UFC, boxing fans set for an incredibly action-packed June

LAS VEGAS — It’s never ever safe to speak in absolutes, however it’s most likely reasonable to state it’s been years considering that there has actually been a month in battle sports that will match June.

The month is packed with super stars and huge bouts, both in boxing and in combined martial arts.

On the boxing side, 4 of the Leading 10 fighters in the Yahoo Sports pound-for-pound list will contend in June, along with Floyd Mayweather Jr., the one-time pound-for-pound king who is coming out of retirement for an exhibit match on Sunday versus Logan Paul.

In addition to Mayweather, No. 3 Naoya Inoue will protect his bantamweight titles versus Michael Dasmarinas in a “Top Rank on ESPN” bout on June 19 in Las Vegas.

That exact same night in Miami, No. 5 Teofimo Lopez will protect his indisputable light-weight title versus compulsory opposition George Kambosos. No. 6 Vasiliy Lomachenko deals with Masayoshi Nakatani on June 26, and No. 9 Shakur Stevenson will deal with Jeremiah Nakathila on June 12. The month ends with Gervonta Davis dealing with Mario Barrios in the primary occasion of a pay-per-view card in Atlanta for another WBA title. 

We simply enjoyed the 140-pound marriage bout in between Josh Taylor and Jose Ramirez on Might 22 in Las Vegas, which Taylor won by consentaneous choice to end up being indisputable champ. The WBA has actually chosen to state the Davis-Barrios bout a champion bout. Now, all of us understand it’s not actually for the champion, it is for a champion. More considerably, it keeps among the sport’s increasing young stars active in what might be an appealing battle.

That’s not almost the level of it, however more on that in a minute.

ATLANTA, GEORGIA - APRIL 16: Teofimo Lopez poses with his championship belts during a press conference for Triller Fight Club at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on April 16, 2021 in Atlanta, Georgia ahead of his June 5 lightweight title fight against George Kambosos Jr. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images for Triller)

Teofimo Lopez presents with his champion belts on April 16, 2021, in Atlanta ahead of his June 5 light-weight title battle versus George Kambosos Jr. (Image by Al Bello/Getty Images for Triller)

On the Mixed Martial Arts side, the month begins with an enjoyable heavyweight match on Saturday in Las Vegas in between Jairzinho Rozenstruik and Augusto Sakai at Pinnacle in the primary occasion of UFC Vegas 28.

Next week will be where Mixed Martial Arts gets actually insane. On June 10, three-weight boxing champ and two-time Olympic gold medalist Claressa Shields will make her Mixed Martial Arts launching versus Brittney Elkin in the PFL. The next night, Bellator 260 in Uncasville, Connecticut, will pit welterweight champ Douglas Lima versus unbeaten Yaroslav Amosov.

And After That on June 12, UFC 263 in Glendale, Arizona, will include a set of title battles and the return of Nate Diaz. Diaz will combat Leon Edwards in a five-round welterweight bout. Then in a rematch of among 2020’s fantastic battles, Deiveson Figuieredo will protect his flyweight belt versus Brandon Moreno. In the main event, middleweight champion Israel Adesanya will face Marvin Vettori in another rematch.

These are the kinds of months that lift the sports. The NFL puts out its schedule months in advance and it’s become so big, there are prime-time television shows dedicated to it.

In combat sports, it’s not like that, so when so much gets packed into one month, it’s worth crowing about.

The most valid criticism one could level at boxing is a failure to consistently make the best matches that could be made. We’re still waiting for the welterweight unification bout between Errol Spence Jr. and Terence Crawford to happen. As it appears, this is going to go the way of Mayweather-Pacquiao and take years to make.

That’s the normal course of business in boxing, and it screws the most important group in the sport, the fans.

But things are changing now. The undisputed title was held in the 140-pound division last month and the undisputed lightweight title will be held when Lopez defends against Kambosos on June 19.

But in addition to all of those, there are other interesting battles like Jarrett Hurd versus Luis Arias on Sunday, Lewis Ritson versus Jeremias Ponce on June 12, Franchon Crews Dezurn versus Elin Cederroos on June 19, Jermall Charlo versus Juan Macias Montiel on June 19, Mikaela Mayer versus Erica Farias on June 19, Erickson Lubin against Jeison Rosario, and Batyr Akhmedov facing Argenis Mendez on June 26.

It’s just as loaded on the MMA side. On June 19, UFC has a potential Fight of the Year with Dan Ige fighting Chan Sung Jung, the Korean Zombie, in the primary occasion. On June 26, an important heavyweight fight between Ciryl Gane and Alexander Volkov will take place at Apex.

The PFL will also have Rory MacDonald against Gleison Tibau on June 17, and Kayla Harrison against Cindy Dandois on June 25.

It’s an incredible month for the fight game. Great fighters, tremendous matches and even some legends. I failed to note that ex-UFC champ Anderson Silva will box Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. on June 19, the same night as Chavez Sr. faces Hector Camacho Jr.

This is how it should be all the time in battle sports.

Ideally, this is the start of a pattern.

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Jobber Wiki author Frank Long contributed to this report.