Ranking Premier Boxing Champions Top 5 Fights to Watch From Their Recent Schedule Release on SHOWTIME
By: Hans Themistode
Grotesque mismatches were becoming the norm in this new COVID-19 boxing landscape. Financial issues and the lack of a live audience gave promoters the right to place uninteresting matchups on television screens across the world.
While it was appreciated, fans were grinding their teeth as they saw predictable fight after predictable fight. Compelling and interesting matchups would have to wait until the back end of 2020 or worse, sometime in 2021.
For Al Haymon and Premier Boxing Champions (PBC) however, they would hear none of it.
Earlier this week PBC announced their SHOWTIME schedule for the remainder of 2020, and it did not disappoint. Numerous championship matchups have now flooded boxing fans’ once desolate schedule. With so many interesting contests, we’ve decided to rank the best five from the group.
Every contest on the docket is worth watching, but here’s our choice for the best of the best of PBC’s SHOWTIME Boxing schedule.
5. Erickson Lubin vs Terrell Gausha
Erickson Lubin (22-1, 16 KOs) has been waiting to prove that he isn’t a hype job. The former ESPN prospect of the year looked to be the real deal during the early portion of his career. However, a right hand from Jermell Charlo in Lubin’s first crack at a world title in 2017, put an end to that notion. Since then, Lubin has been hard at work reshaping his image. The Florida native has picked up four straight wins with three coming via stoppage, and now finds himself in a WBC title eliminator against Terrell Gausha.
Much like Lubin, the former Olympian has done some reshaping of his own, although not as successful. After losing a one sided contest in his own bid to win a world title contest against Erislandy Lara in 2017, Gausha (21-1-1, 10 KOs) has been both inactive, fighting only once a year, and lackluster, scoring a draw against Austin Trout in his last ring appearance.
Not only are these two fairly evenly matched, but with the next title shot up for grabs, there is plenty on the line.
4. Nonito Donaire vs Nordine Oubaali
The retirement train was thought to have long left the station with Nonito Donaire onboard. Yet, it appears that the 37 year old isn’t ready to pack up and leave just yet. After suffering losses to Jessie Magdaleno and Carl Frampton, Donaire (40-6, 26 KOs) received a bit of luck in reaching the finals of the World Boxing Super Series in 2019.
Meeting him there, was pound for pound star Naoya Inoue. The easy win that was predicted for Inoue was anything but that as Donaire gave him the toughest fight of his life. He may have come out on the losing end, but his performance has earned him a crack at WBC belt holder Nordine Oubaali (17-0, 12 KOs).
For most of his six year career, Oubaali has made it look easy. But while Donaire will walk into this one as an underdog, he has already proven that he has plenty left in the tank.
3. Jermell Charlo vs Jeison Rosario
Of all the matchups on this list, WBC titlist Jermell Charlo and his unification matchup against WBA and IBF champion Jeison Rosario, was the most surprising.
Rosario came out of absolutely nowhere last year when he ripped away the titles from Julian Williams. Instead of sitting back on his laurels and milking his belts for easy paydays, Rosario has decided to attempt to add even more to his hardware collection.
Charlo (33-1, 17 KOs) has gotten over his Tony Harrison saga and now finds himself fighting to become a unified champion. The betting public is already backing Charlo heavily, but they did the same when Rosario took on Williams, so he has no problem with the little amount of faith shown in him.
2. Gervonta Davis vs Leo Santa Cruz
For as explosive and dangerous as Gervonta Davis (23-0, 22 KOs) has looked during his career, fans were beginning to roll their eyes whenever a new unknown fighter stood across the ring from him. A highlight reel knockout is always waiting to happen, but resistance seldom followed.
On October 24th, however, Leo Santa Cruz (37-1-1, 19 KOs) will be looking to give Davis all he can handle when they face off. The four division world champion has grown tired of constant murmurs that he has eschewed the competition.
The storyline behind this one is simple. Davis has the punching power and speed on his side, while Santa Cruz is banking on his punch output and relentless pressure.
The winner of this one will have answered a ton of questions, while the loser on the other hand, will see their stock plummet.
1. Jermall Charlo vs Sergiy Derevyanchenko
Jermall Charlo (30-0, 22 KOs) has gained a reputation. He’s a big puncher, aggressive personality and an unknown commodity. Even with wins over Julian Williams and Austin Trout, Charlo continues to hear the doubters. He’s asked for big name fights against the likes of Canelo Alvarez and Gennadiy Golovkin, but you can hear a pin drop from either of those fighters in regards to interest.
Sergiy Derevyanchenko (13-2, 10 KOs) may not be the opponent that he wanted, but he is without question his toughest test yet. With two razor close decision losses to Daniel Jacobs and the aforementioned Golovkin, many believe that the Ukrainian born contender should already hold a world title. Nevertheless, he’ll pick up his third chance against Charlo on September 26th.
