Here are the Boxing fights and MMA match-ups that pique our interest this month.
March 5th: Colby Covington vs. Jorge Masvidal (MMA)
March 12th: Thiago Santos vs. Magomed Ankalaev (MMA)
March 19th: Steve Rolls vs. Edgar Berlanga (BOXING)
POSTPONED: Jermell Charlo vs. Brian Castano (BOXING)
March 26th: Kiko Martinez vs. Josh Warrington (BOXING)
March 19th: Steve Rolls vs. Edgar Berlanga
Image Credit: Boxen247
“The Chosen One”, Edgar Berlanga, has a chance to step up the competition here against seasoned journeyman, Steve Rolls. While Berlanga is bigger, stronger, and younger, Rolls is not a pushover and has the wide skill set and speed that is ideal to test inexperienced prospects like Berlanga to see where they fall on the ladder.
Steve Rolls: Steve Rolls is your standard wily journeyman fighter, with a wide but shallow pool of tricks and solid fundamentals to back up his game. Generally, the reason he hasn’t been able to step up to his competition is a combination of poor marketing and the fact that while he can do a lot of different things relatively well, elite fighters tend to know the answers to most of the tricks he has, and he doesn’t do them well enough to compete with their higher overall skill. However, these factors make him the perfect test for a prospect like Berlanga, whose lack of meaningful experience makes Rolls’ diverse skillset a true challenge to overcome. Look for Rolls to try and make Berlanga as uncomfortable as possible with stiff jabs and controlled aggression.
Edgar Berlanga: Edgar Berlanga started off his career with a massive KO streak, but the hype around him has cooled significantly with two relatively run-of-the-mill decision wins against what many consider B-tier opposition. He has a chance to reassert himself as an up-and-comer in this latest contest against Steve Rolls, however, a seasoned journeyman who recently went toe-to-toe with Gennady Golovkin. Berlanga has always had a questionable gas tank and has sometimes lacked the defensive capabilities that Rolls will try to exploit, but Berlanga will still come out of the gate swinging as many young fighters do.
Prediction: Berlanga by KO. Berlanga is inexperienced and right now looks kind of limited. However, he’s got a truly unholy right hand as well as youth to bull rush through Rolls’ tricks.
HOW TO WATCH: Live on ESPN+ on March 19, 2022 at 10:00 PM ET.
POSTPONED: Jermell Charlo vs. Brian Castano
Image Credit: Crypto.com Arena
Update: As of February 16th, this fight has been postponed. Castano suffered a right bicep tear in training camp and was forced to withdraw. There is no word yet on when the match will be rescheduled.
After being given a close draw, which some believe should have gone to Castano, Charlo did the honorable thing and gave Castano an immediate rematch to clear his name. That fighting pride is something that can be respected about Jermell, and will make it all the more exciting to see another close fight between these two.
Jermell Charlo: A solid brawler who can also counterpunch at range, the ‘little Charlo’ is a deadly combination of ring IQ and truly bad intentions in the ring. He’s got a genuine chip on his shoulder and always seems to hold genuine animosity for his opponents, so look for him to come out aggressively headhunting and trying to punish Castano for daring to share the ring with him.
Brian Castano: Castano is an absolute machine. I swear his heart is a nuclear reactor. He doesn’t slow down, he doesn’t show fear, and you can probably count on one hand the number of times he’s backed up from an opponent. Between a solid up close defense and an astonishing work rate on the inside, look for him to bring the same game plan as last time, throwing devastating combinations from rounds 1-12 and refusing to give Charlo an inch of ground to work with.
Prediction: Castano by SD. Taking a risk here and calling for the underdog. Honestly, this fight could go either way, but I am giving the (very) slight edge to Castano just based on work rate and better quality of past wins.
HOW TO WATCH: TBD.
March 26th: Kiko Martinez vs. Josh Warrington
Image Credit: DAZN Boxing
Josh Warrington and Kiko Martinez meet in a rematch bout here, and there’s a lot of history. Warrington won their first bout and went on to rise to champion, while Martinez suffered big losses that set him down the ladder. However now with Warrington on a skid and Martinez coming off a win over skilled boxer Kid Galahad, their trajectories are reversed. Is this the end of Warrington’s run as a great British boxer, or does he have one more win in him?
