There is an old Chinese curse which says” may you live in interesting times”. Well over the last couple of weeks we have certainly been living in interesting times in boxing. We had two major fights which ended in controversy, we had Gennady Golovkin and Saul Alvarez setting out to drum up interest in their coming fight (if you need to be “sold” on this fight you are obviously not a boxing fan) and the date for the Floyd Mayweather vs. Connor McGregor fight rolled out (if you buy this fight you are obviously not a boxing fan).
Apart from the controversy the Andre Ward vs. Sergey Kovalev fight was unremarkable. The first fight was much better. I had Kovalev one point in front but had given the sixth and seventh to Ward as Kovalev looked to be fading. The referee gave Kovalev a rough deal. On three occasions Kovalev stepped back to indicate he had been hit low and on each occasion Ward stopped also acknowledging that he had gone low. By not warning Ward the referee was almost inviting him to keep going low. You can never be 100% sure but I felt that even without the low blows Ward was on his way to a stoppage win. Kovalev made no complains. He made it clear Ward was the better fighter on the night and talked about being 34 and doing something else with his life. Naturally his team has launched a protest. They could not do otherwise. They are paid to look after Kovalev’s interests. I can’t see any action being taken to order a rematch and I don’t believe either fighter wants one at least not in the near future.
Ward has said he is looking at cruiser or even heavy. He is not signed up to VADA CBP so we can’t know what he might be smoking! There are fights at light heavy for him and perhaps even cruiser where apart from Olek Usyk the champions are not fearsome beasts. Tony Bellew is a possibility but Tony swings with the wind-he might retire, he might go up to heavyweight, he might fight Ward etc. Clean up your own house first Andre-fight Adonis Stevenson.
I have to feel sorry for Guillermo Rigondeaux. The brilliant Cuban gets labelled boring and when he finally scores a spectacular knockout he is one second out on his timing. Judging by precedents such as Rances Barthelemy vs. Argenis Mendez it is likely to end up as a No Decision and instead of moving on he will have to go over old ground. I felt sorry for the referee. The look of amazement on his face when he turned around and saw Moises Flores lying spread-eagled on the canvas was almost comical. The difference between a punch landing before, on or after the bell is a split second and it would have been impossible for Rigondeaux to have stopped that last punch so the real question is did he launch it after the bell?
It can’t get much better than Gennady Golovkin vs. Saul Alvarez. Two great boxers-future Hall of Fame inductees who are both still at their peak and who love to fight aggressively. It’s a 50/50 fight for me so my neck is not going to emerge over the top button of my shirt anytime soon.
For me like so many others Mayweather vs. McGregor is a non-event which I wish wasn’t going to happen. It will prove nothing. There is no title at stake. There are no redeeming features. What puzzles me is why I feel so strongly. If I don’t care who wins why am I angry about it. There is a lot of anger in the boxing fraternity over this charade and it is being condemned by many big names in boxing. I don’t believe it will hurt boxing unless you feel that a knock to Mayweather’s dignity is important or are we worried that if McGregor wins it will mean that UFC is better than boxing. I find myself where I am totally a’gin it and I am not sure why I am so totally a’gin it-but I am. It is also irritating that they have selected 26 August the same night as Miguel Cotto’s fight against Yoshihiro Kamegai. It has to hurt that show as you can be sure that boxing, UFC fans and general sports fans will buy Mayweather vs. McGregor in sufficient numbers to make it one of the largest sporting events in history-and I am still a’gin it. The WBO are in favour which does not surprise me at all.
Mauricio Sulaiman has been talking up an Anthony Joshua vs. Deontay Wilder fight. Sure it is a good fight but don’t you think after five voluntary defences Wilder should fight a mandatory challenger before he looks outside the WBC ratings for an opponent?
