This weekend brings us a huge power sports spectacle from one MMA promotion and the return of Premier Boxing Champions, which always delivers pugilistic greatness.
PREMIER BOXING CHAMPIONS: Jamal James vs. Juan Carlos Abreu
Jamal James and Juan Carlos Abreu have proven to be talented fighters, combining for 35 victories in 37 pro bouts. And both are approaching the age of 30.
Despite those numbers, both have yet garner any championship exposure.
They hope to take another step toward fixing that when they square off in a 147-pound clash September 18 at Full Sail University in Winter Park, Florida. The scheduled 10-rounder is part of a Premier Boxing Champions—The Next Round card on Bounce TV (BounceTV.com, 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT).
The 6-foot-2 James (17-0, 9 KOs) is a boxer-puncher from Minneapolis, Minnesota, who last fought in June, earning an eight-round unanimous-decision victory over Michael Balasi. That result ended a string of three straight knockouts for James.
Abreu (18-1-1, 17 KOs) is a hammer-fisted 28-year-old knockout specialist from the Dominican Republic who is coming off a 10-round fight against Pablo Cesar Cano on February 27 in Indio, California. Initially Abreu lost a hard-fought majority decision, but the fight was later ruled a no contest.
Abreu’s only official loss was a 12-round, unanimous decision to Humberto Soto in March 2014, but he followed that with knockout victories over Basilio Silva and Ruddy Ascasio, leading up to the bout against Cano.
While Abreu’s power is unquestioned- he’s stopped 17 of his 20 opponents- he figures to have a tough time getting to the slender James, who will enter the ring not only with an unbeaten record, but also with a four-inch height advantage.
Undefeated rising star Erickson "The Hammer" Lubin (11-0, 8 KOs) competes against experienced Mexican Orlando Lora (31-5-3, 19 KOs) in a 10-round affair.
BELLATOR DYNAMITE 1
“Bellator MMA: Dynamite 1” is a landmark event in combat sports history taking place at the SAP Center in San Jose, Calif. on Sept. 19. The first-of-its-kind event is headlined by a Light Heavyweight World Championship between Liam McGeary and Tito Ortiz, and also features a four-man, one night light heavyweight tournament as well as Glory kickboxing match-ups.
For the first time ever, “Bellator MMA: Dynamite 1” will feature both a Bellator MMA cage and a Glory kickboxing ring on one arena floor at the same time, and the promotion will take full advantage of the unique scenario, showcasing several kickboxing and mixed martial arts preliminary contests simultaneously in what should make for an amazing combat sports experience.
In the evening’s main event, Tito Ortiz (18-11) will challenge the undefeated Bellator Light Heavyweight World Champion, Liam McGeary (10-0) for the title. Additionally, the previously announced fight card features a Glory kickboxing title fight featuring Zack Mwekassa (13-2, 12 KO) and Saulo Cavalari (31-2, 19 KO) for the vacant Light Heavyweight Championship, as well as Bellator MMA competitors Paul “Semtex” Daley (37-13-2) and Fernando “The Menifee Maniac” Gonzalez (24-13) also competing in Glory action, when they trade-in the MMA gloves for kickboxing gloves. Finally, recently signed Keri Anne Taylor-Melendez (2-1) will compete in kickboxing action against Hadley Griffith.
Bellator MMA will also conduct a four-man, one-night light heavyweight tournament to determine the No. 1 contender in the division that features Phil Davis (13-3) taking on Emanuel Newton (25-8-1) and Linton Vassell (15-4-1) facing TSL “On The Throne with King Mo” podcast host Muhammed “King Mo” Lawal (15-4, 1 NC). Newly signed lightweight standout Josh “The Punk” Thomson (20-8, 1 NC) is also in action, when he makes his Bellator MMA debut against Mike “The Greek Assassin” Bronzoulis (18-8-1).
“Bellator MMA: Dynamite 1” airs live and free on Spike at 9/8c.