The boxing schedule for the second half of the year is filling up fast and already includes a number of interesting matches.

Anthony Joshua, with Robert Garcia now in his corner, will face Alexander Usyk in a triple world heavyweight title fight on August 20. Is this fight better than Canelo Alvarez’s trilogy fight with Gennady Golovkin?

The rest of the heavyweight division will be watching, including Jarrell “Big Baby” Miller, who returned to the ring last month after a lengthy suspension for testing positive for PEDs. Is he ready to fight for the title? Or will young Jared “The Real Big Baby” Anderson be the first to collect the belt?

The September 10th card features two major women’s bouts as Claressa Shields takes on Savannah Marshall — the only fighter to beat Shields as an amateur in 2012 — for the undisputed middleweight championship and Micaela Mayer takes on Bagacciaro against Aligner. defeats in the competition of unity of three titles. Which is the best match?

Danny Garcia returns to the ring this Saturday. He won titles in two divisions, but now he’s moving up again to try his luck at junior welterweight. Is he legit at 154 pounds?

Blue chip junior middleweight prospect Xander Zayas is closing in on a title fight, but can he become the next face of Puerto Rican boxing and carry the flag like Hall of Famers Miguel Cotto and Felix Trinidad before him?

Mike Coppinger, Nick Parkinson, Ben Babe, and Michael Rothstein answer these questions and more.

I’ll put my money on: Gennady Golovkin vs. Canelo Alvarez or Anthony Joshua vs. Alexander Usyk?

While backing Joshua to significantly improve and win the WBA, IBF and WBO heavyweight titles in a rematch with Usyk may be wiser than investing in Golovkin to beat Alvarez, you shouldn’t think Joshua is a gamble on August 20. is safe.

Losses to Andy Ruiz Jr. (2019) and Usyk (2021) revealed the limitations of Joshua’s game; However, the English boxer is still in top form at 32 and has a lot more in the tank than the 40-year-old Golovkin.

Golovkin, who is from Kazakhstan but is based in California, can counter his underweight and advanced age. He is motivated by what he sees as a sense of injustice about the results of the first two fights against his Mexican opponent. Other boxers have won major championships 40 years later – most famously Bernard Hopkins – and no one would accuse Golovkin of not being a boxer. Alvarez’s points loss to Dmitry Bivol in the lightweight bout also added intrigue to the third fight.

But a return to super middleweight, a weight class more natural to him, Alvarez’s mobility and versatility may be too much for Golovkin, who has looked slower in recent fights. GGG (42-1-1, 37 KOs) was rarely troubled in his first reign as middleweight champion, but has shown signs of decline in his past two fights. In October 2019, he won a close unanimous decision over Sergey Derevyanchenko to win the IBF middleweight title, and Golovkin can’t argue how difficult it was. Golovkin’s ninth-round stoppage of Ryota Murata in April was sensational and showed he can still finish, but the Kazakh was troubled by body shots from the Japanese boxer earlier in the fight in 16 months.

After a controversial split draw in 2017, a year after a majority win for Alvarez, Golovkin will also step up in the fight for all four heavyweight titles on September 17. Alvarez has been in the ring for the last three years at middleweight or lightweight, and after being twice as active as Golovkin in the last two years, he is getting more used to the weight.

Golovkin’s best chance to win is probably by KO – remember, he was once the most feared client in boxing after going on a 23-match knockout streak until Daniel Jacobs beat him in 2017. made a decision.

Joshua (24-2, 22 KOs) is also a big puncher and will likely be more aggressive in his rematch with Usyk. Joshua is already in the Middle East, a month before the fight, which shows how serious he is about the task ahead. Defeat will kill Joshua’s chance for a dream fight against Tyson Fury, the WBC champion for all belts, and much will depend on Joshua’s mood.

Joshua fought cautiously in the rematch against Ruiz, which he won on points to capture the belts, but was clinical in finishing Kubrat Pulev last September before dropping a decision to Usyk last September. lost There is a danger in Joshua only chasing a knockout win, but expect him to be more aggressive in the rematch now that he is dealing with Garcia.