The WBA have stripped Beibut Shumenov of their secondary cruiser title and upgraded Yunier Dorticos to their secondary champion. They have also ordered their super champion Denis Lebedev to fight Mark Flanagan, their No 8, with the winner to fight Dorticos so that they then meet their stated aim of one champion in each division. Shumenov has not fought for 13 months and reportedly has an eye injury that may force his retirement. The fact that their super champion Lebedev was beaten by Marat Gassiev in December is ignored as that fight was only for the IBF title which makes it all a mockery. As for their one champion why do they show”vacant” against the secondary titles in four divisions if they are trying to drop them altogether?
Usual blatant manipulation of their ratings by the WBA saw Paul Smith go from nowhere in March to No 5 in April even though he had not fought since September. It wouldn’t be so bad if the just slipped him in at No 15 but subtlety has never been their strong point.
A fight with David Lemieux would certainly give Billy Joe Saunders a chance to boost his profile. No fault of his that Avtandil Khurtsidze got arrested but by 16 September the scheduled date for his next fight he will have had only one fight in 21 months. He and Lemieux have been exchanging barbs but the timing has to be right for Saunders to take on a big puncher like Lemieux and unless the WBO order it a voluntary defence in September and Lemieux after that might work out better for him but he must be desperate to get back into action.
The HBO show on 9 September will feature five of the top super flyweights in the world with Roman Gonzalez vs. Srisaket, Carlos Cuadras vs. Juan Francisco Estrada and Naoya Inoue vs. Antonio Nieves. Gonzalez will be looking for revenge for his controversial loss to Srisaket which cost him his WBC title. Cuadras and Estrada will be fighting for the right to meet the winner for the WBC title with Inoue defending his WBO title against Antonio Nieves. The WBO have not yet managed to switch Nieves from No 7 bantam to somewhere at super fly since he lost to Nikolai Potapov in March but they will.
The date for the return fight between Vasyl Lomachenko and Omar Salido is set for 8 August. The brilliant Ukrainian will be looking to get revenge for his lone loss as a pro when Salido came in overweight and roughed up Lomachenko on the way to a disputed split decision. The 36-year-old Salido has had wars of attrition with Terdsak, Roma Martinez and Francisco Vargas since then and for me Lomachenko will get the win I thought he deserved the first time.
Also rolled out for our pleasure is the Adrien Broner vs. Mikey Garcia fight for 27 July in New York. An intriguing fight that Broner dare not lose. He struggled to beat Adrian Granados on a split decision in February and Garcia is a much tougher proposition. I would take him to easily beat anyone at lightweight and be the only one capable of giving Terence Crawford a real challenger at super light.
The WBA have called for purse bids for the return fight between Jamie McDonnell and Liborio Solis for their secondary bantam title. They met in November with McDonnell winning the unanimous decision which proved controversial in some circles but which I though McDonnell won clearly. The minimum purse bid is set at $120,000 with McDonnell share of the purse 75% and Solis 25%. The problem is that although a good fight at a figure of over $120,000 it is only viable as a support to a much bigger fight
The supporting fights for the 1 July fight between Manny Pacquiao and Jeff Horn will see Jerwin Ancajas defending his IBF super fly title against his No 3 challenger Teiru Kinoshita. Ancajas gave Pacquiao his first world champion as a promoter. The Japanese fighter is ranked No 3 although the first two places are vacant. He can’t go into one of those slots as he has not beaten a rated fighter-but it is OK to put him No 3! Irish hope Michael Conlan will face Jarrett Owen and Jonel Dapidran, a cousin of Pacquiao, will also be on the card.
The worrying part about signing up to the VADA CBP is that you might actually get a random test. That’s the case for former European champion Dennis Ceylan. The Dane tested positive for cocaine and now waits to find out what punishment is in store for him.
Still on Danish boxing Mikkel Kessler has ruled himself out of the World Boxing Super Series. Quite sensibly he decided that after four years of inactivity he would need a lot more time to prepare before entering that competition.
