Showtime Boxing announced as many as nine fight cards, including a pay-per-view event this summer, with world title fights being a key highlight in most of these events.
The network announced several top stars in the sport will return to the ring in the coming months, including Gervonta Davis, Jermall & Jermell Charlo, Stephen Fulton Jr., Nonito Donaire, all in world title fights. Probably the most significant fight announced was Jermell Charlo taking on Brian Castaño to crown an undisputed junior middleweight champion, taking place on July 17.
Below is a breakdown of every main event fight that was announced, including information on the undercard for some of the events announced.
MAY 15 – SHOWTIME
- Luis Nery vs. Brandon Figueroa: WBC Super Bantamweight World Title Fight
- Danny Roman vs. Ricardo Espinoza Franco
- Xavier Martinez vs. Abraham Montoya
The May schedule opens with a solid WBC super bantamweight title bout between Luis Nery and Brandon Figueroa. Nery has been victorious in all of his fights since he signed with PBC and recently picked up the then-vacant WBC title with a win against Aaron Alameda last year on pay-per-view. Nery still possesses much of the same terrifying power he showcased when he was a bantamweight champion (even though his run will forever be marred by weight issues and failed drug tests) and is arguably the hardest puncher at 122 pounds. Figueroa has quickly ascended to the super bantamweight’s top 10 with his ability to use his fight at both close and long distance. It will be Figueroa’s toughest fight in his pro career and a real barometer of where he truly stands at super bantamweight.
MAY 29 – SHOWTIME
- Nordine Oubaali vs. Nonito Donaire, WBC Bantamweight World Title Fight
- Subriel Matias vs. Batyrzhan Jukembayev, IBF Junior Welterweight Title Eliminator
Nordine Oubaali vs. Nonito Donaire was a highly-anticipated fight scheduled for last year that unfortunately got canned because of COVID-19. Oubaali has been on a solid run as WBC champion, defeating the likes of Takuma Inoue and Rau’shee Warren. Donaire, on the other hand, was enjoying a career resurgence at bantamweight with a tremendous run to the World Boxing Super Series finals. Although he fell short in the finals against Naoya Inoue in an instant classic in 2019, Donaire proved he is still an elite bantamweight even at the twilight of his Hall of Fame career.
JUNE 19 – SHOWTIME
- Jermall Charlo vs. Juan Macias Montiel: WBC Middleweight World Title Fight
Jermall Charlo has been looking for a big fight at middleweight for years and unable to secure one against the likes of Demetrius Andrade, Gennadiy Golovkin and Canelo Alvarez. Charlo’s last fight was a statement-making performance against former title challenger Sergiy Derevyanchenko on pay-per-view last year, cementing his spot as arguably the middleweight division’s best. Montiel gained some momentum with a sub-two-minute KO win over former title challenger James Kirkland on PBC’s final show of 2020, but will be taking on a massive step up in competition.
JUNE 26 – SHOWTIME PPV
- Gervonta Davis vs. Mario Barrios: WBA “Regular” Junior Welterweight Title Fight
- Erickson Lubin vs. Jeison Rosario: WBC Junior Middleweight Title Eliminator
After knocking out Leo Santa Cruz last year in Texas, Gervonta Davis is back again with another challenge ahead of him. Davis will be headlining a second consecutive pay-per-view and take on Mario Barrios for Barrios’ “Regular” 140-pound title. With a win, Davis would own some type of hardware at super featherweight, lightweight and junior welterweight. Davis has been one of boxing’s brightest young stars, with a number of great wins against the likes of Jose Pedraza and Santa Cruz. Barrios presents an interesting challenge as he towers Davis with his 5’10” frame and above average power at 140 pounds. Barrios won his belt with a decision win against Batyr Akhmedov and followed it up with a dominant performance against Ryan Karl, knocking him out in six rounds.
