How a 16-fighter boxing tournament would play out at junior welterweig...

The NCAA basketball competition and knockout phases of soccer’s Champions League are controling sports fans’ attention around the globe. Boxing seldom does brackets or competitions for different factors like injuries and spaces in between battles, however what if it did?

Ahead of the NCAA national championship on Monday, we chose to develop a bracket of the leading lightweights and junior welterweights on the planet and anticipate who would triumph in a standard competition format. We chosen 140 pounds since it is a department filled with skill, consisted of some leading lightweights who might be going up quickly, and seeded them based upon their achievements. Some of those in this competition are amongst the very best on the planet in any weight department, and the winner might even become the pound-for-pound king of boxing.

Our boxing group completed their private brackets, and here are the cumulative outcomes and how our professional group of Mike Coppinger, Andres Ferrari, Andrew Feldman and myself think the battles may play out. Are there any upsets and knockouts, or did favorites dominate? Check out the outcomes listed below.

Sweet 16

(1) Devin Haney def. (16) Jamaine Ortiz: Everything suggests that 25-year-old Haney advances by choice at the cost of Ortiz. Despite impressing in a controversial choice loss to Teofimo Lopez in February, Ortiz has actually not carried out on the exact same level as Haney, a previous undeniable light-weight champ whose profession simply improves and much better. In his last bout, Haney, of Las Vegas, floored Regis Prograis on his method to a nothing choice win in December. It wasn’t bad for a launching at 140 pounds, and right away raised him to No. 1 in the ESPN’s junior welterweight rankings.

(2) Gervonta “Tank” Davis def. (15) Rolando “Rolly” Romero: This appears like another blockage win for Tank. Romero lost his world title in a destructive eighth-round blockage loss to Isaac Cruz last month, and just lasted 6 rounds with Davis, from Baltimore, in a fight for the light-weight title in May 2022. Romero has actually now lost 2 of his last 3 battles — while Davis has actually because stopped Hector Luis Garcia and Ryan Garcia. Stepping up from light-weight will not be a problem for the small powerhouse, who remains in spectacular type.

(3) Teofimo Lopez def. (14) Isaac “Pitbull” Cruz: This one depends upon which Lopez shows up. If Lopez produces a repeat of his last efficiency against Jamaine Ortiz, or one on the exact same level of his defeat to George Kambosos Jr. in 2021, then he is most likely to be separated from his WBO junior welterweight title against an in-form “Pitbull” Cruz, of Mexico. On March 31, Cruz damaged Romero in an eighth-round win to make the WBA junior welterweight world title and has actually now won 4 straight battles because losing a unanimous choice to Davis. Lopez, of New York, has actually beaten the similarity Vasiliy Lomachenko and Josh Taylor, however just hung on to his title with a questionable points win over Ortiz in February. Lopez is unforeseeable, that makes this a close one.

(4) Vasiliy Lomachenko def. (13) Frank Martin: At age 36, just how much more does the fantastic Lomachenko have left after attaining a lot in a long profession as a standout rival as an amateur and expert? He was when pound-for-pound No. 1 with his awesome abilities and balletic motion, however others lead him in the P4P list now. Lomachenko controlled the later rounds in a close loss to Haney last May, and his group challenged the choice. The Ukrainian is still No. 1 at light-weight, and still has sufficient shimmer to outperform Martin.

(5) Shakur Stevenson def. (12) Jose Ramirez: This will be a difficult fight for Stevenson, who is showing up in weight to deal with a skilled 140-pound advocate. Ramirez has height and reach benefits to make it hard for Stevenson, an Olympic silver medalist from Newark, New Jersey. Ramirez, from Avenal, California, has actually not combated in over a year, while Stevenson was associated with a snoozer in his last fight against Edwin De Los Santos. Stevenson is much better than that efficiency and the southpaw will be too slippery for Ramirez.

(6) Subriel Matias def. (11) Regis Prograis: This is a fantastic match in between a champ rising and a previous champ who has actually seen much better days. Puerto Rican Matias, the IBF champ, has actually stopped every fighter he has actually ever dealt with in the expert video game. His just defeat, a choice problem to Petros Ananyan in February 2020, was avenged 3 battles later on through ninth-round TKO in January 2022. Prograis, initially from New Orleans today based in Houston, has actually dealt with much better opposition however the 35-year-old was commonly outpointed by Haney in his last fight and Matias looks the better of the 2.

(7) William Zepeda def. (10) Jack Catterall: Zepeda’s punch output and attacks to the body have actually seen him increase through the light-weight department to No. 4 in ESPN’s most current divisional rankings, behind Lomachenko, Davis and Stevenson. Maxi Hughes, Catterall’s fellow Englishman, can affirm to the viciousness of the Mexican’s body shots. Zepeda has actually likewise taken advantage of being active, boxing 5 times to Catterall’s 2 efficiencies because Catterall lost a questionable choice to Taylor in February 2022. Zepeda threatens — he has actually stopped 26 of his 30 challengers — and his constant pressure will be excessive for Catterall.