On almost the same day as Kessler made that decision former WBA champion Firat Arslan said he wanted to take part in the tournament. The 46-year-old German fights 31-1 Goran Delic on 15 July for the vacant WBO European title and is hoping to impress there to earn an invitation.
Still in that part of the world Swede Erik Skoglund has despaired of landing a title shot at light heavy so has decided to move down to super middle. Not sure who he is targeting but there are very few easy avenues at super middle whereas if Andre Ward moved up there would be three vacant titles at light heavy.
Former WBC super middle champion Sakio Bika is returning to action. The Cameroon-born Australian tackles Australian Luke Sharp (14-5-3) in Sydney on 8 July for the vacant WBC Asian Boxing Council title. It will be the first fight for over two years for Bika.
On 1 July Oscar de La Hoya will be heading down to Villa Mercedes in Argentina for the inauguration of a new sports centre there. His cousin Diego will fight in the main event of opening show against Alan Isaias Luques.
Fights to watch out for: In his first fight since losing his WBO title to Olek Usyk in September former WBO cruiser champion Krzys Glowacki (26-1) returns to action on Saturday against unbeaten Turk Hizni Altunkaya (29-0). August 15 Kyoto Shinsuke Yamanaka (27-0-2) meets unbeaten Mexican Luis Nery (23-0). It will be defence No 13 of his WBC bantam title for Yamanaka.
Interesting to see that the EBU have set a date of 19 July for purse offers for the fight between Ahmed El Mousaoui and Frankie Gavin for the vacant European Union welterweight title as Gavin makes another effort to get his career rolling again.
Late substitutions are the bane of the sport. Last weekend in Estonia there was to be a fight between Robert Helenius and Ian Lewison for the WBC International Silver title. Not a bad fight until things fell apart. With Lewisham not able to fight the search went on for a last minute replacement. One was found that was acceptable to the WBC but was not acceptable to Helenius and the only name left on the board was a poor opponent in Evgeny Orlov leaving the choice between a bad fight and no fight and probably no show so a choice between a rock and a hard place for the WBC. Helenius vs. Orlov went on for the Silver title and no one got hurt so sometimes we have to work with shades of grey in this sport.
WBC super featherweight champion Miguel Berchelt has gone to jail. Don’t panic! He has visited a jail in Hermosillo, Mexico giving exhibitions and talking to young inmates about how with work and discipline they can fulfil their dreams. He has fitted this into his training for a title defence against Takashi Miura in Inglewood on 15 July.
The boxing fraternity in South Africa lost two of its stalwarts in Freddy Rafferty and Len Hunt. Rafferty, a former South African cruiser champion, scored some good wins over opposition such as Piet Crous and Tony Fulilangi in a 14 year career finishing with a 32-14-2 record. Hunt was a top class referee but his major contribution came in his work with the South Africa National Boxing Control Commission as they rebuilt the sport in a post apartheid period. RIP gentlemen.
The latest news on German boxer Eduard Gutknecht is not good. Since collapsing after his fight with George Groves and undergoing extensive brain surgery in England Gutknecht is now back home in Germany. Although there has been slight progress his condition is still serious. He can hear and see and has slight movement of his head and arms he is unable to speak. Boxing people from around the world have made donations to help his wife and three children at this time including a generous donation from George Groves and his team.
Italian Bepi Ros is another undergoing a bad time. He has serious health and financial problems and again the 74-year-old former Italian heavyweight champion has found the boxing fraternity generous with their help.
The Astana Arlans took a 4-1 lead in to the second leg of their WSB semi-final encounter versus the British Lionhearts at the prestigious York Hall in London.
First up at flyweight (52kg) debutant Niall Farrell took on Olzhas Sattibayev. Not much of note was landed by either man in a tentative opening round but Farrell didn’t seem overawed. At times Farrell stayed in the pocket a bit too long allowing Sattibayev to score with combinations but the Lionhearts youngster finished round 2 strongly and was still in the fight. Farrell had great success with the right hand in round 3 before Sattibayev edged a close 4th with the fight still in the balance. There was lots of endeavour from both boxers in the last round but it was Sattibayev who gained the split decision in a highly enjoyable bout where Farrell made a real impression and announced himself as a talent for the future.
