We've known for a while that Bob Arum's Top Rank promotions would be returning to Macau on July 18th. Now it seems like the card is really coming together with a number of bouts confirmed for the show and other fighters signing up for the card.
We've been told that the main event of the show will be the IBF Light Welterweight title bout between China's exciting Ik Yang (19-0-0-1, 14) and Argentina's light hitting Cesar Rene Cuenca (47-0-0-2, 2). The bout has been made the main event of the card due to the fact Yang is a Chinese fighter, and it also helps that he's a charismatic enigma with a fan to watch style and some peculiar mannerisms.
For both Yang and Cuenca this will be their first shot at a world title, and has come about following the IBF's decision to strip Lamont Peterson, who managed to defend the title 3 times in more than 3 years.
The most interesting thing about the main event is the huge difference in styles between the two men. Cuenca certainly has ability but his lack of a punch really makes us wonder about how he's going to cope with Yang's pressure, unorthodox offense and power. Likewise Yang's often wild swings may well work in favour of Cuenca who may be able to find holes in the Chinese slugger.
The Yang Vs Cuenca bout won't be the only world title bout on this card following the confirmation that Mikey Bey (21-1-1-1, 10) will be defending his IBF Lightweight title against Denis Shafikov (35-1-1, 19). This really has the potential to be a very interesting, or a very dull, bout. Bey is a talented slickster with good handspeed and movement but can send an audience to sleep very easily whilst Shafikov is a talented pressure fighter, though one who can look flawed at times. Incidentally Shafikov has previously challenged for this same title, also in Macau, though came up very short against Miguel Vazquez. It was Bey who later took the title from Vazquez in a very forgettable bout that was marred with a many claiming a robbery.
As well as those two confirmed world title bouts we've also been told of three other men who have been confirmed for this card. The biggest name from those 3 men is former multi-weight world champion Nonito Donaire (34-3, 22), another is exciting Flyweight Brian Viloria (35-4-0-2, 21) whilst a third is the unbeaten Jose Carlos Ramirez (14-0, 11).
Interestingly we know that Zou Shiming (6-1, 1) will not be on this card. At the moment however it's unclear whether Rex Tso (16-0, 9) or Kuok Kun Ng (7-0, 3) will be in action. We'd be shocked if at least one of them wasn't though at the moment it seems unlikely Tso will be. Of course when the show was first mooted the hope was to get Tso a world title fight with WBA Super Flyweight champion Kohei Kono, though the WBA scuppered those plans by demanding that Kono defended his title against Koki Kameda. We suspect Tso will be targeting the winner if the Kono/Kameda bout which is also expected to take place in July.
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