Boxing’s resumption of major events during the COVID-19 pandemic has largely been limited to Top Rank on ESPN over the past two months, and I think even Top Rank would admit that these have not been particularly high-level cards they’ve been producing. Starting in August, however, not only will Top Rank’s schedule strengthen, but we’ll see other promoters return to the ring such as Premier Boxing Champions.
At a virtual press conference on Wednesday, Premier Boxing Champions and Showtime unveiled their remaining schedule for 2020, which will take place exclusively at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, CT. There will be no fans in attendance (as expected) but there will be two pay-per-views.
Here’s the schedule:
Main Event: Stephen Fulton Jr. (18-0, 8 KOs) vs. Angelo Leo (19-0, 9 KOs) – Vacant WBO Junior Featherweight World Championship
Co-Feature: Tramaine Williams (19-0, 6 KOs) vs. Ra’eese Aleem (16-0, 10 KOs) – Super Bantamweight Title Eliminator
Co-Feature: Joe George (10-0, 6 KOs) vs. Marcos Escudero (10-1, 9 KOs) II – Light Heavyweight Bout
Main Event: David Benavidez (22-0, 19 KOs) vs. Roamer Alexis Angulo (26-1, 22 KOs) – WBC Super Middleweight World Championship
Co-Feature: Rolando Romero (11-0, 10 KOs) vs. Jackson Marinez (19-0, 7 KOs) – WBA Lightweight Interim Title
Co-Feature: Otto Wallin (20-1, 13 KOs) vs. Travis Kauffman (32-3, 23 KOs) – Heavyweight Bout
Main Event: Erickson Lubin (22-1, 16 KOs) vs. Terrell Gausha (21-1-1, 10 KOs) – WBC Super Welterweight Title Eliminator Bout
Co-Feature: Tugstsogt Nyambayar (11-1, 9 KOs) vs. Eduardo Ramirez (23-2-3, 10 KOs) – WBC Featherweight Title Eliminator Bout
Co-Feature: Jaron Ennis (25-0, 23 KOs) vs. TBA – Welterweight Bout
September 26 – SHOWTIME/Premier Boxing Champions PPV Doubleheader
In One of the Main Events: Jermall Charlo (30-0, 22 KOs) vs. Sergiy Derevyanchenko (13-2, 10 KOs) – WBC Middleweight World Championship
Co-Feature: Brandon Figueroa (20-0-1, 15 KOs) vs. Damien Vasquez (15-1-1, 7 KOs) – WBA Super Bantamweight World Championship
Co-Feature: Diego Magdaleno (32-3, 13 KOs) vs. Isaac Cruz (19-1-1, 14 KOs) – IBF Lightweight Title Eliminator Bout
The Other Main Event: Jermell Charlo (33-1, 17 KOs) vs. Jeison Rosario (20-1-1, 14 KOs) – WBC, WBA and IBF 154-Pound Unification Bout
Co-Feature: Mario Barrios (25-0, 16 KOs) vs. Ryan Karl (18-2, 11 KOs) – WBA Super Lightweight World Championship
Co-Feature: Daniel Roman (26-3-1, 10 KOs) vs. TBA – Super Bantamweight Bout
Main Event: Sergey Lipinets (16-1, 12 KOs) vs. Kudratillo Abdukakhorov (15-0, 8 KOs) – IBF Welterweight Interim Title
Co-Feature: Xavier Martinez (15-0, 11 KOs) vs. Claudio Marrero (24-4, 17 KOs) – Super Featherweight Bout
Co-Feature: Malik Hawkins (18-0, 11 KOs) vs. Subriel Matias (15-1, 15 KOs) – Super Lightweight Bout
October 24 – SHOWTIME/Premier Boxing Champions PPV
Main Event: Gervonta Davis (23-0, 22 KOs) vs. Leo Santa Cruz (37-1-1, 19 KOs) – WBA Super Featherweight World Championship/WBA Lightweight World Championship
Main Event: Chris Colbert (14-0, 5 KOs) vs. Jaime Arboleda (16-1, 13 KOs) – WBA Super Featherweight Interim Title
Co-Feature: Richardson Hitchins (11-0, 5 KOs) vs. Argenis Mendez (25-5-3, 12 KOs) – Super Lightweight Bout
Main Event: Nordine Oubaali (17-0, 12 KOs) vs. Nonito Donaire (40-6, 26 KOs) – WBC Bantamweight World Championship
This is all subject to change, knowing full well that this virus can strike anyone and lead to cancellations.
Davis vs. Santa Cruz is perhaps the biggest fight here in terms of name value. For all of the matchmaking criticisms concerning both boxers, this is a refreshing change and in theory it’s a compelling bout.
Davis (23-0, 22 KOs) stopped Yuriorkis Gamboa at 135 lbs in his last outing, but he’s a made a name for himself at 130 lbs by winning IBF and WBA belts. His repeated problems making weight are something worth monitoring, however. Santa Cruz (37-1-1, 19 KOs) won the vacant WBA super-featherweight belt against Miguel Flores by decision. While Davis is the power-puncher, Santa Cruz is a high-volume boxer who’s known to throw 100+ punches per round. This is by far the best opponent LSC has faced since he avenged his defeat to Carl Frampton by besting him by decision in 2017.
The other big fights involve the Charlo twins. Jermell Charlo (33-1, 17 KOs) is the WBC junior middleweight champion, having won a thrilling rematch by 12th round TKO vs. Tony Harrison in late 2019. He suffered a shocking and controversial decision loss in 2018 to Harrison, but he made sure he’d get his belt back. Rosario (20-1-1, 14 KOs) has one of boxing’s biggest upsets of 2020, stopping unified titleholder Julian Williams in enemy territory to become the WBA and IBF champion. That means three of the four major belts are on the line in this one.
Jermall Charlo (30-0, 22 KOs) is the more powerful of the Charlo brothers, and he has a KO win over Julian Williams to boot. After a rather unimpressive win over Matt Korobov, Charlo took take of Brandon Adams and Dennis Hogan as the WBC’s middleweight champion. We will not get into the logistics of his WBC champ status, but officially he’s a beltholder. Derevyanchenko (13-2, 10 KOs) is a former amateur standout who recently gave Gennadiy Golovkin all he could handle in a close decision loss. The Ukrainian also had a close defeat to Daniel Jacobs, so he’s given top 160 lbs fighters tough fights, and this is the best opponent Jermall has ever fought.
That Charlo Twins PPV is also a special card because not only is it a genuinely well-matched event, but it’s a doubleheader. Three bouts will be in the afternoon, while the remaining three will be in the evening following an intermission. Price point, though? Apparently that won’t be dropping.
It’s worth noting that October 24th is the same night as UFC 255, so there will be dueling PPVs that evening. I’m sure Dana White will have something to say about Stephen Espinoza having a PPV on Showtime concurrently with a UFC card.
PBC’s FOX schedule will presumably be announced at a later date, but boxing is slowly coming back and Showtime has quite the impressie lineup for the rest of this year.