We are well aware that Top Rank's "Macau cards" split opinion like almost no other cards done by a major American promoter. Whilst some view them as a distraction to the usual US TV schedule we love them and we love the fact that Boxnation tend to carry them allowing British fans a chance to see some of the lesser known names from Asia.
The latest addition to the the Macau shows "Ring of Gold" a show that features not only Chinese Olympic gold medal winner Zou Shiming but also Japanese champion Ryota Murata and Russian Egor Mekhontsev as well as 3 title bouts.
The Olympians are the big selling point here.
Whilst Shiming may be much derided by boxing fans he could well act as the man to awaken Chinese boxing and lets be honest, if that happens then the talent and money in the sport could grow at a never before seen rate. For Mekhontsev the talented is clear and the guy has the ability to be rushed to a world title. The most interesting however is Murata who some already view as a superstar in the making and he may well have the potential to ignite cross-continental promoting like no other fighter.
Whilst we cant help but be excited about the 3 Olympic champions we've also got to say that the IBF Lightweight title fight between Miguel Vazquez and Denis Shafikov looks like a great clash of styles with pure boxer fighting against strong pressure fighter and the co-feature between Akifumi Shimoda and Marvin Sonsona is a brilliant match up.
The shows may not be hugely popular but this card just looks brilliant. As for the the poster however it's rather simple at first glance but actually rather deep. It features the 3 Olympic champions in the forefront which is clear but in the background are the national flags of several fighters involved on the show, a cleaver touch and something that is likely to be missed by some at first glance
As well as the traditional poster Toprank have also released this banner which adds the poster to an extra segment showing some of the other fighters on the card. A nice little bonus to the poster even if it does take away from the 3 Olympic champions.
It's fair to say that whilst this weekend is choc-a-block with boxing action around the world only one bout will really be getting global attention. Manny Pacquiao v Brandon Rios. It may only be for the WBO International Welterweight title, but it's still a bout so big that it's got almost everyone in boxing talking. It's one of those special bouts.
The poster put out by Top Rank might not be "special" but it's got a very intense look about it that seems to yell "explosive" and that's exactly what we're expecting from the contest. Pacquiao is, well, Pacquiao. A Filipino buzzsaw, who this time enters the ring with many doubting he'll ever be the fighter he once was.
Rios, whilst not a global boxing star like Pacquiao, is a must watch fighter who lacks a great defense though makes up for it with heart and a warrior spirit. This should be special.
Amazingly the Pacquiao-Rios show doesn't just have a special main event but it also has a special co-feature, one that has had it's own poster developed as Billy Dib seeks revenge over Russian Evgeny Gradovich. This IBF Featherweight title bout has some how gotten an under-card poster thanks to Body Punch Boxing Gym.
As well as the two posters from the official promoters we've also come across this one which is a slight twist on the Top Rank one. This one appears to see the colour changed slightly to make things more intense looking and the official title of the show also put it. Of the three available we actually like this one the most
For American fans this weekend it's safe to say only one card really catches the attention. Sure Japanese fans have the excellent action on Sunday, including Shinsuke Yamanaka's title defense against Alberto Guevara, but American fans really don't have that.
The sole card of real American interest is the "Triple Header" show that Top Rank are putting on in Corpus Christi, Texas. The show, which oddly includes 4 major bouts of note, is one of the US cards of the year, though for us the interest is simple. Nonito Donaire v Vic Darchinyan II.
The men, who first met in 2007, know that a loss here really will be a major hit on their careers. For Donaire a loss to Darchinyan would be his second successive loss, for Darchinyan it would be a second loss to Donaire.
In regards to the poster it's a nice idea though one that could have probably been done better. The fighters above each other with the twitter tags is a nice idea though there is a feeling that plenty could be done to improve it, most obviously a better title for the show!
Bob Arum's "Top Rank Promotions" returns to Macau on July 27th for "Fists of Gold II". The card features the second professional contest of 2-time Olympic gold medal winner Zou Shiming, a man Arum seems to see as a potential cash cow in terms of the Chinese market.
As well as the Shiming bout the card features 8 other fights including a contest for Rex Tso (who shares the poster with Shiming) and 2 world title bouts (Evgeny Gradovich v Mauricio Javier Munoz for the IBF Featherweight title and Juan Francisco Estrada v Milan Melindo for the WBO and WBA super title at Flyweight).
Whilst the poster isn't highly impressive the card it's self is and will be well worth tuning in for.
Every major fight needs good promotional posters. This part of AsianBoxing will try and feature some of those posters.