Friday, June 24th 2016
Bellator 157: Dynamite 2
(Photo Credit: Zuffa, LLC)
Quinton “Rampage” Jackson is back after more than a year to do battle in the cage. The former UFC fighter returns to Bellator after besting Fabio Maldonado via unanimous decision at UFC 186 in April 2015. Jackson (36-11) is currently on a four-fight win streak.
He takes on a 2008 judo Olympian, Japan’s Satoshii Ishii (14-5-1). With wins over MMA veterans Pedro Rizzo and Jeff Monson, Ishii will be testing himself for the first time in America.
Also on the card is new free agent Matt Mitrione (9-5), who will fight his first fight outside of the UFC . He takes on Carl Seumanutafa (10-6) in a heavyweight feature fight. Currently, Mitrione is on a two-fight losing streak and looking to get back in the win column.
Watch the fireworks from the Scotttrade Center in St. Louis on Spike at 8pm ET/ 5pm PT
Saturday, June 25th 2016
Anthony Joshua vs. Dominic Breazeale
When 2012 Olympic gold medalist, Anthony Joshua knocked out Charles Martin in the second round this past April, it was his seminal Jordan "Jump Man" moment.
The new IBF Heavyweight champion and British knockout specialist touts a 16-0 record with 16 knockouts. His destructive seizure of Martin’s title was a millennial shots fired tweet to all U.S. Heavyweights that he was here and he wants more scalps.
“It didn’t mean much. I still have another couple titles I need to get my hands on. I’m still hunting,” said Joshua on the international media call. “There’s still work to be done. So it only ticked one of the boxes on my to-do list.”
Enter Dominic Breazeale, also a 2012 Olympian and fellow undefeated heavyweight at 17-0 with 15 knockouts. His last fight was a semi-barn burner, with his opponent Amir Mansour. That fight would end bizarrely, with Mansour giving up on his stool after nearly biting his tongue in half in the fifth round.
Breazeale won the vacant WBC Continental Americas Heavyweight title, but now undoubtedly faces his biggest challenge to date.
“Honestly, the way I see it is that someone didn’t do their research,” said Breazeale on the call. “Maybe they’re looking at me as just another football player that transitioned into boxing. I’m glad because that’s to my liking.”
With WBC Heavyweight titleholder and 2008 Olympian Deontay Wilder (36-0) waiting in the wings, this fight has the heavyweight division looking bright again, and boxing needs this type of energy.
Watch the big men duke it out live from the O2 Arena in London on Showtime at 5:15 p.m. ET/2:15 p.m. PT.
Keith Thurman vs. Shawn Porter
The most anticipated match-up of the year is finally here.
WBA welterweight champion, Keith “One Time” Thurman defends his belt against “Showtime” Shawn Porter.
These two are cordial friends that have aided each other’s career progress. Their trainers respect each other and the only fear here is that they have shared enough rounds in past training that they will be too respectful of each other.
However, just a breakdown of styles negates that potential match-up weakness.
Porter (26-1-1) is a raging bull and aggressively attacks his opponents, a la Mike Tyson ducking his head and landing heavy overhands. He charges, he’s strong and he imposes his will.
When he fought Adrien Broner, we also saw that he is a boxing technician that can win rounds and frustrate his opponent. Many felt that Porter’s only loss to Kell Brook was due to Brook's ability to neutralize the offense with holding, something he wasn’t deducted any points for.
Thurman (26-0) is an uncanny puncher that mixes power with accuracy and assassinates his opponents with dexterity. Thurman stated confidently that he is looking for the KO in Brooklyn, and although he hasn’t knocked anyone out since Diego Chaves and Soto Karass in 2013, he has maintained his reputation as a knockout artist.
This is the fight of the year for sure. If you are a current boxing fan or a recalcitrant millennial that thinks boxing is only for your grandfather, this bout should enlighten you to the possibilities of pugilism.
Catch all the live action from the Barclays Center in Brooklyn on CBS at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT.