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Top Rank made October fight cards official Tuesday

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Top Rank made October fight cards official Tuesday

Mikey Williams/Top Rank

Top Rank made October fight cards official Tuesday

Coming off of Labor Day weekend, Top Rank Boxing has officially announced their star-studded, upcoming October slate of cards and World Championship bouts.

The Las Vegas-based promotion put out on social media the list of which title belts and when they’ll be on the line:

First up will be a Saturday night October 3rd featuring a non-title Junior Welterweight contender showdown between Jose Zepeda and Ivan Baranchyk.  Zepeda (32-2, 25 KOs) defeated Kendo Castaneda by a unanimous decision victory in the Top Rank MGM Grand “bubble” in July. He steps up in competition against the 20-1, Baranchyk who is the former IBF 140 lb. champ.

Six days later on Friday night the 9th, dynamic knockout artist and former Jr. Featherweight World Champ, Emanuel Navarrete is back. He’s moved up to Featherweight and challenges Ruben Villa for the vacant WBO 126 lb. World Title. Navarrate, 32-1,, has won 27 fights in a row and scored 5 consecutive KOs in title fights over a 13 month period before vacating his 122 lb. World title.

Top Rank will continue the following Saturday night on October 17th with the highly anticipated World Lightweight unification showdown between Vasilly Lomachenko and Teofimo Lopez. We wrote yesterday that Loma and Lopez had officially signed the deal on social media.

The Ukrainian former Olympic Gold Medalist and now, the WBA /WBO and WBC “Franchise”  Lightweight titleholder Lomachenko is set to take on the young, unbeaten, IBF champion Lopez from New York in one of the top fights remaining in 2020.

Lomachenko 14-1, 10 KOs and Lopez 15-0, 12 KOs were originally supposed to fight on May 30th at Madison Square Garden before the Coronavirus outbreak shut down the sport in mid-March. Promoter Bob Arum had been looking at Saturday night dates in September and maybe with some socially distanced fans able to attend. Instead, Top Rank will keep it within their controlled environment at the MGM Grand conference center.

Finally, Lomachenko reportedly took a pay cut of approximately $800,000 of his original, reported $3+ million purse and gave it to Lopez to help make the fight happen without fans.

The following weekend (October 24th) sees unbeaten, Unified Light Heavyweight champion, Artur Beterbiev, defending his WBC/IBF titles in Russia against German, Adam Denies.

Beterbiev, the dominant figure at 175 lb., is 15 – 0, 15 KOs and dispatched Oleksandr Gvozdyk on a 10th rd TKO in their Unification Title Showdown last October in Philadelphia. It is the first time that the Russian born Beterbiev, who lives now in Montreal, will defend in his native land.

And, the month will conclude with another huge name making his 2020 debut. That’s the World Unification Bantamweight title defense of Japan’s Naoya “the Monster” Inoue taking on Australian Jason Moloney on Halloween night back in Las Vegas.

Inoue, 19-0, 16 KOs, is a mega star in Japan and won the World Boxing Super Series Bantamweight tournament last November there. That’s when he defeated Nonito Donaire by 12-round decision to unify the WBA and IBF World Championships.

The Australian Moloney will obviously draw in a great number of fans “down under” to watch the proposed matchup with Inoue. Moloney, 21-1, 18 KOs, was victorious in June with a 7th round TKO over Leonardo Baez in the Vegas “bubble.” And, he has remained in the United States waiting for a big opportunity

T J Rives

A veteran broadcaster of over 25 years, T.J. has been a fight fan longer than that! He’s the host of the “Big Fight Weekend” podcast and will go “toe to toe” with anyone who thinks that Marvin Hagler beat Sugar Ray Leonard or that Tyson, Lennox Lewis or Deontay Wilder could have beaten Ali!

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