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Boxing promotions have a habit of loading up Saturdays for fans with numerous cards scattered across the afternoon and evening. This week will look very similar to that with important fights beginning in England and carrying on through midnight in the United States from three different promoters and TV partners.
First up will be a rematch between featherweight brawlers Kiko Martinez and Josh Warrington across the pond in England on DAZN with the IBF title on the line. Then, a pair of nightcaps to close the day when Showtime presents the U.S. debut of Australian star Tim Tszyu when he takes on Terrell Gausha at super welterweight. And Top Rank brings us the return of Miguel Berchelt when the former champion takes on Jeremiah Nakathila on ESPN.
What should you keep an eye on this Saturday? Here’s a viewer’s guide to help you navigate through the action along with odds from Ceasars Sportsbook. All event start times Eastern.
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Kiko Martinez (c) +260 vs. Josh Warrington -330, IBF featherweight championship — 3 p.m., DAZN:Â IBF featherweight champion Martinez will be putting his belt on the line in a rematch with Warrington, who won the first meeting in May 2017 by majority decision. Warrington would go on to win the IBF title two fights after their first meeting, successfully defending the title three times before vacating the belt. He was then stopped by Mauricio Lara in February 2021 and then went to a technical draw against Lara in the rematch after a clash of heads ended the fight after two rounds. Martinez found mixed success following the first match with Warrington, picking up several wins while also losing to Zelfa Barrett and Gary Russell Jr. In November, Martinez entered the ring against then-champ Kid Galahad as a heavy underdog. The fight played out as the odds suggested, with Galahad controlling the action until a sweeping overhand right from Martinez scored a knockdown in the final moments of Round 5. Galahad was unable to recover between rounds and Martinez knocked him out with the first punch of the following round. Martinez comes into the fight with all the momentum while Warrington has not won a fight since October 2019. Still, the oddsmakers see Warrington as a fairly heavy favorite to become world champion for the second time in his career.
KIKO MARTINEZ KNOCKS OUT KID GALAHAD WITH THE FIRST PUNCH OF THE SIXTH ROUND!#GalahadMartinez pic.twitter.com/ztiAREQKyo
Tim Tszyu -900 vs. Terrell Gausha +600, super welterweight — 9 p.m., Showtime:Â Tszyu, son of former world champ Kostya Tszyu, has shown real promise in starting off his career with a perfect 20-0 record. This is a big fight for Tszyu on multiple levels as he’s traveling to fight in the United States for the first time in his career and is also taking his biggest step up in competition yet. Tszyu has a lot of the things you like to see in a young fighter, with a relentless body attack and confidence in his power. Now, he has to navigate the increasingly deep waters of experienced and dangerous opponents. Gausha is largely seen as a gatekeeper of sorts, but a very talented one in that role. The former Olympian is in the latter stages of his career but is a very solid fighter and one who may push Tszyu by taking advantage of some of the younger fighter’s flaws in his defensive liabilities. This is a nearly perfect step-up fight for Tszyu and that’s not something we are always given in boxing.
« I would say there would be a bit of experience there growing up and watching dad but at the end of the day, I have had nine pay-per-view fights in Australia and that means it’s a pretty big deal fighting in stadiums, » Tszyu told ‘Morning Kombat’ last week ahead of this showdown. « Nothing fazes me, man. I’m just chill and all I like to do is punch on. It’s simple. »Â
Miguel Berchelt -575 vs. Jeremiah Nakathila +425, lightweight — 10 p.m., ESPN:Â Berchelt is returning to the ring for the first time since his lengthy reign as WBC super featherweight champion came to an end when he was on the wrong end of a crushing knockout in his February 2021 clash with Oscar Valdez. Now, without a championship for the first time since 2017, Berchelt makes the jump to lightweight where he’ll take on Nakathila, whose biggest fight to date was a fight with Shakur Stevenson for the interim WBO belt at super featherweight. Nakathila was proven far out of his depth against Stevenson but gets another shot at a main event as a somewhat credible name for Berchelt to face in a get-right outing. Whether we learn much about Berchelt’s future at lightweight is up in the air as Nakathila is also moving up in weight, but Berchelt is a highly skilled fighter with a fun style and Nakathila’s awkward approach could make for an interesting bout. And Berchelt may be dealing with some ghosts after that brutal Valdez knockout.
Maria Cecilia Roman (c) +155 vs Ebanie Bridges -180, IBF bantamweight title — DAZN:Â Bridges came up short in her first shot at a world title, showing incredible heart against Shannon Courtenay in a fight that saw Bridges’ eye swell horribly as the action went on. After two wins, she gets another crack at a belt against Roman. Roman is a longtime champion with a lot more experience than Bridges but is also 39 years old and the younger Bridges may be ready to take over the IBF crown.
Michel Rivera -400 vs. Joseph Adorno +310, 138-pound catchweight — Showtime:Â On paper, this is a battle of undefeated prospects. In reality, it’s Rivera being put in a position to keep his momentum going by giving Adorno his first loss. Adorno has two draws in his two most recent outings after starting his career 14-0. Adorno missed weight in June 2020 and had to be pulled from the fight when he didn’t hit the fight night weight requirement the next day. He then missed weight and was pulled from a date this past November. Then, shockingly, he missed weight again and had a fight pulled again in February, his third fight cancellation for weight issues in two years. There’s a catchweight in play to try to avoid that this time around, but Adrorno has shown that missing weight is one of his top attributes as a fighter. Compared to Rivera, who has been on a roll and scored a big knockout of the dangerous Jon Fernandez last year.
WOW. Michel Rivera with a devastating KO in his @showtime debut! pic.twitter.com/bghXKJrBjo
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