By: William Holmes
The Stub Hub Center in Carson, California will be the host for one of this Summer’s most competitive premium cable main events as undefeated Shawn Porter takes on England’s undefeated Kell Brook for the IBF Welterweight Title. Two other world title fights will also be broadcast on the Golden Boy Promoted and Showtime televised card. Omar Figueroa will defend his WBC Lightweight Title against Daniel Estrada and Sakio Bika will meet Anthony Dirrell in a rematch for Bika’s WBC Super Middleweight Title.
Photo by Gene Blevins/Hogan Photos
The following is a preview of all three televised fights on Showtime.
Anthony Dirrell (26-0-1) vs. Sakio Bika (32-5-3); WBC Super Middleweight Title
Sakio Bika is a rugged, tough, and at times dirty veteran with a granite chin. If he didn’t hold a major world title most upcoming contenders and champions would avoid him like the plague. However, since he holds the WBC Super Middleweight strap he is a boxer that can not be avoided.
These two met in December of 2013 and fought to an unsatisfying draw at the Barcalys Center in Brooklyn, New York.
Dirrell is six years younger than Bika, who is thirty five years old, and he also has a three inch reach advantage. They are both similar in power; Bika has stopped twenty one of his opponents while Dirrell has stopped twenty two of his opponents. However, Dirrell has stopped three of his last five opponents while Bika has only stopped one of his last five opponents.
Bika has an edge in amateur experience and competed for Cameroon in the 2000 Olympics. Dirrell was successful as an amateur on the national stage but did not reach the level of international success as Bika.
Bika has a clear edge in experience and quality of opponents. Bike won a season of “The Contender” and first competed for a world title in 2005. He has beaten the likes of Marco Periban, Sam Soliman, Nikola Sjekloca, Dyah Davis, and Peter Manfredo Jr. All of his losses have come against quality opponents, including Andre Ward, Lucian Bute, Joe Calzaghe, and a DQ loss to Jean Paul Mendy.
Dirrell is in his athletic prime but has not been tested prior to his first bout with Bika. His notable victories include Anthoyn Hanshaw, Renan St. Juste, and Kevin Engel.
Age will likely be a factor on Saturday night, and whatever boxer can adjust the best from their original game plan from their first bout should be successful in Saturday’s match. Dirrell has a very slight edge over Sakio Bika coming into Saturday night.
Omar Figueroa (23-0) vs. Daniel Estrada (32-2-1); WBC Lightweight Title
Omar Figueroa is one of the younger champions in professional boxing at he age of twenty four while Daniel Estrada is still in his athletic prime at the age of twenty nine but has yet to face a recognizable contender inside the ring.
Figueroa will be giving up about three inches in height inside the ring but he has a very good reach at seventy three inches that should make up for the height differential. Figueroa also has decent power for a lightweight boxer, he has stopped seventeen of his opponents including two of his last five bouts.
Estrada has twenty four stoppages to his record, but he has stopped four of his last five opponents. However, Estrada has spent his entire career fighting in Mexico and this will be the first fight for Estrada in the United States.
Figueroa has an edge in quality opposition, but he does look inconsistent at times. He beat Jerry Belmontes in his last fight but did not look good in doing so. He also had a slugfest fight of the year candidate with Nihito Arakawa in which he won, and he has also defeated the likes of Abner Cotto and Michael Perez.
Estrada has beaten the likes of Nihito Arakawa and Rene Gonzalez, but has also lost to boxers such as Reyes Sanchez and Jose Perea early on in his career. It should be noted that both of Estrada’s losses have come by split decision.
Of the three televised fights on Saturday this seems to be the biggest mismatch, but it’s not a terrible one. Figueroa should walk away on Saturday night still holding the WBC Lightweight belt.
Shawn Porter (24-0) vs. Kell Brook (32-0); IBF Welterweight Title
The main event of the night is between two undefeated boxers in their primes who have both faced some credible opposition.
Shawn Porter is short for the welterweight division, but he will only be giving up two inches in height and about a half inch in reach to Kell Brook. They are both in their athletic primes and only two years separates them in age. They are both similar in speed a boxing acumen; but Brook seems to be the more powerful boxer.
Shawn Porter has stopped fifteen of his opponents, but he has only stopped one of his last five opponents. However, he absolutely destroyed Paulie Malignaggi in his last bout, which resulted in a stoppage. Kell Brook has stopped twenty two of his opponents, but has had stoppage victories in four of his past five bouts.
Porter has the edge in amateur experience. He won the 2007 World Golden Gloves Championships and barely missed qualifying for the 2008 Olympics. He also has the edge in recent activity. He has fought four times since 2013 while Brook has only fought three times.
Brook was supposed to fight for the IBF Welterweight Title against Devon Alexander, but that bout was called off twice due to injuries to both competitors.
One noticeable deficiency in Brook’s resume is that he has only fought outside of the United Kingdom once, a victory against Luis Galarza in December of 2011 in Atlantic City.
Brook, however, has faced decent competition in the United Kingdom. He has defeated the likes of Vyacheslav Senchenko, Carson Jones (x2), Mathew Hatton, Lovemore Ndou, and Michael Jennings.
Porter, on paper, has faced the stiffer competition of the two. He has defeated Pauli Malignaggi, Devon Alexander, Julio Diaz, Phil Lo Greco, Alfonso Gomez, and Ray Robinson.
When I have seen Brook fight he has always looked impressive in the ring and many feel that he, and not Amir Khan, is the best British Welterweight boxer in the world. Porter looked sensational in his last bout, but he can be inconsistent and struggled against Julio Diaz the first time they met in the ring.
Porter sometimes throws his punches to wide and wild and a composed boxer like Brook should be able to take advantage. This is a swing bout and difficult to pick, but Brook has the capability to outbox Shawn Porter.