Lightweight Still Piping Hot, Four Marquee Bouts on Tap
By Teodoro Medina Reynoso
Wed, 07 Apr 2021
A young Devin Haney (R) doing the mitts with Morris East.
While the glamour welterweight class is into a sort of limbo with its big names uncertain who to fight next, the resurgent lightweight division is still afire with four exciting bouts set to unfold starting next month.
The action at the loaded 135 lbs class opens in May with the fight between WBC regular titlist Devin Haney and comebacking former champion Jorge Linares with Haney defending his title and climbing up the ring again for the first time since almost a year ago.
Action will continue in the coming days or months with unified world champion Teofimo Lopez staking his titles against mandatory challenger George Kambosos in Australia in a date yet to be finalized.
Also on tap is the comeback fight of immediate former unified world champion and pound for pound topnotcher Vasiliy Lomachenko of Ukraine who will be taking on the ultra dangerous Masayoshi Nakatani of Japan on a date and venue yet to be announced too.
Finally, the uber promising Ryan 'KingRy' Garcia will be crossing mitts with the unprecdictable Javier Fortuna in what is potentially a eliminator for either the winners of the Haney-Linares or Lopez-Kambosos fights.
It appears the lightweights do not need a World Boxing Super Series tournament as everybody seems willing and ready to take on everybody that matter to prove who is really who in the weight class. Unlike in you know what division where the top names seem to content in battle of one-upmanship or waging merely acoustic war.
Thus far, the powers that be including the sanctioning bodies, the promoters and managers and the networks seem to be cooperating well such that a newcomer, Triller, was encouraged to wade in, winning the right to stage the pay per view bout between Lopez and Kambosos.
It is not known if the formchart will hold as for the rest of the fights on tap but with the names and the stakes involved, there will be enough rooms to maneuver to reach agreements.
Triller won the bid for the Lopez-Kambosos fight, outpricing both DAZN and Bob Arum's Top Rank setting off a chain of reaction from both camps to match or even upend that bout with marquee fights of their own in the same or other weight class.
Triller is out to prove that they are right in their estimation that the Lopez-Kambosos fight is worth every dollar it bid as it believes that the styles of both would mesh very well as it is a key ingredient in a successful pay per view endeavor.
Top Rank which holds the right to Lopez, just ended up third in the bidding frustrating Lopez who just a few months ago was being hailed as Arum's next big star with his conquest of Lomachenko.
Many tend to agree with Triller as the Lopez-Kambosos fight feature two all action fighters who could deliver a potential frontrunner Fight of the Year candidate this early in the year.
Meanwhile, the scheduled May 29 title fight between Haney and Linares at the Michelob Ultra Arena in Las Vegas will determine if the youthful Haney, 22, is ready for bigger fights or if the veteran Linares ought to be still included in the mix. The fight will feature youthful potential versus experience.
Not many are holding out on Haney, though. One of them is former world champion, now US-based respected boxing trainer and manager Morris East who believes Haney could be the best of the lot right now.
East handled the then very young Haney and swore that in a sparring, he more than held on to his own against Floyd Mayweather, Jr. who was then preparing for a defense versus Marcos Maidana.
Even Floyd's trainer uncle Roger Mayweather, a former two division world champion, could not believe his eyes that Floyd "could not lay a hand on the boy while the boy was laying hands on him", as he was quoted in a local publication.
East describes Haney as a cross between Floyd Mayweather in boxing smarts and the offensive impetuousness of a Sugar Ray Leonard.
The author Teodoro Medina Reynoso is a veteran boxing radio talk show host living in the Philippines. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and by phone 09215309477.
Click here to view a list of other articles written by Teodoro Medina Reynoso.
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