We’re sharing the best of the cards in boxing and MMA scheduled for August. Let’s see who’s entering the ring or cage, and who the picks are for each match.
August 6th: Jake Paul vs Hasim Rahman Jr. (BOXING) - CANCELED
August 6th: Amanda Serrano vs Brenda Carabajal (BOXING) - CANCELED
August 6th: Thiago Santos vs Jamahal Hill (MMA)
August 13th: Teofimo Lopez vs Pedro Campa (BOXING)
August 13th: Marlon Vera vs Dominick Cruz (MMA)
August 20th: Oleksandr Usyk vs Anthony Joshua 2 (BOXING)
August 20th: Kamaru Usman vs Leon Edwards (MMA)
August 27th: Tiger Johnson vs Harry Gigliotti (BOXING)
CANCELED - August 6th: Jake Paul vs Hasim Rahman Jr.
Image Credit: Madison Square Garden
UPDATE: The boxing fight between Jake Paul and Hasim Rahman Jr. has been canceled due to weight limits not being met for the fight.
In my mind, this match is important for Paul because this is his first time stepping into the ring with someone who actually boxes. Is Rahman a killer? No. But he does have a ton of amateur fights, a positive record, and has been boxing his whole life. This isn’t a high-level clash, so the randomness factor is at play, but overall this is the first time I’m genuinely interested in the analysis of a Jake Paul fight.
Jake Paul: Jake Paul, despite my distaste for celebrity boxing, has put in the work in the gym. I’ve watched his training footage, sparring footage, and his matches and I have to admit he does look like a boxer. A basic boxer, but a boxer. He’s also got good power backed up by a basic but effective fundamental toolset that has allowed him to beat most of his other opponents with little effort. His biggest weakness is his gas tank, so we’ll see if he’s learned to moderate his output if Rahman jr. manages to drag him to the mid-late rounds.
Hasim Rahman Jr.: Rahman Jr. is a legitimate boxer with a real history in the sport and a positive record. That being said, he certainly isn’t without flaws. He likes to keep his hands down quite a bit, a dangerous thing to do against someone like Paul who is comfortable throwing random right hands. On the other hand, he’s naturally bigger than Paul and certainly has the experience to be able to react and punish the (on paper) poorly timed attacks that have carried Paul through his previous matches. Whether he’s good enough to do so without getting caught and having his chin tested is another matter though.
Prediction: Paul by late TKO. I cannot believe I’m saying this, but I think Paul has better tools than Rahman here. His power, good straight punches, and the lack of fear that comes with inexperience spell bad news for Rahman jr. who often lets his hand stay down by his waist. That said, if Rahman adjusts his game plan and boxes with his hands up, it’s going to be a bad night for Paul.
Where to watch: CANCELED
CANCELED - August 6th: Amanda Serrano vs Brenda Carabajal
Image Credit: SB Nation
UPDATE: The boxing fight between Amanda Serrano vs Brenda Carabajal has been canceled due to the cancellation of the Jake Paul and Hasim Rahman Jr. fight.
This is a great bounce back fight for Serrano against a solid competitor in Brenda Carabajal. After the fireworks with the Taylor fight, one only hopes Serrano continues her momentum with another great performance.
Amanda Serrano: Coming off a fight of the year contender performance in her fight with Katie Taylor, Serrano looks to make a statement with this fight against a worthy opponent in Brenda Carabajal. With her come forward style and excellent pressure game, it will be interesting to see if her dangerous punches and clever head body mixups will be enough to crack through Carabajal’s defense and movement.
Brenda Carabajal: Carabajal is a classic stick and move style fighter, favoring a pawing jab and constant resets of angles in order to deny her opponents the opportunity to sit down on their punches. She’s challenged for titles multiple times, and though she’s always come up a little short that doesn’t mean she isn’t a worthy competitor for Serrano.
Prediction: Serrano by stoppage. I think Serrano’s head movement and her ability to work her way inside will cause problems for Carabajal’s style, so I’ll give this one to Serrano.
Where to watch: CANCELED
August 13th: Teofimo Lopez vs Pedro Campa
Image Credit: Resorts World Las Vegas
Teo’s first fight since his shock defeat to Kambosos, and his first fight at 140 against veteran boxer Pedro Campa. Not exactly the most even fight, but the reason you want to watch this one is to see whether Lopez has bounced back mentally from his loss to Kambosos and because Lopez is generally a very exciting fighter.
Teofimo Lopez: A young phenom with wins over Richard Commey and Vasyl Lomachenko, Lopez is a world class boxer. He has power in both hands and solid fundamentals all backed up by a lanky frame that allows him to stick and move with dangerous intent. I expect a return to form in this fight, with Lopez working behind a jab to establish a rhythm before picking up the pace in the mid-rounds.
Pedro Campa: A veteran journeyman boxer with no real high-level names on his resume, Campa is frankly being fed to the lion here. He’s game and wiley like most veterans, but he has 36 fights and has never fought outside his home country of Mexico, let alone on a main stage fight. I expect him to shell up and attempt to work inside.
Teofimo Lopez by KO: This is a bit of a mismatch but it will be interesting to see how Lopez has recovered from his loss to Kambosos and if he’s able to remember his fundamentals and the patient hunter game plan that got him to where he is today.
Where to watch: Live August 13th on ESPN+ at 10pm EST / 7pm PST
August 20th: Oleksandr Usyk vs Anthony Joshua 2
Image Credit: Matchroom
This rematch says a lot about the bravery of Anthony Joshua. After getting solidly outboxed by Usyk in the first fight, going for an immediate rematch is a bold move and one I have to respect.
