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Tonight at 10 pm ET on HBO, Jezreel Corrales returns in the main event of HBO Boxing After Dark, facing Alberto Machado in a 130-pound title main event.
Corrales (22-1, 8 KO) is on a good run, beating Takashi Uchiyama twice and Robinson Castellanos in his July HBO debut. Machado (18-0, 15 KO) is a top prospect and power puncher who is stepping up in class. It’s an interesting matchup, with Machado having power and size, and Corrales experience and craft on his side.
In the co-feature, Demetrius Andrade (24-0, 16 KO) steps up to the middleweight class with a possibly dangerous matchup with 6’4” prospect Alantez Fox (23-0-1, 11 KO). Andrade is hoping to get into the high-level middleweight mix with his new HBO deal, into fights with Canelo Alvarez, Gennady Golovkin, or Daniel Jacobs. Meanwhile, Fox has a big shot to make waves of his own.
HBO will also show a tape delay airing of Ryan Burnett (17-0, 9 KO) and Zhanat Zhakiyanov (27-1, 18 KO) in a bantamweight title unification bout.
This world title fight pits WBA Super champion Corrales against undefeated challenger Machado. The 26 year old Corrales won the title in early 2016 and looks to make his third defense here. It’s been a weird title run, as the title win was a 2nd round KO upset, but he cemented his status as champion with a grueling decision win in a rematch, only to barely escape with his belt in a somewhat ugly affair his last time out. He’s ranked at #3 in what is a pretty stacked division, and it’s an interesting ranking – on one hand it feels deserved, but on the other, it feels like it could all fall apart for Corrales with the wrong match-up. Puerto Rico’s Machado is probably not that match-up. He’s fought almost exclusively in Puerto Rico, and he did take something of a step up in 2016, but not to this level. He’s big for the division, and has some power, but I’m skeptical that he has a ton to offer here.