Kiko Martinez: Coming off an incredible knockout win of Kid Galahad, Martinez is riding the biggest wave of his career, but the question is whether or not that wave will carry him against fellow veteran Warrington. Galahad got caught going straight back with his chin out, a known weakness of his, but Warrington doesn’t do that. Martinez has proven he still has the power to hurt elite boxers, and he’s clearly durable and mentally made of steel. We’ll most likely see him try and brawl with Warrington in the center of the ring.
Josh Warrington: Warrington still has the hand speed, but he seems to like to stand stock still behind a high guard which leaves him open to looping shots. It will be interesting to see what he can do against a pure brawler like Martinez. He will have to come forward intelligently behind his fast jab in order to avoid a similar fate as Galahad.
Prediction: Warrington by KO. Frankly, Martinez landed a pretty lucky shot on Galahad, and Warrington has a much better chin than Kid Galahad, so my money’s on Warrington.
HOW TO WATCH: Live on DAZN on March 26, 2022 at TBD.
Other Notable Boxing Fights For March 2022
March 4th: Jose Ramirez vs. Jose Pedraza: 12 rounds, junior welterweights
Image Credit: Boxing News 24
March 19th: Vergil Ortiz, Jr. vs. Michael McKinson: 10 rounds, welterweight
Image Credit: Boxing News 24
March 5th: Colby Covington vs. Jorge Masvidal
Image Credit: T-Mobile Arena
These two really, genuinely hate each other, which builds a lot of intensity on an already good matchup. Between Covington’s pace and wrestling skills and Masvidal’s creative striking, this will be a great contest.
Colby Covington: Whether you love him or hate him as a person, "Chaos" can fight. The man seems to have unlimited energy, possibly born out of the pure spite that seems to fuel him at all times. While he can sometimes struggle with strikers, his superior wrestling and sheer durability make him a very dangerous opponent for anyone. Look for him to try and work his way inside and wear down Masvidal with wrestling.
Jorge Masvidal: A dedicated striking veteran of the UFC, Masvidal is a stiff test for anyone, Covington included. He’s got deadly power, tricky footwork, and a massive amount of experience in the UFC. He’s going to utilize the range of his kicks and his clever movement to try and keep the fight standing, which is his most important win condition.
Prediction: Covington by Decision. “Chaos” is controversial, but the man really is one of the most dominant fighters in the UFC. Once he gets a hold of Masvidal, which is bound to happen, he’ll command the fight.
HOW TO WATCH: Live on ESPN+ PPV on March 5, 2022 at 6:00 PM ET.
March 12th: Thiago Santos vs. Magomed Ankalaev
Image Credit: UFC
This is a great test for Ankalaev, who has looked impressive in his fights under the UFC but has only really fought B-tier competition. Santos may be aging, but he’s still got the power and the sheer durability to test Ankalaev in what is sure to be a barn burner.
Thiago Santos: By now, Santos is a known quantity at 205 lbs. He’s a good striker, he’s durable, he has solid wins under his belt, and he can wrestle when he needs to. That being said, he tends to flounder in elite matches, but he occasionally pulls an upset. I expect Santos to try and put the pressure on the untested fighter and find out what Ankalaev’s chin is made of early.
Magomed Ankalaev: A striker from Russia with a wide array of both knockouts and decision wins, Ankalaev has yet to be tested at 205 until now. Against the durable and violent Santos, he’ll need to up his game and show some new levels rather than just steamrolling like he normally does. Look for him to try and cut angles and control distance with his kicks, as well as try to stay out of the clinch with the much stockier Santos.
Prediction: Ankalaev by Decision. Santos is notorious for being hard to stop but straightforward to beat, and Ankalaev has shown more than enough versatility to do just that.
HOW TO WATCH: Live on ESPN+ PPV on March 12, 2022 at 6:00 PM ET.
Note: All March 2022 fight information is accurate as of February 22, 2022.