Here are the Boxing fights and MMA match-ups that pique our interest this month.
May 7th: Canelo Alvarez vs. Dimitry Bivol (BOXING)
May 7th: Charles Oliveira vs. Justin Gaethje (MMA)
May 14th: Jermell Charlo vs. Brian Castano (BOXING)
May 14th: Jan Blachowicz vs. Aleksandar Rakic (MMA)
May 14th: Floyd Mayweather Jr. vs. Don Moore (EXHIBITION)
May 21st: David Benavidez vs. David Lemieux (BOXING)
May 7th: Canelo Alvarez vs. Dimitry Bivol
Image Credit: DAZN
Canelo Alvarez looks to continue making history this May as he takes on light heavyweight champion Dimitry Bivol. While Canelo has ventured to 175 before to defeat Sergey Kovalev, no one can deny that this is a different beast. Dimitry Bivol is young, fast, strong, and extremely technically skilled. He’s an elite light heavyweight that many consider the best or among the best currently in the division.
Canelo Alvarez: At this point, Canelo Alvarez is unanimously recognized as the best fighter in the world. Having just finished his systematic destruction of every belt holder at 168, he now seeks to go after what many consider the toughest fight at 175. Canelo is a very complete boxer, but his preference is to stalk with relentless pressure and punish the body of his opponents while avoiding return fire with his excellent head movement – and I don’t expect that blueprint to change in this fight.
Dimitry Bivol: As an extremely skilled boxer with fast hands and excellent footwork, Dimitry Bivol is widely considered the best current light heavyweight. He’s a truly elite challenge and has all the tools to make life difficult for just about anyone. Look for him to utilize his excellent lateral movement and lightning quick straight punches to try and outbox Canelo.
Prediction. Canelo Alvarez. By now, they could put Alvarez up against Godzilla and I’d still pick Canelo to win. He has consistently risen to every single challenge he’s faced.
HOW TO WATCH: Live on DAZN on May 7, 2022 at TBD.
May 14th: Jermell Charlo vs. Brian Castano
Image Credit: Dignity Health Sports Park
After being given a close draw, Jermell Charlo immediately scheduled a rematch with Brian Castano, but due to a training injury, Castano had to reschedule, canceling their March bout. Now, they are finally going to meet for their highly anticipated rematch. The question on my mind is: Has anything changed?
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 Decision. He’s an underdog, but I think he’ll take it even with a recovered injury just based on his work rate and creative combination punching.
HOW TO WATCH: Live on Showtime PPV on May 14, 2022 at 9:00 PM EST.
May 21st: David Benavidez vs. David Lemieux
Image Credit: FIGHTMAG
Benavidez vs. Lemieux is a classic matchup of speed vs. power, with Benavidez having fantastic hand speed and combination punching, and Lemieux having the great equalizer in both fists – it’s sure to be an exciting match.
David Benavidez: Benavidez is a young and hungry fighter who would have had a belt by now if he was able to consistently make weight. This is his biggest test to date, but I doubt that will change much in his style. Benavidez relies heavily on extreme hand speed and creative combinations to shock and put away opponents before they can test his admittedly suspect defense. Look for him to go forward and look to leverage his range and speed.
David Lemieux: A very simple fighter with a simple game plan, Lemieux is going to hit you, very hard, and eventually you will go down. He has basic boxing fundamentals, but it’d be silly to act like his main advantage isn’t his insane power. He also has a solid chin, so he will probably get a chance to test Benavidez’s defenses, and that is exactly what he’s looking for.
Prediction. Benavidez by Decision. I don’t think Benavidez will knock out Lemieux, but I also don’t think he’ll get out-pointed. Lemieux has a puncher’s chance.
HOW TO WATCH: Live on Showtime PPV on May 21, 2022 at 10:00 PM EST.
May 14th: Floyd Mayweather, Jr. vs. Don Moore
Image Credit: Boxing247
Mayweather is set for another return to the ring in an exhibition match atop the Burj Al Arab Jumeirah's hotel HELIPAD in Dubai. This time, he steps in against unbeaten but untested boxer Don Moore.
Floyd Mayweather: Largely considered the greatest defensive boxer in recent history and a first ballot hall of fame candidate, Mayweather is a classic mongoose fighter. He makes you miss, draws you in, and punishes with pinpoint counters. I don’t expect him to change his style now, so I imagine we’ll see a lot of his classic Philly Shell defense.
Don Moore: Moore is undefeated in 18 fights, but of those 18 opponents, only one had a better than negative record (his first fight was against 1-1 boxer Pedro Flores), and because there isn’t much footage of him, it’s hard to give a good analysis. From the sparring footage I was able to find, he looks like a pretty standard mid-range fighter, so look for him to throw jabs and step forward behind a high guard.
Prediction. Floyd Mayweather. It's an exhibition match which means less strict judging, that the fighters (hopefully) won’t be swinging for the fences, and frankly, Floyd even at 50, is by far the hardest fight Moore has ever had.
HOW TO WATCH: Live on TBD on May 14, 2022 at 2:30 PM EST.
May 7th: Charles Oliveira vs. Justin Gaethje
Image Credit: Footprint Center
A fight between two extremely well-rounded fighters, Oliveira vs. Gaethje is a true example of the best fighting the best and calls back to UFC’s core base that has always stuck around for the universally high level of competition.
Charles Oliveira. Oliveira started his run in the UFC as a pure submission artist, able to wrap up just about anyone on a moment’s notice, but his striking has consistently shown improvement with each outing to the point where I feel comfortable calling him a very well-rounded fighter. I think he’ll still be looking to take Gaethje to the ground and put him in a hold, but he’s certainly got the skills to push his way inside, behind lead kicks and jabs.
Justin Gaethje. As a violent, no holds barred brawler, Gaethje throws every strike with the intention of breaking something. He also has solid takedown defense, which is part of what makes this matchup so interesting. Is his defense good enough to keep the fight standing where he has the advantage? Look for him to try and chop down Oliveira’s legs before going in for the kill.
Prediction. Oliveira by Submission. I think Oliveira will eventually take Gaethje to the ground and submit him, but I also think Gaethje will deal a ton of damage in the process.
HOW TO WATCH: Live on ESPN+ on May 7, 2022 at 6:00 PM EST.
May 14th: Jan Blachowicz vs. Aleksandar Rakic
Image Credit: UFC
Jan Blachowicz looks to rebound from his loss to Glover Teixeira with this fight against skilled contender Aleksandar Rakic, a contest that likely decides who challenges for the light heavyweight strap next.
Jan Blachowicz: A very well-rounded fighter who had a bad night in his last outing, Blachowicz returns and looks as sharp as ever in training camp. I expect him to throw his toolbox at Rakic, using his signature blend of striking and grappling to constantly disrupt rhythm.
Aleksandar Rakic: A technical striker with a long reach and a great understanding of rhythm and counter striking, Rakic is exactly the kind of opponent to trouble Blachowicz. He’ll be using his reach and his skill as a points fighter here, moving and angling on the sometimes slow Blachowicz to try and constantly keep the more rounded fighter turning.
Prediction. Too close to call. I really don’t know who to pick here, and I think that’s super exciting. This one is shaping up to be a great technical contest.
HOW TO WATCH: Live on ESPN+ on May 14, 2022 at 9:00 PM EST.
Note: All May 2022 fight information is accurate as of April 21, 2022.
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