May sees the likes of Canelo, Devin Haney & Katie Taylor all in action in what promises to be a thrilling month of boxing. After April saw AJ return to winning ways, Shakur Stevenson arrive in the Lightweight division and Gervonta Davis stop Ryan Garcia, we move on to May and some more exciting fights to look forward to.
Canelo Alvarez Return
First up, on May 6th, is one of the biggest names in the sport, Saul Canelo Alvarez (58-2-2), as he returns to fight in front of his home fans in Mexico for the first time in 12 years! Canelo takes on Brit John Ryder (32-5-0) who, as he edges towards the end of his career, has notched some good recent wins against the likes of Daniel Jacobs and Zach Parker to earn his shot. The bout will be for all the Super Middleweight straps as Canelo wants to please the home crowd on Cinco De Mayo weekend ahead of a potential blockbuster rematch with Dmitrii Bivol (21-0) as he aims to avenge last year’s defeat to the Russian Light Heavyweight Champion.
On the same night, on this side of the pond, Joshua Buatsi (16-0) returns after a year out of the ring as he makes his BOXXER debut. Buatsi takes on undefeated Polish light heavyweight Pawal Stepien (18-0-1) at Genting Arena in Birmingham. Stepien was due to face Callum Smith last month before Smith had to withdraw through injury and will prove a solid test after another lengthy absence in what has been a bit of a stop-start career for Joshua Buatsi. The undercard also sees hot prospect Ben Whittaker return after injury as well as Lauren Price as she looks to win the inaugural British Welterweight title.
Katie Taylor Homecoming Fight
Later in the month (20th May) we see Katie Taylor (22-0) return home to Ireland as she moves up a division to face Chantelle Cameron (17-0) in a bid to become a 2-weight simultaneous undisputed champion! The date was originally to feature Taylor taking on Amanda Serrano in their fight-of-the-year rematch from last April before Serrano had to withdraw citing an injury. Cameron will prove a stern test for Katie Taylor at the 3Arena in Dublin in a card that also sees Gary Culley (16-0) take to the ring in his home country.
Devin Haney vs Lomachenko
Later that same night we move back to the men’s Lightweight division under the bright lights of Las Vegas as Undisputed Champion Devin Haney (29-0) defends his undisputed title against Vasyl Lomachenko (17-2-0). Haney is coming off the back of shut-out back-to-back wins against George Kamboses in the Australians back yard where he captured the championships. Handing the former Undisputed champion his first taste of defeat, Haney looked impressive but now moves on to a much sterner test in a fighter once regarded as the Pound-for-Pound king, Ukrainian Lomachenko.
The blockbuster night really does come on May 27th though where you may need to set up multiple screens to take in all the action! Three World Title headline fights are being staged on the same night across Britain and all on the 3 major UK platforms.
On Sky Sports, Boxxer is staging Lawrence Okolie vs Chris Billam-Smith in Bournemouth for the WBO World Cruiserweight Title. Over on DAZN, Eddie Hearn’s Matchroom host the rematch of February’s WBA World Featherweight strap between Mauricio Lara and Leigh Wood. In the same division, Leigh Wood’s former foe Michael Conlan gets another shot at World glory when he takes IBF Champ Luis Alberto Lopez at The SSE arena in Belfast live on BT Sports.
Fighting in his hometown of Bournemouth once again, Chris Billam-Smith (17-1) gets a shot at former stablemate Lawrence Okolie’s World Title. Billam-Smith will be roared on by his home faithful but this time it will be at A.F.C. Bournemouth’s Vitality Stadium as he tries to cause an upset and dethrone his old sparring partner. On his 2nd show with Boxxer, Okolie (19-0) will be looking to restore the public faith in his style and ability after his performance against David Light in March drew criticism despite a unanimous points victory.
Leigh Wood (26-3) aims to regain his World title and exact revenge for the 7th-round defeat he suffered to Mauricio Lara (26-2-1) just a couple of months ago in his hometown of Nottingham. This time the fight is taken to Manchester with the long-awaited return, and the Matchroom debut of Jack Catterall (26-1) is also on the bill.
Michael Conlan (18-1) returns to Belfast looking to go one step further than he did in his last World Title fight when he takes on Mexico’s Luis Alberto Lopez (27-2). Lopez won the title when he beat Josh Warrington in December with a majority decision and now returns to Britain to defend it. Conlan has looked in good form since his 12th-round devastating knockout loss to Leigh Wood last year and will be desperate to capture the title in his home city.
Here is a look at where and when these fights and selected others fall this month;
- MAY 6TH- JOSHUA BUATSI VS PAWAL STEPIEN- GENTING ARENA, BIRMINGHAM- BOXXER & SKY SPORTS
- MAY 6TH- CANELO ALVAREZ VS JOHN RYDER- GUADALAJARA, MEXICO- MATCHROOM & DAZN (Undisputed Super-Middleweight Championship)
- MAY 12TH- ELLIS ZORRO VS HOSEA BURTON- YORK HALL, LONDON- QUEENSBERRY & BT SPORTS (WBO European Cruiserweight Title)
- MAY 13TH- JANIBEK ALUMKHANULY VS STEVEN BUTLER- STOCKTON, USA- TOP RANK & ESPN (WBO World Middleweight Title)
- MAY 20TH- KATIE TAYLOR VS CHANTELLE CAMERON- 3ARENA, DUBLIN- MATCHROOM & DAZN (Undisputed Super-Lightweight Championship)
- MAY 20TH- DEVIN HANEY VS VASYL LOMACHENKO- LAS VEGAS, USA- TOP RANK & ESPN, SKY SPORTS UK (Undisputed Lightweight Championship)
- MAY 24TH- JOSEPH PARKER VS DJANGO OPELU- MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA- NO LIMIT BOXING & MAIN EVENT TV (Commonwealth Heavyweight Title)
- MAY 27TH- LUIS ALBERTO LOPEZ VS MICHAEL CONLAN- SSE ARENA, BELFAST- QUEENSBERRY & TOP RANK, BT SPORTS (IBF World Featherweight Title)
- MAY 27TH- LAWRENCE OKOLIE VS CHRIS BILLAM-SMITH- VITALITY STADIUM, BOURNEMOUTH- BOXXER & SKY SPORTS (WBO World Cruiserweight Title)
- MAY 27TH- MAURICIO LARA VS LEIGH WOOD 2- AO ARENA, MANCHESTER- MATCHROOM & DAZN (WBA World Featherweight Title)
By Lee Browne
Also read: Canelo vs Ryder Undercard Information