What to Watch: May 11-12

By Caryn A. Tate on May 9, 2018
What to Watch: May 11-12
Join me as I break down which of the week's televised fights are most interesting and why.

It’s an easy pick this week: WBA lightweight world champion Jorge Linares is defending his title against Vasyl Lomachenko…

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

Friday, May 11
6:00pm PT/9:00pm ET - Bounce
Ishe Smith (29-9, 12 KOs) vs. Tony Harrison (26-2, 21 KOs) - 10 rounds, junior middleweight

7:00pm PT/10:00pm ET - Showtime
Devin Haney vs. Mason Menard

Nineteen-year-old lightweight Haney (18-0, 12 KOs) is being hailed as a prodigy, and that might be true. He’s facing Menard (33-2, 24 KOs) in the 10-round headlining ShoBox bout. Menard is a talented fighter with a lot of experience, so it should be a quality test for Haney.

Saturday, May 12
5:00pm PT/8:00pm ET - ESPN
Jorge Linares vs. Vasyl Lomachenko; Carlos Adames (13-0, 11 KOs) vs. Alejandro Barrera (29-4, 18 KOs) - 10 rounds, welterweight

It’s an easy pick this week: in the main event, WBA lightweight world champion Linares (44-3, 27 KOs) is defending his title against Lomachenko (10-1, 8 KOs), who is moving up from junior lightweight for the opportunity. Both fighters are absolutely top shelf, and particularly with Loma moving up in weight, it makes the odds even closer in my view.

Both boxers are technically wonderful. Linares displays beautiful footwork and coordination, and when he’s 100% on, his skills are a sight to behold for the boxing fan. He’s been on a winning streak since 2012, when he had a couple of fights stopped on cuts, and it appears the cutting issue may be behind him. And he’s just improved as a fighter over the years, another tremendous accomplishment for any adult boxer.

Loma is a two-time Olympic gold medalist and last fought in December, when he defeated another excellent fighter, Guillermo Rigondeaux, in a decisive manner—the bout was not competitive and was stopped in the sixth. Rigo moved up two weight classes for the contest, but the issues Loma raised in the ring didn’t seem to have much to do with size.

Thirty-year-old Lomachenko has phenomenal hand speed and athletic footwork that keeps his opponents off balance and second-guessing themselves, typically unable or unwilling to let their hands go. It’ll be a fascinating match between himself and Linares, as I don’t think the Venezuelan native will have the same issues most of Loma’s other opponents have. But the result of the fight is anybody’s guess—and that’s why it’s a great match-up.

To make things even more exciting, the winner of this bout will be an excellent opponent for the winner of a rumored match-up between WBC lightweight world champion Mikey Garcia and Robert Easter Jr. (the IBF world title holder). The lightweight division is heating up.

Under the Radar undercard:
U.S. Olympians Mikaela Mayer and Jamel Herring will appear on the undercard (which should be broadcast on ESPN+), as will Honduran Olympian Teofimo Lopez.

Mayer (4-0, 3 KOs) will be facing Baby Nansen (6-2-1) of New Zealand at lightweight. If you haven’t seen Mayer in the ring yet, I highly recommend making time in your schedule for this bout. She’s a superb boxer with fantastic technical ability, and also packs a wallop. Mayer also has a team of great coaches behind her: Al Mitchell and Kay Koroma are top-level and seem to have that old-school, deeper understanding of boxing that some modern coaches are lacking.

7:00pm PT/10:0pm ET - HBO
Sadam Ali (26-1, 14 KOs) vs. Jaime Munguia (28-0, 24 KOs) - 12 rounds, WBO super welterweight world title; Rey Vargas (31-0, 22 KOs) vs. Azat Hovhannisyan (14-2, 11 KOs) - 12 rounds, WBC super bantamweight world title

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

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  1. fan 11:21am, 05/10/2018

    Boxing should allow boxer to fight without promo agency.

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