On Dec 8, boxing returns to HBO via their series “Boxing After Dark,” which will be the last event shown on the historic network.
The StubHub Center in Carson, California will be the site of this event and it’s a venue that is familiar to die-hard boxing fans.
Many battles have been fought there and it’s only right that the last show on HBO is held at the place fans have titled “war grounds.”
The main event is between undisputed super welterweight champion Cecilia Braekhus (34-0) and Aleksandra Magdziak Lopes (18-4-3).
Anytime Cecilia Braekhus fights, there is plenty at stake as she is the only undisputed champion. Last time we saw the champ in action, she fought in Moscow and won a unanimous decision over Inna Sagaydakovskaya. Here is what the champ had to say ahead of her title defense on Saturday night: “I’m very happy and excited with this great opportunity. We’ve had a terrific training camp and I believe that I am in my best shape of my career.”
Her opponent Lopes, after seeing decent success in 2017, winning two out of three fights, will be coming off of a twelve month layoff to fight for the super welterweight titles. Will we see another dominant performance from the undisputed champ or will there be an upset?
The co-main event will be a 10 round bout in the super flyweight division between WBC #1 ranked Juan Francisco Estrada (37-3) and Victor Mendez (28-3-2). The co-main, which was originally slated for Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez, was cancelled due to the former world champion hurting his knee in training camp. “Gallo” Estrada had this to say about his upcoming bout:
“Everything happens for a reason, my fight scheduled in Mexico fell through but now I have a bigger opportunity on HBO. I’ve had a great training camp and can’t wait to fight Victor Mendez. We’ve known each other for years and now get to settle who is the best super flyweight from Mexico.” His opponent will be fighting for the first time in the U.S and had this to say: “Juan Francisco Estrada is a great champion and I’ve wanted to fight him for a long time,” said the 25-year-old Mendez. “I’ve heard many great things about the outstanding battles and great fans at the StubHub Center and look forward to fighting there on December 8 and on HBO.”
These two fighters will certainly look to steal the show on Saturday night.
The third televised fight is between unified middleweight champion Claressa Shields (7-0) and Femke Hermans (9-1). The champion Shields is fighting for the fourth time this year and her last bout was less than thirty days ago, which shows how active she wants to be as a fighter. Her opponent Hermans, who is a champion at super middleweight, will be moving down a weight class in order to challenge Shields for her titles. Two champions’ styles should make for a fan friendly fight.
HBO’s last show reminds me of the final game at the old Yankee Stadium. HBO has had legendary nights just like the stadium did for the Yankees but will Tom Loeffler’s event resemble Derek Jeter’s game winning hit that night? Given the track record of the StubHub Center in Carson, I believe it will. Make sure you’re tuning in on Saturday night to see if it does.