JULY 3 – SHOWTIME
- Chris Colbert vs. Yuriorkis Gamboa: Interim WBA Super Featherweight Title Fight
Chris Colbert is one of the super featherweight division’s fastest-rising fighters, scoring impressive wins against Jezreel Corrales and Jaime Arboleda last year. Colbert will be taking on perhaps the most recognizable opponent yet in Yuriorkis Gamboa, who has seen far better days as a pro boxer. Gamboa was at one point an incredibly impressive fighter at featherweight and super featherweight, but that was about a decade ago. Since a 2014 loss to Terence Crawford, Gamboa has stuck around taking on several top fighters, but coming up short more often than not. The 39-year-old Gamboa has lost his last two fights, losing nearly every round against Davis and WBC lightweight champion Devin Haney.
JULY 17 – SHOWTIME
- Jermell Charlo vs. Brian Castaño: Undisputed IBF, WBA, WBC & WBO Junior Middleweight World Title Unification Fight
Ever since Brian Castaño defeated Patrick Teixeira in February to win the WBO title, a showdown against Charlo seemed almost inevitable. It was a match made in boxing heaven where the division’s top two fighters would face off for the undisputed world title. Jermell has been on a mission to unify the entire division ever since he defeated Tony Harrison in 2019 to reclaim the WBC title. He followed it up with a impressive outing against then-WBA and IBF champion Jeison Rosario last year when Jermell knocked Rosario out with a wicked jab in the eighth round. Castaño was an underrated fighter at 154 pounds before 2019, but quickly became more well known in the U.S. thanks to a draw against Erislandy Lara and the win against Teixeira. Having established himself more in the United States, Castaño’s win against Teixeira got the entire boxing world salivating a showdown against Charlo and now the junior middleweight division since Winky Wright almost 20 years ago.
AUGUST 14 – SHOWTIME
- Guillermo Rigondeaux vs. John Riel Casimero: WBO Bantamweight World Title Fight
In his advanced age, Rigondeaux has largely shed the perception that he is a boring fighter to watch with a number of his recent fights being more entertaining and dramatic. The downside to this more exciting version of Rigondeaux is the subtle change from a purely technical fighter to a more offensive oriented boxer-puncher who gets hit a lot more often. This version of Rigondeaux will make for an exciting against John Riel Casimero, who exploded onto the bantamweight scene with a fantastic 2019. Casimero defeated Ricardo Espinoza, Cesar Ramirez and Zolani Tete to become the WBO bantamweight champion. Although a showdown against Inoue was canceled due to COVID-19, Casimero still got to fight last year, with a showcase performance against Duke Micah where Casimero showed no mercy in scoring a third-round TKO win.
AUGUST 28– SHOWTIME
- David Benavidez vs. Jose Uzcategui: WBC Super Middleweight Title Eliminator
David Benavidez is a talented fighter and one of the best at super middleweight. However, he has lost the WBC title for failing drug tests and missing weight. Now on a quest to reclaim the WBC belt again, Benavidez will have to win a second WBC title eliminator and this time, it will be against a former world champion. Jose Uzcategui has had his ups and downs after losing the IBF super middleweight title to Caleb Plant back in January 2019. After a bounceback win against Roberto Valdez, Uzcategui lost to Lionell Thompson on Showtime. Although Uzcategui recovered from the loss to beat Josue Obando in February, Uzcategui has another incredibly difficult test in the form of Benavidez.
SEPTEMBER 11 – SHOWTIME
- Stephen Fulton Jr. vs. winner of Nery-Figueroa: WBO & WBC Super Bantamweight World Title Unification Fight
When Stephen Fulton Jr. won the WBO title earlier this year, his next goal was to unify the division and win more world titles. Fulton won’t have to wait too long to get his wish as he will face the winner of the Luis Nery vs. Brandon Figueroa fight. Fulton became a fighter to watch out for after an impressive win against Paulus Ambunda in 2019 and followed that victory up with wins against Isaac Avelar, Arnold Khegai and Angelo Leo, all undefeated at the time of their respective fights with Fulton.