By Jim Calfa: Showtime revealed their fight scheduled today for the first part of 2022 involving some nine-off events involving a number of well-known stars in good fights.
Errol Spence, Gervonta Davis, Rolly Romero, Jermell Charlo, and Tim Tszyu are just a small number of top names that will be in action in the first half of this year.
One of the most disappointing fights of Showtime’s first-half schedule for 2022 is WBC middleweight champion Jermall Charlo (32-0, 22 KOs) defending his belt against #5 WBC Maciej Sulecki (30-2, 11 KOs) on July 18th in Houston .
Sulecki, 32, has already been beaten recently by Demetrius Andrade and Daniel Jacobs, and he doesn’t rate a world title shot.
Easily the best of the bunch are the following fights:
March 26: Tim Tszyu vs. Terrell Gausha. WBO 154-lb mandatory challenger Tszyu (20-0, 15 KOs) will be taking a busy stay fight against the 34-year-old Gausha (22-2-1, 11 KOs), who has lost two out of his last five fights.
This is not a great match-up for Tszyu, but perhaps the best of his management can come up for him while he waits for his title shot against the winner of the Jermell Charlo vs. Brian Castano II rematch.
April 9: Erickson Lubin vs. Sebastian Fundora. #1 WBC junior middleweight contender Lubin (24-1, 17 KOs) takes on unbeaten Fundora (18-0-1, 12 KOs) at the Virgin Hotels in Las Vegas. Lubin and Fundora will fight for the WBC interim 154lb strap.
Lubin is trying to get a rematch against IBF/WBA/WBC 154-lb champion Jermell Charlo after suffering a knockout loss to him in 2017.
Now 26-years-old, Lubin has won his last six fights and has grown up since the loss to Jermell. We’ll soon see if Lubin is ready for a rematch with Charlo if he gets past the lanky 6’5 1/2″ Fundora.
On the undercard, former WBC 154-lb champion Tony Harrison battles (28-3-1, 21 KOs) fights Sergio Garcia (33-1, 14 KOs). It’s a good fight, and an opportunity for the 31-year-old ‘Super Bad’ Harrison to try and win his first fight in four years since 2018.
It’s hard to believe that Harrison hasn’t won a fight since his victory over Jermell Charlo in 2018. In his two fights since then, Harrison was stopped by Charlo and held to a 12 round draw against Bryant Perrella.
April 16th: Errol Spence Jr. vs. Yordenis Ugas at the AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. This is one of the better fights on Showtime’s schedule for the first half of 2022. The fight card will be shown on Showtime pay-per-view
Spence (27-0, 22 KOs) will defend his IBF & WBC welterweight titles gainst WBA champion Ugas (27-4, 12 KOs), who is coming off a career-best win over Manny Pacquiao last year in August.
On the undercard, unbeaten welterweight contender Radzhab Butaev (14-0, 11 KOs) battles undefeated Eimantas Stanionis (13-0, 9 KOs). Butaev will be defending his WBA secondary 147-lb title. That’s a title that the World Boxing Association is expected to phase out soon.
Also on the Spence-Ugas card is undefeated light-welterweight contender Brandun Lee (24-0, 22 KOs) fighting Zachary Ochoa (21-2, 7 KOs) in a 10-round fight.
May 14: Jermell Charlo vs. Brian Castano meet for a rematch in Los Angeles, California. WBO junior middleweight champion Castano (17-0-2, 12 KOs) and IBF/WBA/WBC champion Charlo (34-1-1, 18 KOs) fought last July to a controversial 12 round draw in San Antonio, Texas.
This time, the fight will be taking place in Los Angeles with the hope that we don’t see the same controversy as last time. The judges will need to decide to score rounds based on Castano’s higher work rate or the bigger shots coming from Jermell.
On the undercard, welterweight contender Jaron Ennis (28-0, 26 KOs) fights unbeaten 34-year-old Canadian Custio Clayton (19-0-1, 12 KOs) in an International Boxing Federation 147-lb title eliminator.
May 21: David Benavidez vs. David Lemieux in Phoenix, Arizona. Former two-time WBC super middleweight champion Benavidez (25-0, 22 KOs) will be fighting former IBF 160lb champion Lemieux (43-4, 36 KOs) in a 12 round bout.
If Benavidez wins this fight, there’s a chance that he could face former IBF 168-lb champion Caleb Plant in September. Plant needs to win his next fight against Anthony Dirrell, though, and it’s not a given that he will.
On the undercard of Benavidez-Lemieux, junior middleweight prospect Yoelvis Gomez (5-0, 5 KOs) will face Jorge Cota (30-5, 27 KOs) in a 10 round fight.
May 28: Gervonta Davis vs. Rolando ‘Rolly’ Romero on Showtime PPV. WBA secondary lightweight champion Tank Davis (26-0, 24 KOs) defends against his mandatory Rolly (14-0, 12 KOs). The fight will take place at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.
While fans don’t mind the idea of seeing the Tank vs. Rolly fight rescheduled, they’re not happy at the idea of having to pay to watch this contest on Showtime pay-per-view.
June 4: Stephen Fulton Jr. vs. Daniel Roman at The Armory; Minneapolis. WBC/WBO super bantamweight champion Fulton (20-0, 8 KOs) will be defending against the former IBF/WBA 122lb champion Roman (29-3-1, 10 KOs) in the main event.
On the undercard, WBA secondary super middleweight champion David Morrell (5-0, 4 KOs) defends against Kalvin Henderson (15-1-1, 11 KOs).
June 18th: Jermall Charlo vs. Maciej Sulecki. This is the aforementioned disappointing fight for WBC middleweight champion Charlo (32-0, 22 KOs). Sulecki might be able to push Charlo if he can handle his power, but I’m not expecting that to be the case.
Sulecki looked completely overmatched in the early going in his loss to Demetrius Andrade in their fight in June 2019. If not for Demetrius running out of gas after six rounds, he would have stopped Sulecki.
Since that fight, Sulecki has won his last two fights against these two obscure fighters: Fouad El Massoudi and Sasha Yengoyan.
As the WBC champion, Charlo is a major disappointment, as he’s facing weak opposition every time out, and not doing anything to risk losing.
Charlo has been called out repeatedly by David Benavidez, but instead, we see him facing another mediocre opponent.
It’s not surprising that Charlo, 31, is facing Sulecki because he’s got a big money fight in the pipeline for 2023 against Canelo, as long as he gets through 2022 without getting beaten.
If this is the only fight for Charlo in 2022, he’ll wait for the Canelo fight in 2023 to get the large payday.
Since capturing the WBC 160-lb title in 2019, Jermall defended his belt successfully against these fighters: Brandon Adams, Matt Korobov, Dennis Hogan, Juan Macias Montiel, and Sergiy Derevyanchenko.
July 9: Mark Magsayo vs. Rey Vargas. Fresh off his 12 round majority decision win over WBC featherweight champion Gary Russell Jr. on January 22nd, the unbeaten Magsayo (24-0, 16 KOs) will defend his World Boxing Council 126-lb strap for the first time in a defense against former WBC super bantamweight champion Rey Vargas (35-0, 22 KOs).
Vargas, 31, is moving up in weight to challenge Magsayo for his title. Don’t be surprised if Vargas wins this fight, as Magsayo is very beatable, and likely would have lost to Russell if he wasn’t fighting with an injury.