Oleksandr Usyk: In the running for p4p best fighter in the world right now, Usyk is an incredible talent at heavyweight. He cleared out cruiserweight, came up to heavyweight, and has now beaten both Chisora and Joshua. His specialty is angles and smart eastern European style boxing, moving on deadly lines to fire precise combinations from southpaw angles. I expect his style will stay mostly the same in the rematch, as it's a very versatile game plan.
Anthony Joshua: Joshua is a great fighter. He’s strong, he’s brave, and he’s got good fundamentals. His chin is a little suspect, but that’s perfectly alright. The only thing he is not- a boxer. That was the problem with his first outing against Usyk- he tried to box with one of the best technicians of this generation. I don’t think he’ll do that again. I expect Joshua to try and impose his size and really bring the full weight of a heavyweight to bear against the smaller Usyk.
Prediction: Usyk by Decision. I love Joshua’s valor here in taking this rematch immediately, and he definitely has a chance I’m not counting him out. I just think Usyk’s game plan is more consistent than Joshua’s, so I’m going with Usyk.
Where to watch: Live August 20th on DAZN at TBD
August 27th: Tiger Johnson vs Harry Gigliotti
Delante “Tiger” Johnson is an up and coming boxer coming fresh off of the Olympics. Currently, as a professional, he’s got a 4-0 record as a pro and is stepping into the ring against journeyman Harry Gigliotti.
Tiger Johnson: An exemplary amateur pedigree including a quarterfinal finish at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics is clearly evident in the sharp, lightning quick jab that Tiger has made his trademark. Accompanied by a powerful right hand and solid lateral movement, he does still have a little bit of that amateur rust on him, sometimes not really sitting on his punches enough as he falls on his points based amateur style rather than fighting to put down his opponent. However, that hasn’t stopped him from getting 3 knockouts in his first 4 pro fights.
Harry Gigliotti: Gigliotti is a journeyman fighter with an 8-3 record, and doesn’t seem to have much power, he did perform well in Triller’s triad combat card. Whether that will help him against Johnson in a traditional boxing match? Who knows.
Prediction: Johnson by KO. Honestly, this is a record padding fight for Johnson, not much else. Gigliotti is game but doesn’t have anything Johnson can’t do better.
Where to watch: Live August 27th on ESPN+ at TBD
August 6th: Thiago Santos vs Jamahal Hill
Santos is a very known quality as a veteran contender in the UFC, and Hill is a newer but still seasoned fighter with the more recent quality wins. This is a good fight on paper, so I’m looking forward to a barn burner.
Thiago Santos: While his recent record certainly looks worse than Hill’s, that is at least in part due to the fact that his opposition is massively better than Hill’s. Santos’ last 5 outings have been against world class opponents, 4 of which have won or are in contention for a UFC title. A brawler and ground mauler to his bones, Santos represents the ‘old guard’ way of MMA- go forward and press the action, relying on your durability to keep you standing.
Jamahal Hill: A slick younger fighter with a specialty for countering off of sloppy jabs, Hill is a dangerous opponent and represents the opposite of Santos’ philosophy. Hill wants to hit and not get hit, slip and counter, representing the modern era of fighters. I expect him to try and bait Santos into throwing some of his wild shots and then respond with crisp counter combinations.
Prediction: Hill by Strikes. People who know my predictions know I will always favor a technician over a warrior, it’s just the more consistent gameplan.
Where to watch: Live August 6th on ESPN+ at 10pm EST / 7pm PST
August 13th: Marlon Vera vs Dominick Cruz
Vera is a great, exciting contender and Dominick Cruz is of course a household name of the UFC, so this is an awesome fight with good title implications in the future.
Marlon Vera: Vera is coming off a great win over Rob Font, and has also beaten veteran Frankie Edgar. With a nasty grappling and ground and pound backed by surprisingly good stand-up, Vera is the definition of a crowd pleaser. I expect an aggressive start from Vera and no breathing room at all this entire fight for Cruz.
Dominick Cruz: A legend in the UFC for good reason, there is no one who moves quite like Cruz. He’s a ghost and a deadly one at that. He’s a stand-up specialist with great take down defense, which is always a deadly combination. I expect him to leverage his speed advantage and try to control the rampaging Vera.
Prediction: Cruz by Decision. I think Cruz will be just a little too fast and a little too gamey for Vera, but I wouldn’t be surprised or disappointed to be wrong here.
Where to watch: Live August 13th on ESPN+ at 7pm EST / 4pm PST
August 20th: Kamaru Usman vs Leon Edwards
Now, this is how you cap off a fight month. Kamaru Usman, arguably the most dominant welterweight champion ever, vs Leon Edwards, on a 10 fight win streak rampaging through a division towards the last man to beat him.
Kamaru Usman: The most dominant champion welterweight has ever seen, Usman has it all. Striking, grappling, takedown defense, ground, and pound. It's very hard to find a flaw in his game plan, and that incredible consistency is what makes him so effective.
Leon Edwards: Edwards is a very typical new age fighter, fishing with big countershots and looking for takedowns to force the opponent to constantly second guess their actions until they hesitate at a crucial moment. The question is, will he find his opening against the incredibly well-rounded Usman?
Prediction: Usman by decision. Edward earned this shot but Usman is just on another level, he’s just too consistent to beat right now.
Where to watch: Live August 20th on ESPN+ at 10pm EST / 7pm PST
Note: All August 2022 fight information is accurate as of August 2, 2022.
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