Three fights set for this Saturday feature prime talent facing less-than-desirable opposition. They all have reasons for taking these stepping-stone fights at this point in their career, with varying degrees of notoriety.
The most high-profile of the three will be Andre Ward making his return after having fought only twice in over three years. Fans will get to see if the technician’s power translates to the new weight class (he took the light heavy title at a catchweight). He’ll get to smooth out any wrinkles in his game created by inactivity and try to make us believe his talent can overcome Sergey Kovalev’s raw power. In reality, Kovalev will be an entirely new level of challenge for Ward, but as convincing his performance was against Dawson, it’s hard to doubt his superiority.
The next most widely relevant fight between Kell Brook and Kevin Bizier will be another stepping stone in the journey for Brook, albeit one that he considers special. Bizier is supposed to be the gateway to the big names that most fighters with Brook’s record are already signing fights against, even though Bizier isn’t as much of a presence in the sport as some previous Brook opponents. Khan avoided the fight with Brook for good reason. After he loses to Alvarez, assuming Brook wins this weekend, Khan should be willing to get in line for another loss given the financial benefits.
Finally, New Orleans native Regis Prograis makes another bid for attention, likely sporting his entertaining werewolf mask to the ring to put his formidable talent on display. Look for an early knockout here, this kid is on his way.