ESPN has boxing front and center this weekend as they hit with back-to-back fight cards on Friday and Saturday night (August 4 and 5, 2017).

The big fight comes on Saturday night when WBO world super featherweight champion Vasyl Lomachenko (8-1) defends his title against the challenge of Miguel Marriaga (25-2). Lomachenko has quickly become the jewel of Bob Arum and Top Rank, as they are pushing him as the best fighter going today.

It is well-documented that the Ukrainian had one of the most decorated amateur careers in history, which included two Olympic gold medals, and as a pro, he has won world titles in two weight classes in under 10 fights. As well as a highly technical style that comes with a frenetic pace that no one has been able to keep up with, Lomachenko remains hungry and fights with a killer instinct.

Perhaps this is why the oddsmakers are not giving Marriaga practically any shot. Marriaga is a solid competitor out of Colombia , but he is entering this fight coming off a loss to Oscar Valdez for the WBO’s featherweight title. His other career loss came to Nicholas Walters, who Lomachenko dismantled and made quit in November of last year.

ESPN and Golden Boy Promotions also hit this Friday night with a pair of fights from the Fantasy Springs Casino. The main event sees a competitive line, as veteran welterweights Jesus Soto Karass (28-11-4) and Mauricio Herrera (23-7) meet in a 10-round bout.

Karass has been matched tough recently, going 0-3-1 in his last four fights against the likes of Terence Crawford and Devon Alexander. His July of 2013 win over Andre Berto seems like a long time ago, and Karrass is also coming off an 11-month layoff. Herrera had a rocky 2016 in going 0-2, but he bounced back in March of this year when he defeated veteran Hector Velasquez via eight-round decision.

The Golden Boy card also sees light heavyweight contender Vyacheslav Shabranskyy (18-1) looking for his second win of 2017 as he faces Todd Uthank May (10-0-1). Shabranskyy took a loss against Sullivan Barrera back in December of 2016 that was the first setback of his career, but he bounced back and won an eight-round contest in April of this year. May took a draw in his last outing, and he has never fought a match scheduled for 10 rounds, so he will be at a considerable experience disadvantage heading into this one.

Friday also sees Showtime Boxing check in with a women’s main event, as U.S. two-time gold medalist Claressa Shields (4-0) looks to capture her first world title when she faces Germany’s undefeated Nikki Adler (16-0). Shields turned professional in November of last year, and she entered the pro ranks with a considerable reputation and considerable pressure.

As for Adler, she has held the WBC world title at 168 pounds going on five years now, so she is definitely not a joke. Shields is from nearby Flint, Michigan, so the fight in Detroit is in her back yard. Adler won a March of 2017 bout, and she fought once a year in 2015 and 2016, as the weight class sometimes lacks for top-level competition. Shields and her backers are hoping to become the face of women’s boxing over the next few years, and it starts this Friday. The vacant IBF world title is also on the line in this one.

Fri 8/4 MGM Grand Detroit – Detroit, Michigan – Showtime

Super Middleweight – 10 rounds
Nikki Adler   +300        
Claressa Shields    -420        

Fri 8/4 Fantasy Springs Casino – Indio, California – ESPN

Welterweight – 10 rounds
Jesus Soto Karass   +150        
Mauricio Herrera    -190        

Light Heavyweight – 10 rounds
Todd Unthank May   +550        
Vyacheslav Shabranskyy    -1050  

Sat 8/5 Microsoft Theater – Los Angeles, California – ESPN

Super Featherweight – 12 rounds
Miguel Marriaga   +2000   o9½ +125      
Vasyl Lomachenko  -4000   u9½ -155

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