A lot of eyes will be watching Saturday night’s six-round cruiserweight special attraction between social media celebrities KSI and Logan Paul. Unlike their first fight, the rematch is being promoted by a major promoter (Matchroom Boxing), and the undercard is stacked with actual established top-level boxers and intriguing prospects.
You’re probably not too keen on reading a KSI vs. Logan Paul 2 technique breakdown and in-depth preview, so instead here’s a rundown on the two title fights on the card. Okay, neither of these fights figure to be competitive, but you may want to tune in anyway.
Main Card (9 PM ET, DAZN)
Devin Haney (23-0, 15 KOs) vs. Alfredo Santiago (12-0, 4 KOs) - WBC lightweight title
Haney is one of the most exciting talents in all of world boxing. The 20-year-old promoted himself and has his own promotional company, which has worked wonders for him financially. His father has helped guide him into a lucrative co-promotional deal with Matchroom Boxing, and his results in the ring have been dazzling.
Thus far, Haney has outclassed the likes of Juan Carlos Burgos, Antonio Moran, and Zaur Abdullaev in 2019. His win over Moran is a KO of the Year contender.
Haney was “promoted” to WBC lightweight champion after they put Vasiliy Lomachenko as the “franchise” champion. Don’t ask me about this silly new belt system, just acknowledge that it exist and we move on.
Santiago is essentially a prospect at this stage of his career, and he does have credible wins over veterans Jayson Velez, Jonathan Victor Barros, and Arturo Santos Reyes. He’s never fought outside Puerto Rico, and none of the opponents I’ve mentioned is anywhere near Haney’s current level. At just 24 years old, Santiago could become a really good fighter, but ther
This is a stay-busy fight for Haney in which he should impress in front of an audience that’s there for KSI vs. Logan Paul 2, but may take interest in watching him moving forward given his exciting, slick style of boxing. He also has a compelling personality and isn’t afraid to talk on the mic. Enjoy the show, because Haney combines speed with precision, sharp punching, and improving power. His defense is truly impressive for a young fighter, and the sky’s the limit on his potential.
Billy Joe Saunders (28-0, 13 KOs) vs. Marcelo Esteban Coceres (28-0-1, 15 KOs) - WBO super-middleweight title
England’s Billy Joe Saunders is a slick boxer who has had a rocky career in terms of upward mobility and landing big fights. One of his more impressive wins was his dispatching of David Lemieux, including a memorable moment where he mocked Lemieux for a badly missed punch by looking to see where it landed in the crowd.
However, Saunders’ career has been largely a waste of time over the past few years. The Lemieux and Andy Lee fights were perfectly good and quality wins, but he looked sluggish against Artur Akavov, bored everyone against Willie Monroe Jr, and took himself out of a career payday vs. Demetrius Andrade when he failed a drug test last year.
Saunders did take a catchweight bout against Charles Adamu, then decided to forgo his run at middleweight and win a vacant 168 lbs title over Shefat Isufi. At his best, Saunders is a high-level boxer who’s hard to hit and can outbox most at 160 or 168 without troubling anyone with his power. At his out-of-shape, unmotivated worst, you get some wretched fights.
Coceres is a fringe contender from Argentina who’s not only never fought outside his home country, but he’s never been in a 12-round bout. He just face a 7-5-5 opponent in his last outing and is really just a hold-over opponent for Saunders to beat while they aim for Saunders to face WBA champion Callum Smith in a massive domestic clash in 2020.
Saunders wants to coast and clown around and never get out of second gear, then this will be the drizzling shits. Just go watch something else or play with your pet or your neighbor’s pet. If he gives a damn, Saunders should get Coceres out of there in however many rounds it takes.
Who else is on the card?
Diego Pacheco (6-0, 5 KOs) is an 18-year-old prospect who was a tremendous amateur and has real potential to be a contender years down the line. Nikita Ababiy (7-0, 6 KOs) is a hard-punching prospect who’s still very raw at this stage of his career, but he is aggressive and willing to throw down. Reshat Mati (4-0, 2 KOs) could’ve gone the MMA route given he’s trained in that sport too, but the New Yorker has opted for boxing. All of them are worth your time.
Preliminary Card (7 PM ET, DAZN)
Joshua Brueckner vs. Tyler Smith - Cruiserweight
Diego Pacheco vs. Aaron Casper - Super Middleweight
Ronny Rios vs. Hugo Berrio Jr. - Featherweight
Nikita Ababiy vs. Jonathan Batista - Middleweight
Reshat Mati vs. Cody Peterson - Welterweights