The intrigue surrounding this one is huge. In a contest that can be essentially decided with the flip of a coin, it ranks number one on our list of the best fights to watch on the SHOWTIME Boxing schedule.
Jermell and Jermall Charlo Are Ready For The Next Step: “Now is Our Time to be PPV Stars; Pound For Pound”
By: Hans Themistode
Both Jermell and Jermall Charlo have spent their entire lives sharing. As twin brothers this comes as no surprise. But on September 26th, they will share a once in a lifetime moment with one another as they’ll headline a FOX PPV.
Jermall, who holds the WBC middleweight title, will look to pull off the biggest win of his career when he takes on former two time title challenger Sergiy Derevyanchenko (13-2, 10 KOs). The Ukrainian born contender is best known for his work against Daniel Jacobs in October of 2018 and Gennadiy Golovkin in October of 2019. On both occasions, he found himself on the short end of the stick, but saw his stock rise with each defeat.
With a third crack at the championship apple, Derevyanchenko is hoping to hear the announcer say “And New” once the night is over. The thought of losing his title however, hasn’t crossed the mind of Jermall. With matchups against Canelo Alvarez and Gennadiy Golovkin possibly in his immediate future, the WBC titlist is focused solely on Derevyanchenko.
“This guy is rated number one in the world,” said Jermall to Brain Custer during a recent Zoom interview. “He’s going to take the job seriously and so am I.”
The word boring has never been associated with a Jermall Charlo fight, and come September 26th, he isn’t expecting that narrative to change.
“We’re going to both meet in the middle and let our hands go. May the best man win. My game plan will be to shut his game plan down.”
Jermall (30-0, 22 KOs) has always wanted the spotlight to himself, but he is more than happy to share it with his twin brother and fellow champion Jermell (33-1, 17 KOs).
Meeting him on the night will be the upset minded Jeison Rosario (20-1-1, 14 KOs), who holds two major titles in the Jr middleweight division. The Dominican Republic born champion made the betting world look silly earlier this year against then champion Julian Williams. Rosario stepped into the former champions backyard in Philadelphia and didn’t just take the titles from Williams, he ripped them away with a fifth round stoppage.
Despite his big time win, Jermell is expecting his title reign to be truncated the moment they step inside the ring against one another.
“I don’t want to leave it up to the judges, I learned that in my past,” said Jermell to Brain Custer. “I deliver knockouts, that’s what I do.”
There is a lot riding on the line for the Charlo twins on the night of September 26th. For Jermall, a win over Derevyanchenko won’t simply shut the mouths of his critics, and for Jermell, winning his contest against Rosario will bring him much more than an additional two titles.
No, for the Charlo twins, they believe that this is their shining moment while the rest of the world is sequestered at home with no other choice but to tune in.
Titles and big wins are secondary for them.
“We will let everyone in the world see the great things that me and my twin brother have done in the sport of boxing,” said Jermall.
“Now is our time to be PPV stars. Everyone will say that they are boxing, and that they are pound for pound.”
Jermell Charlo and Jeison Rosario Are on Course For A Unification Contest Later This Year
By: Hans Themistode
One title has never been enough for WBC Jr middleweight belt holder Jermell Charlo. For years, he begged for a showdown with WBA/IBF champ Jarrett Hurd and seemed to be on his way to having his wish granted.
Yet, as fate would have it, their showdown was not meant to be. Charlo suffered a surprise loss to Tony Harrison while Hurd took one on the chin against Julian Williams. Charlo however, would go on to grab his title back from Harrison and immediately set his sights on Williams. But once again, fate stepped in as Jeison Rosario snatched the titles from him earlier this year.
With the IBF and WBA titles going from fighter to fighter like a carousel, Charlo is hoping that he’ll be next to claim them as he and Rosario are headed towards a showdown.
According to Steve Kim of ESPN, Rosario’s request to bypass his mandatory and jump straight into a unification matchup with Charlo was accepted by the IBF. Sources have also told Kim that negotiations are moving along in a positive direction and the contest is being targeted for late September.
For Charlo, news of a showdown with Rosario is music to his ears. Since the unified champion placed himself on the map with his fifth round pounding over Julian Williams, Charlo was the first person to raise his hand to be his next opponent.
Any thoughts of a competitive matchup between the two will be laughable to Charlo. Once the pair step inside of the ring together, he is expecting one way traffic.
“I’m here to eat,” said Charlo to Ray Flores of Premier Boxing Champions several months ago. “If he’s in the way then he’s getting trucked. It’s been a dream to get all of the belts.”
Pre-fight trash talk is something that Charlo has always excelled in, but as for Rosario, he showed no interest in puffing out his chest and making threats to Charlo several months ago. He simply wants to step inside of the ring and prove who is the best fighter in the Jr middleweight division.
“I want to unify the 154-pound division,” said Rosario to Ray Flores several months ago. “My objective, if I have my choice, is Jermell Charlo. He is the best in the division, and I want to prove that I am truly the best at 154.”
