This weekend, MMA and boxing give you championship bouts starting tonight.
Friday, May 20th 2016
Bellator 155: Carvalho vs. Manhoef
Middleweight Champion Rafael Carvalho (8-1) makes his first title defense tonight and wasted no time in picking a tough-as-nails opponent in Melvin Manhoef (30-12-1).
After wresting the belt handily from Brandon Halsey with a second round TKO at Bellator 144 last October, this will truly be the biggest challenge for the Brazilian.
A Surinamese-born Dutch fighter, Manhoef is one of the rare guys that has excelled in two sports: kickboxing and MMA. Having been a champion in British MMA promotions and a high-level world-class kick boxer, Manhoef will look to use his trademark wild style to finish Carvalho.
Manhoef is coming off of a recent unanimous decision kick boxing loss last month at Bellator 152 and it will be interesting to see if he has recovered quickly enough from that last fight to now compete again in MMA.
Bellator 155 live from the Century Link Arena in Boise, Idaho can be seen at 9pm EST on Spike.
Saturday, May 21st 2016
Welterweight Championship Triple Header
Three titles are on the line as the most exciting division in boxing continues to create the new generation of stars.
(Erislandy Lara, Photo Credit: Amanda Westcott/Showtime)
The main event features the consensus No. 1 fighter at 154 pounds, Erislandy “The American Dream” Lara (22-2-2), who will defend his WBA Super Welterweight World Championship against U.S. Olympian and top contender Vanes “The Nightmare” Martirosyan (36-2-1). The fight is a rematch of their 2012 bout, which ended in a technical draw.
“One difference between this fight and our last fight is that I’m coming into this fight 100 percent healthy,” said Lara at the press conference. “I’m not making any excuses, but I had a fractured knuckle going into our first fight. I still felt I was winning the fight. This time I’m not going to leave any doubt about who is the best.”
Houston-based twin brothers Jermall and Jermell Charlo are looking to make history in co-featured bouts as the first twins to hold world titles in the same division.
Unbeaten IBF Junior Middleweight World Champion Jermall (23-0) faces his toughest test when he makes the second defense of his belt against former world champion Austin “No Doubt” Trout (30-2), who is currently riding a four-fight win streak.
“Austin Trout is just a name to me,” said Jermall at the final press conference. “He beat Cotto, so what? I have work to do. I’m focused on getting the job done.”
Jermell (27-0) will take on exciting contender John Jackson (20-2) in a bout for the vacant WBC Super Welterweight World Championship.
“I’m fighting John Jackson, the son of a legend,” said Jermell at the final presser. “I don’t believe John Jackson will be able to live up to his dad and if his dad ever had to face me, I would have beat him too.”
(Jermell Charlo & John Jackson, Photo Credit: Amanda Westcott/Showtime)
Jackson is the son of former two-division champion Julian Jackson. Regarded as one of the hardest punchers of his era , Jackson knocked out 49 of 61 opponents in his decorated career from 1981-1998.
The younger Jackson did not appreciate the comment about his father at all.
“My dad paid his dues and to talk about my dad like that is kind of disrespectful,” said John at the final press conference. “It’s not getting to me. Fighters use that to try to get in your head, but it’s fine. I’ll let him pay in the ring.’’
Catch all the Mayweather Promotions action live at 9pm EST on Showtime Championship Boxing.