Jake Paul (2-0, KO2) faces a third straight debutant, this time over a scheduled eight rounds at cruiserweight, against Ben Askren, who at least on paper has combat sport experience, having competed in the UFC.
This match has yet again been born out of a social media back and forth between the pair, much in the same mould of Paul’s first two contests, against AnEsonGib, which ‘The Problem Child’ won by first round stoppage and last time out, he stopped former NBA star, Nate Robinson, in two rounds in November 2020.
Askren is a former champion in Bellator and ONE in the Mixed Martial Arts world, and the 36-year-old could actually give Paul a contest this time round.
This one is hard to predict, but I’d lean towards Askren to score a stoppage win.
At super lightweight, Regis Prograis (25-1, KO21) continues his rebuild following his first career loss in 2019, and he faces Ivan Redkach (23-5-1, KO18), over a scheduled ten rounds.
Prograis is still a big player in the ten stone division, and is a former WBA (Super) champion at the weight.
His sole defeat came in a thriller in October 2019, in the final of the World Boxing Super Series, where he lost a thin majority decision to Josh Taylor at the O2 Arena in London.
Since that defeat, ‘Rougarou’ has been boxed once, a third round stoppage of Juan Heraldez in October 2020. He has eyes on the winner of the Taylor v Jose Ramirez undisputed title match set for May, and a win here will keep his name out there.
35-year-old Redkach is in the twilight of his career, and the LA-based Ukrainian is 4-4 in his last eight contests. ‘El Terrible’ moved up from lightweight in December 2017, and was knocked out in four by John Molina Junior, but followed that with three straight wins, including a sixth round knockout of former world champion, Devon Alexander in June 2019.
Redkach was last in action in January 2020, giving a spirited display before losing on the cards over twelve to Danny Garcia, this time up at welterweight.
Prediction: Prograis may benefit from rounds here, and Redkach is usually a durable type. The underdog will likely pour it on Regis early on, but after weathering an early storm, Prograis can take a landslide points win.
The remainder of the card sees some bizarre match-ups mixed with some actual boxing matches.
At heavyweight over eight rounds, former cruiserweight world champion, Steve Cunningham (29-9-1, KO13) returns to the sport after over three years away to take on former two time UFC heavyweight champion, Frank Mir, who is making his debut in boxing at the ripe age of 41.
Cunningham steps in for Antonio Tarver, after the former light heavyweight world champion failed to meet the commission’s requirements. Cunningham may be 5-7-1 in his last 13 contests, but he should have the know-how to stop Mir before halfway here.
Joe Fournier (8-0, KO8) is more known for being a multi-millionaire than a boxer these days, but he returns for a boxing match for the first time since December 2016, clashing with Andres Felipe Robledo Londono, better known as reggae star, ‘Reykon’.
After an altercation between the two, they will now meet over six rounds at light heavyweight. Fournier, curiously is listed on Boxrec as failing a drug test in 2016, but he continued to fight another four times in that calendar year.
I imagine he’ll have too much for Reykon, and can win inside the distance.
At middleweight, Lorenzo Simpson (9-0, KO5), can halt Francisco Emanuel Torres (16-3, KO5) inside the distance in their eight rounder, and at 168lbs, Junior Younan (15-0-1, KO10) can extend his unbeaten record against Jayson Minda (14-4-1, KO8), also inside schedule as Minda has been stopped in each of his four defeats.
Welterweight, Quinton Randall (7-0, KO2) may need all eight rounds to deal with WIlliam Jackson (13-2-2, KO5).