Real or not: Espinoza the best at 126; Gervonta vs. Lomachenko


Rafael Espinoza defends his WBO featherweight title against Sergio Chirino on Friday (ESPN+, 7 p.m. ET) in the main event of a Top Rank card at Fontainebleau Las Vegas. Espinoza has won eight of his last 10 fights by stoppage, including an impressive majority decision over Robeisy Ramirez to claim the belt. But is he the best fighter in the 126-pound division?

Gervonta “Tank” Davis defeated Frank Martin on June 15 in an eighth-round KO victory and now is headed to bigger and better things. That could be a fight against fellow lightweight champion Vasiliy Lomachenko. Can that matchup happen next?

On the heavyweight side, Oleksandr Usyk is set to defend his undisputed heavyweight championship he won by defeating Tyson Fury in May. Can Fury exact revenge in the rematch in December? How about Zhilei Zhang? Can he get another fight against Joseph Parker to avenge his loss to Parker in March?

And can Nate Diaz defeat fellow former UFC fighter Jorge Masvidal in a boxing ring?

Mike Coppinger, Nick Parkinson and Brett Okamoto answer these questions and more, trying to separate what’s real and what’s not.

Real or not: Rafael Espinoza is the best featherweight in boxing

Not real (yet). Espinoza still has some work to do, and win more titles. But the way he is boxing, that seems inevitable.

Espinoza (24-0, 20 KOs), from Guadalajara, Mexico, makes the first defense of his WBO title on Friday when he faces Sergio Chirino in Las Vegas, six months after his breakout victory over Robeisy Ramirez. Espinoza recovered from a fifth-round knockdown to earn a majority decision over Ramirez, who was the favorite going into the fight. Espinoza dropped Ramirez in the last round amid an impressive finish from the Mexican, who overpowered the two-time Olympic gold medallist from Cuba with his volume of punches.

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Las Vegas News Magazine

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