Golden Boy announced yesterday that Alan Picasso will face Sabelo Ngebinyana in a WBC super bantamweight eliminator atop a July 15th Golden Boy Fight Night in Mexico City.
That is, for the record, a Saturday. I’ll admit to some confusion here, as DAZN is already set to air Alycia Baumgardner vs Christina Linardatou 2 that evening in Detroit. I guess it’ll be an early afternoon show?
I’m also puzzled by this being an eliminator. The 22-year-old Picasso (24-0-1, 13 KO) is somehow ranked no. 3 despite no good victories, but South Africa’s Ngebinyana (15-6-1, 11 KO) is ranked no. 31. In fact, he got knocked out by no. 25 Fillipus Nghitumvwa two fights back and drew his next time out, so it’s unclear how this came to be.
I know Picasso was briefly ordered to fight Ra’eese Aleem last year before Aleem went the IBF route, so maybe he was still owed an eliminator, but why Ngebinyana? Surely one of the other two-dozen-plus people between them in the rankings would have been open to a tussle.
“I am ready to face the most important fight of my career. Sabelo is a strong, accurate and experienced fighter. But through my 25 fights, I have acquired qualities to be able to take this fight,” said Alan Picasso. “I am happy for the opportunity. Thank you Fernando Beltrán, Oscar De La Hoya and DAZN for placing their trust in me. After July 15, no one will be able to hide that I am the strongest super bantamweight in Mexico, and I will go for the world title. Nery, Inoue and Fulton should take care of themselves, because Picasso is in the division.”
“It will be my first time in Mexico and the only thing I think about is that I will be the No. 2 mandatory of the World Boxing Council once again. I respect David a lot, he is a great boxer, complicated and knows how to work round by round, but I am not going to leave anything to the judges,” said Sabelo Ngebinyana. “I don’t know if they are underestimating me, but I come to do my job. I worked very hard and although I have defeats in my record, this will be my greatest victory. Thank Zanfer and Golden Boy for the opportunity, I will not let them down.”