What to Watch: April 19-21

By Caryn A. Tate on April 19, 2018
What to Watch: April 19-21
Even against a fighter like Manny Pacquiao, Vargas was competitive and won a few rounds.

Join me as I break down which of the week’s televised fights are most interesting and why. Here’s this week’s rundown…

Join me as I break down which of the week’s televised fights are most interesting and why. Here’s this week’s rundown:

Thursday, April 19
9:30PM ET/6:30pm PT - ESPN2
Lamont Roach Jr. (16-0, 6 KOs) vs. Orlando Cruz (25-6-1, 13 KOs) - 10 rounds, super featherweight

Friday, April 20
10:00pm ET/7:00pm PT - BEIN Sports Español
Max Ornelas (10-0-1, 4 KOs) vs. Juan Antonio Lopez (12-3, 4 KOs) - 8 rounds, bantamweight

Saturday, April 21
5:15pm ET/2:15pm PT - Showtime Sports YouTube stream (US)/BT Sport & Box Nation (UK)

Carl Frampton vs. Nonito Donaire - 12 rounds, interim WBO featherweight world title

This is a great fight and one of my picks this week. Both Frampton (24-1, 14 KOs) and Donaire (38-4, 24 KOs) are great fighters who haven’t been looking quite as devastating of late, so the bout is fraught with questions and challenges. There aren’t many in the sport these days, but this is a match-up I would call 50/50. I’m honestly not sure how it plays out except that it’s guaranteed to be a good fight considering the caliber of these two boxers.

5:30pm ET/2:30pm PT - ESPN+ (US)/Sky Sports (UK)
Amir Khan (31-4, 19 KOs) vs. Phil Lo Greco (28-3, 15 KOs) - 12 rounds, welterweight

9:00pm ET/6:00pm PT - Showtime
Adrien Broner vs. Jessie Vargas, Jermall Charlo vs. Hugo Centeno Jr., Gervonta Davis vs. Jesus Cuellar

The opening contest and the main event of this card are my other two picks this week. Davis (19-0, 18 KOs) is the former IBF super featherweight world champion and is now facing Cuellar (28-2, 21 KOs), the former WBA featherweight world titlist. Cuellar is moving up for this bout, which is the only real uneven aspect of the match. The Argentinian is a very good fighter with underrated boxing ability. If Davis is on his game, his footwork and overall athleticism should win him the bout. But in his last fight against Fonseca, something was off, so there are some questions now (particularly regarding his level of dedication). Cuellar should be a great test for Davis at this point in his career.

Charlo (26-0, 20 KOs) is facing Centeno (26-1, 14 KOs) in his second fight at middleweight. They are both tall for middleweights: Charlo is 6’0” while Centeno stands 6’1.5”. It will be nice to see Charlo facing someone he’s not towering over, but Jermall is by far not only the bigger fighter but also the more skilled. Centeno is a good boxer, but Charlo seems better than good (though he’s yet to be tested at middleweight). This contest is for the interim WBC middleweight title status, so theoretically at least it sets up the winner for a shot at current WBC world champion Gennady Golovkin.

The main event is my other pick of the week. Broner (33-3, 24 KOs) garners a lot of attention in and out of the ring, whether positive or negative, and he’s a big draw with a lot of natural ability. But his focus and dedication are the main questions regarding his performances in the boxing ring, and since he moved up in weight several years ago, his fundamental skills haven’t looked as good so one must question how solid they are.

Meanwhile, Vargas (28-2, 10 KOs) has been looking better and better. Jessie has very good fundamentals. Even against a tremendous fighter like Manny Pacquiao, Vargas was competitive and won a few rounds. Perhaps the more pertinent thing, though, is the fact that Vargas is a Mayweather Gym trained fighter who has been trained and mentored by the Mayweather family for years. Hence, he knows how to deal with the slick, elusive style Broner tries to utilize. That spells trouble for Broner. Add to that Vargas’ natural size advantage (he’s 5’10” compared to Broner’s 5’6”) and it translates to further difficulties for Broner. I expect Vargas to win by fairly clear decision.

Check out more of Caryn’s work at http://www.CarynATate.com and follow her on Twitter@carynatate

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  1. fan 07:10am, 04/21/2018

    Boxing should have a Winner Meet Champ Event.

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