Trainer Derrick James Backs Jermell Charlo Over Jeison Rosario
By: Hans Themistode
The fans were sent home stunned when their man, former unified Jr Middleweight champion Julian Williams was stopped in the fifth round of his contest against Jeison Rosario. Odds makers tabbed Williams as a 15-1 favorite and many of his backers were already looking ahead.
A unification clash against WBC titlist Jermell Charlo made the most sense. But first, Williams needed to take out Rosario.
Williams stood in his corner as the punches rained down on him, forcing the referee to put a halt to the contest. Williams hometown crowd may have stood with their jaws touching the ground, but Derrick James, trainer of Charlo wasn’t as surprised.
“In boxing, like life, you never know what will happen,” James said to Boxingscene.com. “Some people get very focused. He was very focused, his skill set was great and I think he was up for that fight that day. He wasn’t gonna take a loss. He stepped up and he fought great. He fought phenomenally. It was a very competitive fight up until the third round or so. When J-Rock got cut, that’s when it started to turn a little bit, in the second round. That’s when Rosario picked it up and J-Rock kind of faded a little bit.”
Still, even with Rosario officially on the radar of both the boxing fans and his contemporaries, James is backing his man should they meet in the near future.
“I think Jermell will win the fight. He’s a great boxer. Rosario looked really good against J-Rock [Williams], but I feel like Jermell’s gonna get him. Rosario’s a great fighter, but Jermell’s speed and his athleticism will come into play. His ability will come into play.”
Rosario made a statement on the night against Williams, but Charlo made one of his own in his last ring appearance. He dusted himself off after suffering the first defeat of his career to win the rematch against Tony Harrison via 11th round stoppage. It was a back and forth fight between the two before Charlo ended it emphatically.
“I was pleased, especially down the stretch,” James said of Charlo’s performance. “It was a tough fight. He totally changed the fight. It was like they both pushed each other to the next level. Jermell put it together toward the end and he kept fighting in the middle rounds. Even though Tony had some good spots and some good rounds, Jermell kept fighting and started landing some shots. And then he landed that same hook he landed in the second round. It was great. I loved it.”
Julian Williams Decides Not to Pursue Immediate Rematch With Jeison Rosario
By: Hans Themistode
When Jarrett Hurd walked around the Jr Middleweight division as a champion, it was thought that he could not be beat. The 29 year old had already collected the names of Tony Harrison, Austin Trout and Erislandy Lara on his resume. So when Julian Williams was chosen as his next man in line, no one thought much of it.
Williams was good, maybe even really good. But great? Absolutely not.
The book on Williams was already released. In terms of skills, he’s second to none. But he just flat out can’t take a shot. In 2016, Williams was stopped in his first bid to win a world title against then champion Jermall Charlo. Call it unfair if you want, but once a fighter suffers a brutal knockout loss, not much is expected of them.
With Hurd being just as big and just as strong as Charlo, the unified champ was expected to walk right through him on December 1st, 2018, in front of his hometown fans at EagleBank Arena, Fairfax Virginia.
Boxing, like always, is the theater of the unknown. You just never know what you’re going to get once a fighter walks inside of that ring.
Williams may have been a heavy underdog, but remove the word under, and that will show you what he was on the night. A dog.
Williams dropped and beat down Hurd to take away every single one of his three Jr Middleweight straps.
Surprising? Yes. But even more so was what happened next.
Hurd elected to not pick up his immediate rematch clause with Williams. The criticism quickly came flying and Williams led the way.
“I’m just a bad style matchup for him,” said Williams a few months back. “I’ll beat him every single time, so no, I’m not surprised that he didn’t take the rematch.”
Sometimes karma can take a really long time to come back full circle. But make no mistake about it, she always comes back.
On May 11th, 2019, Williams found himself on the wrong end of an upset victory of his own at the hands of Jeison Rosario, in front of his hometown crowd in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
The loss was surprising, but not nearly as much as what happened more recently.
Williams had no choice. He had to take the immediate rematch with Rosario, even if he didn’t want to. The former unified champ had gone on record several times criticizing Hurd for not doing the same. If Williams chose to go in another direction, then that would be ironic to say the least. Well, it now seems as though Williams will be following in those same critiqued footsteps.
Williams has officially decided to forgo his rematch option and instead will choose to rest after recent surgery. So now, the playbook of Rosario which contained only one name before the news Williams broke, has now opened up in a big way.
Fights with WBC titlist Jermell Charlo, along with former belt holders Erislandy Lara and Tony Harrison are now officially on the table. Still, assuming he is still a belt holder down the line, Rosario could still be matched up with Williams after he has recovered.
For now, the same criticism that Hurd was forced to deal with for months on end, will now be placed on the shoulders of Williams. No one, especially former champion Jarrett Hurd will feel apathetic towards his situation.