(8) Josh Taylor def. (9) Ryan Garcia: Taylor might have lost his last fight, and an injury has actually postponed his rematch with Catterall, however regardless of an absence of momentum just recently he still has excessive class, experience and boxing IQ to be bothered by Garcia’s hand speed. Taylor’s fellow Briton Luke Campbell floored Garcia early in their 2021 conference, before the Californian recuperated to win a seventh-round TKO. But when Garcia dealt with another skilled fighter in Davis a year earlier, he was completely exposed. Despite his consentaneous choice loss to Lopez in 2015, Taylor will utilize his reputable jab to nullify Garcia.

Elite Eight

(1) Haney def. (8) Taylor: Taylor, who has actually discussed going up in weight in the past, had a bad night against Lopez in his last world title fight, and on that proof you can’t back him to beat the department’s No. 1. Taylor utilized to be king at 140 pounds, however his win over Ramirez to end up being undeniable champ was 3 years earlier. If Taylor dealt with Lopez’s motion, he will have much more difficulty with the slick footwork and stunning speed of Haney, who will travel through to the Final Four.

(2) Davis def. (7) Zepeda: This might be among the very best battles of the competition and an excellent test of how Davis manages a fellow southpaw at 140 pounds. Zepeda will use pressure from the opening bell, and this might see Davis reacting with power punches early on. Davis has actually more quality than Zepeda, and has stopped much better challengers. On that note you need to go with Tank.

(6) Matias def. (3) Lopez: Matias likes to leave his challengers trying to find the exit, and the Puerto Rican pressure-fighter’s ruthless volume of punches, integrated with an unconventional design, will avoid Lopez from making any development on the scorecards. Matias has actually now required 5 successive challengers to retire in their corners, and in his present type he simply has excessive desire for the unforeseeable Lopez. It is tough to back Lopez with genuine conviction when you consider his frustrating display screen against Ortiz, specifically against somebody who remains in such callous type like Matias.

(5) Stevenson def. (4) Lomachenko: Lomachenko challenged ball games in his defeat to Haney, however Haney displayed in parts of that fight how boxing at variety restricts the Ukrainian’s success. Size will not be a problem for Stevenson in this one, and his protective strengths can keep Lomachenko locked out. Lomachenko’s athleticism is still powerful as he displayed in the latter rounds against Haney, however the more youthful Stevenson is as slippery as a bar of soap and his capability to avoid of variety can see him win a choice over his fellow southpaw light-weight.

Final Four

(1) Haney def. (5) Stevenson: Critics of Haney and Stevenson have actually questioned their absence of knockout power, and this semifinal is most likely to wind up being more of a chess match than a bar-room brawl. Both are creative tactically and achieved technically, however Haney will be more powerful at junior welterweight. Haney has actually likewise shown he can manage quality southpaws in his last 2 battles (Prograis, Lomachenko). But most importantly, Haney is currently a world champ at 140 pounds after all outpointing Prograis for the WBC belt in December. As evasive as Stevenson is, he has just had one champion fight at light-weight after formerly campaigning at junior light-weight and featherweight. With a choice the anticipated result, rounds might be hard to score and lead to a questionable, wafer-thin choice.

(2) Davis def. (6) Matias: The 5-foot-5, unbeaten Davis has a 93% KO ratio, and his precision and power will integrate to secure Matias. Tank has actually represented challengers with a range of shots that are provided with identify precision. Matias has an unconventional design, however Tank is fantastic at checking out challengers. Matias is a pressure fighter who likes being on the front foot, cutting the ring off and trapping his challengers. But this will fit Davis, who is excellent under pressure and will find an opening to end this match on the counter inside the range.


(1) Haney def. (2) Davis: Haney appears to do not have power, and if attempts to engage, Davis triumphes. But if Haney prevents turning the fight into a brawl, as definitely he will, he will accomplishment by utilizing his boxing abilities, physical benefits and ring IQ. Davis does not have height/reach, and while he may have gotten away with it against Matias, Haney will not use him as numerous openings. Haney will use his height and reach benefits simply as he did when his hectic jab included Kambosos. At 5-foot-8 and 3 inches taller than Davis, Haney will not need to land any huge shots or take dangers to restrict Tank, who will grow disappointed in the later rounds. Haney boxed wonderfully against Lomachenko and Prograis, 2 southpaws like Davis, and another efficiency on that level against a dangerman like Davis might suffice for him to be promoted to boxing’s pound-for-pound No. 1.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here