 2017 to construct himself right into a world champion, a distinction he earned by simply outpointing Masayuki Ito to win the WBO model of the title in May 2019. The tall (5-foot-10), rangy boxer from Cincinnati has efficiently defended his belt 3 times, together with a powerful sixth-round knockout of former Fighter of the Year Carl Frampton this previous April. Stevenson, a 2016 Olympic silver medalist, is a sophisticated boxer who has been blessed with uncommon velocity and athleticism. None of his 16 opponents gave him a lot of a battle, together with veterans Christopher Diaz, Joet Gonzalez and Toka Kahn Clary. Stevenson defeated Gonzalez by a near-shutout determination to win the vacant WBO featherweight title however vacated instantly to marketing campaign at junior light-weight. He’s coming off a shutout of Jeremiah Nakathila in June.
Also combating this weekend: Ganigan Lopez (36-11, 19 KOs) will face Jose Soto Munoz (15-0, 6 KOs) in a scheduled 10-round junior bantamweight battle in Mexico City (Telemundo).