Timothy Bradley Jr.’s Guide to the Weekend — Erickson Lubin-Sebastian Fundora; Ryan Garcia-Emanuel Tagoe and more


Saturday brings four major boxing cards with long-awaited comebacks, close matchups and opportunities for fighters to test their level before committing to bigger and better things.

In what appears on paper to be a 50-50 fight, junior middleweight contenders Erickson Lubin and Sebastian Fundora will meet in Atlanta with a chance to close in on a title fight (Showtime, 10 p.m. ET) . At stake is a fight against winner Brian Castano-Jermell Charlo for the undisputed 154-pound championship, scheduled for May 14. Lubin is the better fighter, but Fundora has height and reach advantages and an uppercut that can end the fight at any moment.

In Japan, Gennadiy Golovkin returns after a 16-month layoff to face Ryota Murata in a middleweight unification bout (DAZN, 5 a.m. ET). Murata last fought in December 2019, but he will compete on home soil with over 30,000 fans at the Super Arena in Saitama. A win for Golovkin will guarantee him a trilogy fight against Canelo Alvarez, if Alvarez does his part by defeating Dmitry Bivol on May 7. The fight against Murata gives Golovkin the opportunity to prepare for what could be the biggest fight of his career.

Another title fight will take place in Costa Mesa, Calif., when unified junior lightweight champion Mikaela Mayer defends her belts against former featherweight champion Jennifer Han in the main event of a Top Rank card ( ESPN/ESPN+, 10 p.m. ET). Mayer is coming off the best win of her career over Maiva Hamadouche, and a win this weekend may set up more unification fights before she moves up to the 135-pound division, where the top two fighters in the world, Katie Taylor and Amanda Serrano, resides. While Han is the more experienced fighter, can she derail Mayer’s trajectory to the top?

Finally, the long-awaited return of lightweight sensation Ryan Garcia is finally here (DAZN, 9 p.m. ET). And although his opponent, Emmanuel Tagoe, is not a top fighter, this fight will be a good test for Garcia in his first outing since defeating Luke Campbell in January 2021. He took time off to attend to of his sanity and recovering from surgery on his right hand. Is Garcia still the fast, powerful and exciting fighter who won ESPN Fighter of the Year in 2017?

Let’s take a look at the four main events of this weekend.


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