The benefits of working with the American corner should quickly become apparent if Joshua can reverse the flow of the first fight. But it’s more than likely that Golovkin will reverse the effects of years of progress, especially against someone as powerful as Alvarez, who is eight years younger and arguably the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world. — Parkinson

Who will challenge for the heavyweight title first? Jarrell “Big Baby” Miller or Jared “Real Big Baby” Anderson?

In a battle between the two “Big Kids”, Miller gains the upper hand. Between the two of them, he is the only one currently ranked by any major sanctioning body (No. 14 among WBA heavyweights). He also has a more extensive record (25-0, 21 KOs) and was scheduled to fight Anthony Joshua for three major belts in 2019.

The reason the fight fell through explains why this comparison to Anderson (11-0, 11 KOs) is even close. Miller tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs in 2019 and was banned from the WBA for six months. Another positive test prompted the Nevada State Athletic Commission to suspend Miller for two years.

It is not up for debate whether Miller cheated or not. Despite his denials, the positive tests in two different states speak for themselves.

But frankly, there aren’t a lot of marketable heavyweights who can be serviceable contenders for the top guys in the division. Miller offers a higher reward with less risk than Anderson, a prospect who has flashed potential but is still unknown. — Boy

Can Danny Garcia win the title at 154 pounds?

Although Garcia won the 147-pound title after a run at 140, he has never been able to defeat a top welterweight in three tries.

He came close in title fights with Keith Thurman and Shawn Porter, but he wasn’t competitive against Errol Spence Jr. Garcia has not competed since a loss in December 2020. He returns Saturday against Jose Benavidez Jr. in his debut at 154 pounds.

The 34-year-old will be an underdog in the junior middleweight division and will certainly miss the punching power that carried him to career-defining victories over Amir Khan and Lucas Matthysse in the junior welterweight division. His impeccable timing and ability to find openings on the counter will be more important than ever.

Of course, Saturday’s fight should tell us about Garcia’s readiness to fight for the third division title. However, before he even steps into the ring, it’s hard to imagine Garcia beating PBC fighter Jermel Charlo, who holds all four belts in the division.

No doubt one or more of these titles will be released later. Maybe Garcia can beat another PBC boxer like Sebastian Fundora? He needs to impress against Benavidez for anyone to take him seriously at middleweight. — Coppinger

Better Match: Claressa Shields vs. Savannah Marshall or Mikaela Meyer vs. Alicia Baumgardner?

Honestly, the two matchups are very, very similar – an established fighter in the sport with multiple belts against a power puncher with one belt in the unification fight. Additionally, the hatred between Shields and Marshall and Mayer and Baumgardner is real and not manufactured.

So it’s hard to say one is a “better” match than the other. But Shields-Marshall may be the more interesting fight of the two, as Marshall has stopped every fighter he’s faced since 2018 — though three of those stops came against fighters ranked under .500, and his other opponent was Daniel Bastieri. third professional fight. While Shields hasn’t knocked out fighters, her level of competition has been in another stratosphere. Shields has never fought a fighter under 500 in his career and has handed his first loss to six fighters (in his 12 professional fights). In the case of Franchon Crews-Dezurn, Christina Hammer, Marie-Eva Dicaire and Emma Cozin, Shields secured the only loss of her opponent’s career.

And yet this might be the most interesting fight Shields has ever had because of history. Marshall is the only person to have beaten her as a boxer in the 2012 Women’s World Championship. It was Shields’ only loss as an amateur in 65 fights. This makes the meeting more interesting between the two.

Mayer-Baumgardner has his own stories — and the winner likely has a line in some big fights down the road, too. But Shields-Marshall is the main event, and for what it may represent, the more interesting of the two similar fights in what should be a big night for women’s boxing. — Rothstein

Is Xander Zayas on his way to becoming Puerto Rico’s next superstar?

If anyone wants to pass the proverbial torch from Felix Trinidad to Miguel Cotto as the island’s biggest star, Zayas considers himself the best bet.

Zayas lights up rooms and is extremely fan friendly in the ring. Through 13 pro fights, he has impressed with his power and combinations. He doesn’t turn 20 until September and is still incredibly raw.

Zayas will have to tighten up his defense as the competition heats up and prove he has more layers to his game. He has yet to face anyone who can come close to testing him, so it’s too early to tell what heights Zayas will reach.

That being said, he is definitely on the right track and if he continues to improve, it is possible that he will challenge for the title in 2024. — Coppinger

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