What to Watch: May 25-26

By Caryn A. Tate on May 24, 2018
What to Watch: May 25-26
Jamie McDonnell is defending his WBA “regular” bantamweight title against Naoya Inoue.

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:

Friday, May 25
4:00am PT/7:00am ET - ESPN+ (U.S.) / SkySports (U.K.)
Naoya Inoue vs. Jamie McDonnell

It’s a huge miss on the part of American TV networks that the only broadcast of this very good fight is via yet another paywall.

McDonnell (29-2-1, 13 KOs) is defending his WBA “regular” world title against Inoue (15-0, 13 KOs). The “regular” title means more sanctioning body nonsense: the WBA still has two concurrent world title holders (super—widely acknowledged as the “authentic” one—and regular) in some weight divisions, including this one. Ireland’s Ryan Burnett holds the “super” belt.

All that aside, McDonnell’s reputation shouldn’t be punished for the WBA’s confusing practices. He has fought some very good opposition since he won the title four years ago, including Tomoki Kameda twice. Most recently he faced Liborio Solis, first in November 2016 in a bout that most saw for Solis, yet McDonnell was awarded the decision. To his credit, McDonnell agreed to the rematch, though it ended in a no decision from a head clash.

Now, facing “Monster” Inoue at all—much less doing it in his backyard (Japan)—McDonnell is showing his character once again. Inoue, while only 25 years old, has won world titles in two weight classes prior to this bout. Not only that—he faced progressively good fighters when he did it. He first won a title at light flyweight (108 pounds) in 2014. In December of that same year, he skipped flyweight to jump to super flyweight (115 pounds) to face Omar Narvaez, a very good boxer who had never been stopped until that night, when Inoue knocked him out in two rounds.

Inoue is now moving up to bantamweight for the chance at McDonnell’s title. No one can question McDonnell’s heart, but Inoue seems to be special, so it will be a tough ask for McDonnell.

Saturday, May 26
6:00pm PT/9:00pm ET - FS1
Eddie Ramirez vs. Argenis Mendez; Oscar Escandon vs. Tugstsogt Nyambayar; Justin DeLoach vs. Jeison Rosario; Joshua Zuniga vs. Justin Pauldo

In PBC’s three-hour show, Ramirez (17-1, 11 KOs) faces former world title holder Mendez (24-5-1, 12 KOs) in the main event. On the undercard: Escandon (25-3, 17 KOs) is on the rebound after losing by stoppage to Gary Russell Jr., who fans saw in action last Saturday. He’s facing Nyambayar (9-0, 8 KOs), who won an Olympic silver medal at the 2012 London Games.

DeLoach (17-2, 9 KOs) is fighting Rosario (14-1-1, 11 KOs) in a 10-round middleweight bout. Zuniga (9-0, 4 KOs) is battling Pauldo (10-1, 5 KOs) in an eight-round lightweight match-up.

6:30pm PT/9:30pm ET - ESPN+
Jerwin Ancajas vs. Jonas Sultan

Another ESPN+ paywall, but if you’re so inclined, IBF super flyweight world champion Ancajas (29-1-1, 20 KOs) is a very good and understated fighter out of the Philippines. He’s defending his title against Sultan (14-3, 9 KOs) in a bout that has really flown under the radar.

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

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  1. fan 06:36am, 05/28/2018

    We should have Live Scorecard during fight.

  2. Koolz 07:22am, 05/25/2018


    shows the fight now and slows down the flury at the end….look at how even punches on the arms are moving Mcdonnell around.  Insane power!

  3. Koolz 04:57am, 05/25/2018


    Shiro vs Lopez 2

  4. Koolz 04:52am, 05/25/2018


    They call him The Monster!

  5. Koolz 03:02pm, 05/24/2018

    How did we know that Inoue would be a multiple world champion?

    when He was a prospect he was beating the very best at his weight class in Japan with one arm in sparring!
    Everyone wanted to see who this guy was.

  6. Kid Blast 10:11am, 05/24/2018

    thanks, Caryn

  7. Koolz 04:49am, 05/24/2018

    That’s a lot of body for Inoue to hit for 12 rounds does this even go past the sixth round?
    KO Inoue with body shot.  McDonnell is nothing.

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