If the month of May was a woman then the first date didn’t go so well.
Floyd Mayweather vs Manny Pacquiao had many of us giddy with excitement because finally, after all these years, the one dream match-up we wanted was going to happen.
Like many dreams that come true, it came several years too late. Afterwards, we told May: “Don’t call me, I’ll call you”.
Fight fans were soon made to forget that dull, expensive night thanks to Canelo, GGG, DeGale and Dirrell, Tanaka, Selby, Mitchell and Linares and a couple of guys called John-Wayne Hibbert and Dave Ryan – an unheard of duo who by the end of 2015 could be in the running for a fight of the year award, or nomination at the very least.
So what does June have to offer? Have a look below and MARK YOUR CALENDAR!
Tue, June 2: Wanheng Menayothin vs Jerry Tomogdan for the WBC World minimumweight title. Two days into the month and already a world title! Thailand’s Menayothin makes the second defence of his green belt after winning it in a gruelling battle against Oswaldo Novoa last November. Tomogdan, a 21-year-old Filipino, is up against it in his first world title challenge, despite having won six of his last seven fights.
Sat, June 6: Thomas Oosthuizen vs Robert Berridge (IBO light heavyweight title). Oosthuizen continues phase two of his career under the Rodney Berman banner. While Berridge, who lost to Vasily Lepikhin (who since lost to Isaac Chilemba) shouldn’t pose many problems, “Tommy Gun” Oosthuizen does have a habit of making life difficult for himself.
Sat, June 6: Miguel Cotto vs Daniel Geale for the WBC World middleweight title. Ugh. A non-middleweight against a high volume, former IBF middleweight champion. We’ll watch because the memories of Cotto from 2005-2008 will never fade. Big-punching Albert Machado is worth keeping an eye out for on the undercard.
Sat, June 6: Jesus Cuellar vs Vic Darchinyan for the WBA World featherweight title. Nicholas Walters is the ‘Super’ champion so a 28 and 39-year-old fight it out for ‘regular’ honours. Vic’s first ever world title shot came 10 years ago. He doesn’t go away. Cuellar, part of the Robert Garcia stable, will be looking to join the party at 126lbs and do a better job on ‘Darch’ than Walters did last year. The likes of Robert Guerrero, Alfredo Angulo, Marvin Sonsona and Dominic Breazeale fill out the rest of the card.
Fri, June 12: Erislandy Lara v Delvin Rodriguez for the WBA World light middleweight title. He who beat Canelo, as some have said, returns to action in what looks like a straight forward bit of business against a challenger who didn’t last three rounds with Miguel Cotto. The fearsome Artur Beterbiev will look to light up Spike TV with more brutality against Doudou Ngumbu. Look out for Ivan Redkach vs Dejan Zlaticanin on the Chicago show too.
Sat, June 13: Joseph Parker vs Yakup Saglam. You’re perhaps wondering why this has made the list. Heavyweight Parker and welterweight Jeff Horn, who appear on the undercard, are two Oceania stars worth keeping tabs on for future reference.
Sat, June 13: Lee Haskins vs Ryosuke Iwasa for the interim IBF World bantamweight title. Haskins has been crying out for a chance like this. It’s not a full-blown world title opportunity but it’s a step in the right direction. Iwasa, whose only ever professional loss was to Shinsuke Yamanaka, is not coming to England to make up the numbers. This is Haskins’ toughest fight since his loss to Stephane Jamoye in December 2012.
Sat, June 13: Deontay Wilder vs Eric Molina for the WBC World heavyweight title. An Alabama homecoming for new champion Wilder where the ring walks will last longer than the fight. Molina went the eight round distance with Raphael Zumbano Love at the start of the year, a man who was taken care of in two rounds this May by Anthony Joshua. In fact, just ignore this fight, and don’t even bother marking your calendar for this nonsense.
Sat, June 13: Nicholas Walters vs Miguel Marriga for the Super WBA World featherweight title. “Axe Man” Walters was one of the stars of 2014 and will look to unify this year against Lomachenko, Russell or Selby. Marriga is something of an unknown Colombian KO artist (but then so was Ricardo Torres). Another Cotto vs Torres type fight would be more than welcome! Superstar-in-waiting Felix Verdejo and the always fun Sean Monaghan are also in action at the Madison Square Garden Theatre.
Sat, June 20: David Lemieux vs Hassan N’Dam N’Jikam for the IBF World middleweight title. We should be counting down the days to this one: the resurrected box-office hit Lemieux against the boxer-puncher N’Jikam in what could be the fight of the year. Gennady Golovkin may turn up in his best suit and bow tie ready to welcome the winner into his destructive world. Dierry Jean vs Jerry Belmontes is a nice little appetiser before the main event. Also, keep an eye out for Steven Butler, a young fighter who’s chasing his first professional title.
Sat, June 20: Adrien Broner vs Shawn Porter for Ohio bragging rights. An intriguing crossroads fight, sadly at a catch-weight, for two Americans in need of résumé boosts. Man-child Broner could be in line for Amir Khan with a win. Or if he loses he’s one step nearer to an MTV reality show. Star of the future Errol Spence Jr. appears on the undercard. BJ Flores will also put down his mic and momentarily put away his disrespect of the sport’s smaller weights to take on that former light heavyweight FORCE (!) Beibut Shumenov for some interim thing.
Sat, June 20: Andre Ward vs Paul Smith. Y’know, Andre Ward: that guy who gave Froch something of a clinic on inside fighting, ruined Chad Dawson and then went all M.I.A on us. Smith will help us gauge whether any rust remains on the inactive American.
Fri, June 26: Callum Smith vs Christopher Rebrasse (WBC silver super middleweight title). Rebrasse, who went the distance with George Groves last year, comes back to the UK to take on big punching prospect Smith. A convincing win for Smith throws him into the DeGale-Groves mix at 168lbs. The heavy-handed Rocky Fielding will be looking to steal the show and remind everyone he should be there too when he takes on Bryan Vera.
Sat, June 27: Amnat Ruenroeng vs John Diel Casimero for the IBF World flyweight title. Thirty five-year-old hard case Ruenroeng shut a lot of people up last time out when he outclassed China’s golden boy Zou Shiming. This will be the fourth defence of his world title; Casimero won’t prevent a fifth and hopefully a unification bout against Gonzalez, Estrada, or a rematch with Ioka is in Ruenroeng’s future.
Sat, June 27: Timothy Bradley vs Jessie Vargas for the WBO World welterweight title. The unbeaten Vargas (former WBA 147lb champion) will be trained by the legendary Erik Morales for this one. Timothy Bradley is looking to remind everyone that he is still a major player and chases his third world title since beating Junior Witter way back in 2008 for the WBC 140lb belt. On the undercard, we’ll also get Oscar Valdez in his 16th professional fight.
— Shaun Brown