We’re heading into June and the temperatures have been over 80 for two straight days in my home region of central New York. The boxing calendar is about to heat up, just like the thermometer. A bunch of big fights are on the docket for the month ahead.
Mickey Bey will put his IBF lightweight title on the line against undefeated Cuban Rances Barthelemy. I think Barthelemy is one of the most overlooked boxers in the sport and expect him to win.
Do not miss this fight! Vargas captured the WBC super featherweight title in last year’s Fight of the Year, when he took a pounding and came from behind to knock out Takashi Miura. A former two-division world champion, Salido is routinely in Fight of the Year contenders. A clash of two great Mexican warriors.
This one is another potential fight of the year. The Siberian Rocky, Provodnikov, is as hard and relentless as the climate that forged him. Molina is a gutsy slugger. A can’t-miss bout.
This is a rematch of Payano’s split-decision victory over Warren last August. Payano is the WBA bantamweight champ and this will be one of the year’s most important fights at 118 pounds.
Sosa’s draw with Nicholas Walters last December was a travesty of scoring. I base that opinion on having watched the fight from 20 feet away, in press row. Sosa arguably lost every single round. However, he is a legitimately tough and gritty action fighter and should make for a very good bout when he travels all the way to China to face Fortuna for the WBA super featherweight belt.
This is one of the year’s biggest fights. The undefeated Thurman and the once-beaten Porter are two of the top five fighters in the talent-packed welterweight division. This is a battle between two young lions, looking to push themselves into superstar status.