Madison Sq. Backyard prides itself on attracting the most important stars, and two of boxing’s brightest might be in motion on successive weekends.
On Saturday evening, Vasiliy Lomachenko might be in motion preventing Jose “Sniper” Pedraza in a unification bout within the light-weight division. And on Dec. 15, Saul “Canelo’’ Alvarez goes after the WBA tremendous middleweight title within the huge area in opposition to Rocky Fielding.
Lomachenko (11-1, 9 KOs) will convey the WBA light-weight title into the ring, whereas Pedraza (25-1, 12 KOs), of Mexico, is the WBO champion.
The battle takes place on the Backyard’s Hulu Theater and might be televised by ESPN following the presentation of the Heisman Trophy.
ESPN will even televise Isaac “Royal Storm” Dogboe of Ghana (20-0, 14 KOs) defending his WBO junior featherweight title in opposition to Emanuel Navarrete (25-1, 22 KOs) of Mexico, and Teofimo Lopez of Brooklyn (10-0, eight KOs) matched in opposition to Mason Menard (34-3, 24 KOs) of Rayne, La.
Lomachenko, a two-time gold-medal winner, is decided to turn out to be the undisputed light-weight champion earlier than shifting up.
“That’s my objective,” he mentioned. “That is my motivation. That’s why I’m very focused on my coaching.”
This might be Lomachenko’s third consecutive look and the fourth total on the Backyard or its Theater in what’s changing into residence turf for the Ukrainian.
“Once I battle in Madison Sq. Backyard it’s very snug for me,” he mentioned. “It’s not the primary time or the second time. I’ve had huge wins right here. It’s a really historic place. It’s an honor for me to battle right here.”
Lopez can be trying ahead to preventing near residence after recovering from surgical procedure to restore a damaged bone in his proper hand.
“Even coming off an harm, I’m going to battle the way in which folks have seen earlier than — that thrilling kind of preventing with a whole lot of charisma and simply having fun with boxing,” he mentioned.
Lopez, battling for the NABF/USBA light-weight title, broke his hand July 14 in New Orleans in opposition to William Silva. Lopez mentioned he broke his hand within the first spherical, however went on to cease Silva within the sixth. He’s assured the hand is prepared.
“High Rank wouldn’t have put me on this card until they knew I used to be 100 %,” he mentioned. “I’m a prize fighter and so they must maintain their prize.”
High Rank boss Bob Arum might be celebrating his 87th birthday on Saturday, however exhibits no indicators of slowing down.
“We’re excited to be again on the Mecca of Boxing,” Madison Sq. Backyard, with a card that includes nice fighters from everywhere in the world,” Arum mentioned.
“Whether or not it’s the Ukraine, Ghana or Puerto Rico or Italy or Mexico, that is what boxing is about — the very best younger males coming from everywhere in the world to battle for boxing supremacy.”