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The biggest storylines worth watching ahead of Teofimo Lopez vs. George Kambosos and Stephen Fulton vs. Brandon Figueroa

Boxing fans should be ready for a busy night on Saturday, with some big events being held. On DAZN (8 p.m. ET), Teofimo Lopez finally entered the ring with George Kambosos Jr., while a Showtime . card (10 p.m. ET) returned to Las Vegas for a super bantamweight unification match between Stephen Fulton Jr. and Brandon Figueroa.

Lopez will defend her WBA, IBF and WBO lightweight titles against Kambosos in a bout that has been rescheduled several times since her original bid in February. Meanwhile, Figueroa will put her WBC world super bantamweight belt against Fulton, who is risking her WBO world title, in a unified bout that holds up the action on Showtime.

As we wrap up the night of the fight, let’s take a look at the biggest storylines leading up to a great Saturday night.

1. It’s finally time to move on for Lopez

Triller’s attempt to make a splash in the boxing world by spinning large sums of money to win advertising rights for Lopez vs. Kambosos turned into one of the most frustrating journeys in sport in 2021. Unfortunately, it also resulted in nearly a year of Lopez’s career being wasted, and just a year after Lopez shared multiple Warrior of the Year awards with Tyson Fury. Instead of rushing through his IBF mandates against the Kambosos and ending 2021 with a second fight, possibly against one of the many big names in the lightweight division, Lopez has been stuck in the spot. neutral position when the date is pushed repeatedly. Things came to the most absurd delay of all, when Triller canceled an appointment on October 4 when CEO Ryan Kavanaugh “realized” that a Monday appointment in NFL the season would clash with Monday Night Football, an American staple since 1970. While Lopez ultimately agreed to a date change – one of no less than four “official” date changes, with more dates floated – Kambosos refused and Triller decided to default to their wallet bid, handing the task over to Matchroom Boxing, who handled the new date booking with a bit of drama.

At the risk of being overlooked Kambosos, a reliable and skilled boxer, the biggest story coming Saturday is, hopefully, Lopez can finally move on to more fan-fights. really want to see. That could start with a rematch with Vasiliy Lomachenko, the longtime weightlifter that Lopez upsets as the unified lightweight champion in October 2020. But the options for the big games are there. a lot in lightweight. Devin Haney, Gervonta “The Tank” Davis, and even Ryan Garcia are all top earners in the league. Kambosos will get his hit because boxing is structured in such a way that mandatory opponents are usually only mandatory to the sanctioning authorities and no one else. Now, it’s time for Lopez to get the business back on track before moving on to bigger and better things.

2. Fulton vs. Figueroa is a good stealth fight

Unity bouts are almost never a bad thing for boxing. Fulton and Figueroa are fighting not only to unify the WBC and WBO belts at 122 pounds, but the winner has a legitimate chance to establish themselves as the world’s top children’s featherweight, with only a two-belt champion. Murodjon Akhmadaliev has another request. Tick ​​the box to become a union and between two of the three elite fighters in the division, Fulton vs. Figueroa is also just one good fight. Neither man is a superstar in terms of public perception, but this is the kind of fight that, balancing big risk with big reward, can take either to the next level.

Figueroa is an action fighter who likes to speed up and let go. That can be a huge stylistic challenge for Fulton, who is more of a direct, technical fighter with the whole game built on a great shot. That style clash is fun and can make for a fight worthy of the fight’s importance. On a night of two solid boxing cards, Figueroa and Fulton could be the ones delivering a fight that gets everyone talking.

3. Both cards have amazing depth

It’s easy with boxing to fall into the expectation that the boxing cards will have a relevant match at the top, if they even manage that much. Instead, both the DAZN and Showtime cards feature a variety of engaging battles. Main events aside, here are some battles to watch out for:

  • Azinga Fuzile vs Kenichi Ogawa: The DAZN bronze feature shows Fuzile and Ogawa clashing over the vacant IBF junior lightweight title. Similar to Fulton vs. Figueiroa, this is a fight that pits a slick boxer (Fuzile) against a more direct attacker (Ogawa). This will be a good fight for the world championship.
  • Ra’eese Aleem vs Eduardo Baez: The Showtime co-feature at super bantamweight may not have a world title but is an intriguing clash between a hot prospect in Aleem and a tough opponent in Baez, who is in a two-handed duel. to beat the first boxer of their career. Baez will be looking to return to another career when he faces Aleem, who is tipped to take on former unified champion Danny Roman as Roman pulls out of the fight seemingly to preserve his No. 1 IBF ranking. .
  • Gary Antonio Russell and Alexandro Santiago: Russell is an undefeated prospect who suffered an unfortunate result in his most recent bout, a nothing-fight after a clash of just 16 seconds in his fight with Emmanuel Rodriguez. Santiago was anything but a light touch, coming in with an eight-win streak and arguably deserved a win in a 2018 matchup against Jerwin Ancajas for the IBF super flyweight title.

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