For all those boxing fans that have recently been discouraged over potential blockbuster fights not coming to fruition, SHOWTIME Sports will present seven marquee boxing matches pitting top-10 rated champions in the prime of their careers against fellow top-10 rated challengers. Starting in December, boxing fans will be treated to some captivating matchups over a four-month period.
Seven of the 14 fighters are undefeated, while the champions and challengers in the six world title fights boast a combined 313 wins versus just six losses.
Starting December 10, WBA Featherweight champion Jesus Cuellar,28-1, 21 KO’s will defend his title versus three-division champion Abner Mares,29-2-1, 15 KO’s at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California. Also, IBF Super Welterweight champion Jermall Charlo,24-0, 18 KO’s faces Julian Williams,22-0-1, 14 KO’s at USC Galen Center in Los Angeles the same night.
On January 14, WBC Super Middleweight champion Badou Jack,20-1-2, 12 KO’s and IBF Super Middleweight champion James DeGale,23-1, 14 KO’s look to unify the titles. Location of fight has yet to be announced. Both champions retained their titles as part of a doubleheader last April 30 on SHOWTIME. Jack retained his WBC belt in a controversial draw with longtime titlist Lucian Bute; however, many at ringside thought Jack clearly won. Earlier that evening, DeGale successfully defended his IBF crown with a unanimous decision over mandated challenger Rogelio Medina.
On January 28, WBA Super Featherweight champion Carl Frampton,23-0, 14 KO’s and Leo Santa Cruz,32-1-1, 18 KO’s in square off in a rematch at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada. Frampton defeated Cruz by majority decision to win the belt back on July 30th. On the same card, WBC Lightweight champion Dejan Zlaticanin,18-0, 11 KO’s will battle Mikey Garcia 35-0, 29 KO’s. Garcia will be aiming to become a three-division world champion in just his second fight back from a two-and-a-half year layoff.
On February 11, Adrien Broner,32-2, 24 KO’s vs. Adrian Granados,18-4-2, 12 KO’s. Four-division world champion Broner has won his two previous fights by knockout. Granados pulled off a stunning victory over then-undefeated WBC number one ranked Amir Imam last November on Showtime.
On March 4, in one of boxing’s most anticipated showdowns, WBC Welterweight champion Danny Garcia,32-0, 18 KO’s and WBA Welterweight king Keith Thurman,27-0, 22 KO’s will finally clash and unify their titles. Thurman has defended the title twice, including most recently against former world champion Shawn Porter in one of the 2016’s candidates for Fight of the Year. Garcia won the vacant WBC belt back on January 23rd against Robert Guerrero and is scheduled to face Samuel Vargas in a non-title fight on November 12th.
Relax boxing fans, there are some exciting fights on the horizon. Boxing will start the new year with plenty of optimism for the future, thanks to SHOWTIME.