Coming off a crazy weekend in the fight capital of the world, Las Vegas, this weekend doesn’t have the same name recognition. However, let’s not fall asleep on some of these fights taking place on Friday and Saturday.
(Photo credit: Mikey Williams (Top Rank via Getty Images)
A few fights worth mentioned are Navarrete/Gonzalez, Soto/Gonzalez, and a couple more, including the return of Mikey Garica, who hasn’t fought since February 2020. Boxing has a way of sneaking up on us on a weekend that seems hoe-hum there might be a great fight that pops off when we least expect it.
Let’s begin with what should be a good T.V. scrap between Emanuel Navarrete and Joet Gonzalez streaming on ESPN+. Navarrete blasted his way onto the scene back in late 2018, winning as an underdog against Isaac Dogboe. After getting past the rematch against Dogboe, Emanuel had a 5-fight span facing mediocre to poor opposition, leaving some of us wondering when Navarrete would fight a better opponent. He then defeated an unbeaten contender Ruben Villa in a bout Navarrete got out of the gates very fast, scoring two knockdowns, but Villa did manage his way back in the fight. Earlier this year, Navarrete beat a solid boxer in Christopher Diaz, and now he faces Joet Gonzalez on Friday night.
Joet Gonazlez’s resume leading into his matchup against Shakur Stevenson wasn’t much to write home about. Wins over Rafael Rivera and Manuel Avila didn’t fly off the page or force a fight fan to take notice. To be honest, his performance in a losing effort to the more talented Shakur didn’t scream watch out for this kid either. This podcaster will give him credit for his sturdy win over the veteran Miguel Marriaga. Joet won’t have to search long and hard for Navarrete, which lends itself to being an all-action tussle in the middle of the ring.
Once again, honestly speaking, Navarette’s awkward style and unconventional punching angles didn’t seem all that transferable to the top levels of the sport. Over time he’s grown on some of us, and when you add his length and height, it’s difficult to think he won’t be a tough out on the upper echelon. Even when he’s getting hit flush, he has a way of turning up the heat. He does a good job of disguising punches that appear to be headed to the body only to land hard to the head. Look for Emanuel to win this fight clearly, but it won’t necessarily be a walk in the park. Joet’s experience with Stevenson and his confidence-building victory over Marriaga should prepare him well enough to make a good account in this main event.
My Official Prediction is Emanuel Navarette by Unanimous-Decision.
This Saturday on DAZN, Mikey Garcia takes on unknown boxer Sandor Martin in Fresno, California. Beyond a points loss to Anthony Yigit, it’s hard to get pumped up for what Martin will bring to this fight. Garcia probably did need a tune-up, and let’s hope a victory here will lead to a fight with Regis Prograis in the 1st quarter of 2022. The fight to keep your eye on for this card is the co-feature between Elwin Soto and Jonathan Gonzalez.
According to quotes from Jake Donovan of Boxingscene.com pertaining to Gonzalez, “I’m well prepared. It’s been over ten weeks in training camp. I’m going to give Puerto Rico world champion number 62.” Jonathan was game in his last loss to Kosei Tanaka and should be considered a live dog sitting around +550 to +600. Soto does have a habit of going for the home-run shots, which could play right into the craftiness of Gonzalez. This hack-of-a-scribe won’t be surprised if we get back and forth affair with the fight still on the table in the last four rounds.
Other bouts on Saturday include Mairis Briedis vs. Artur Mann, Hughie Fury vs. Christian Hammer, Savannah Marshall vs. Lolita Muzeya, Petros Ananyan vs. Daniel Gonzalez, Giovani Santillan vs. Angel Ruiz, Lindolfo Degado vs. Juan Garcia Mendez.
Side Note: 2-0 Floyd Diaz is in action this weekend. Diaz is the little kid that grew up training in the Mayweather Gym.
Written by Chris Carlson Host/Producer of The Rope A Dope Radio Podcast Available at www.blogtalkradio.com/ropeadoperadio & Follow on Twitter @RopeADopeRadio