Tonight on the final Top Rank Boxing Summer Series show from Las Vegas, ESPN essayist Mark Kriegel announced that the company has dates set for two postponed notable fights in late August, both Saturday night cards as Top Rank returns to a more normal schedule.
On Aug. 22, the delayed light heavyweight semifinal eliminator between Eleider Alvarez and Joe Smith Jr will take place. The fight is to set up a final round bout to crown a new WBO titleholder, after Canelo Alvarez vacated upon beating Sergey Kovalev last November.
Alvarez (25-1, 13 KO) and Smith (25-3, 20 KO) were set to meet in early July, but Alvarez had to pull out due to an injury. It wasn’t as bad as originally feared, so he’ll be back, and we’ll see if maybe it’s too soon. It’s a good fight between a couple of top 10 guys at 175 pounds.
On Aug. 29, Jose Ramirez will finally — knock on wood — defend his WBC and WBO junior welterweight titles against WBC mandatory challenger Viktor Postol. Ramirez (25-0, 17 KO) was supposed to defend against Postol (31-2, 12 KO) early this year in China, but that was boxing’s first taste of coronavirus locking up the sport, as the fight was postponed and then reset for May, which of course was canceled once the pandemic had fully reached the United States.
Both shows will take place in “The Bubble” at Vegas’ MGM Grand, where all Top Rank shows since June 9 have been held.