In a now must win scenario at lightweight (60kg) Kiwi Chad Milnes was up against experienced operator Zakir Safiullin. Milnes made a confident start but Safiullin’s punches began to have an effect and a beautiful right hand put Milnes down near the end of the opening round. The Kazak upped the tempo and utterly dominated his opponent in round 2 and Milnes was wisely pulled out before the third, giving Safiullin the victory and securing the Arlans spot in the WSB final.
There were still 3 bouts left and India’s Manoj Kumar faced Aslambek Shymbergenov at welterweight (69kg). Shymbergenov won the opening stanza scoring well with the jab and the right hand. Despite a small cut and the occasional success from Kumar Shymbergenov continued to control the action over the next 2 rounds. Kumar put forth a real big effort and pulled Shymbergenov in to a toe-to-toe scrap in round 4 before Shymbergenov responded in the 5th to claim the unanimous decision.
The penultimate contest was at light heavyweight (81kg) with Tom Whittaker-Hart squaring off against Arman Rysbek. Rysbek started quickly before Whittaker-Hart managed to establish the distance in the second half of the first round. Whittaker-Hart moved well to begin round 2 but Rysbek landed some solid shots in the later stages. The Kazak built on his success and bullied the Lionheart in round 3. Whittaker-Hart produced more movement and good footwork to take the 4th and although Rysbek never stopped applying pressure it wasn’t enough with Whittaker-Hart prevailing via split decision to give the Lionhearts their first win of the evening.
The final fight of the night saw Super heavyweights (+91kg) Patrick Mailata and Nursultan Amanzholov take to the ring. Mailata’s quick hands saw him win the opening round and the man from New Zealand easily out landed his Kazak opponent in round 2. Amanzholov had no answers and a big left hand from Mailata put him down and the corner brought a halt to the contest in round 3. The Arlans won 7-3 after both legs and will face either the Cuba Domadores or the Colombia Heroicos in the final.
The semi-finals of the WSB commenced at the Kostanay Sport Palace in Kostanay as the Astana Arlans hosted the British Lionhearts.
Kicking off the action were the Light flyweights (49kg) with Temirtas Zhussupov versus Kiaran Macdonald. Neither man threw much in a very quiet opening round. Zhussupov got the better of round 2 with both choosing wisely when to let their hands go. The Kazak again shaded proceedings in the third with Macdonald simply not throwing enough punches. Zhussupov’s experience began to tell and despite a respectable effort from the WSB debutant it wasn’t enough and Zhussupov won a clean sweep on the cards putting the Arlans 1 up.
Next up in the Bantamweight (56kg) division experienced Ilyas Suleimenov was up against Christopher Bourke who was making his WSB debut. Bourke landed some nice body shots in a tight opening 3 minutes. Suleimenov upped the ante a touch in round 2 but Bourke finished well and wasn’t looking out of his depth. Bourke had some success in round 3 but Suleimenov never looked in any trouble and was in control. Bourke enjoyed a decent first minute of the 4th but Suleimenov scored with some hurtful punches which lead to a badly damaged nose and Bourke was wisely retired by his corner at the start of the last round.
In what looked on paper to be a potentially exciting contest at light welterweight (64kg) Dilnurat Mizhitov squared off against Conor Loftus. The styles gelled nicely in an entertaining opening stanza with Mizhitov picking off Loftus as he came in. Loftus showed some good movement and targeted the body well in round 2 as the pair were happy to trade and let go with plenty of punches. Mizhitov clearly won round 3 and was having the last word in the exchanges. Loftus scored with some good left hands in the 4th and the pair engaged in some terrific toe-to-toe action. Loftus was again competitive in the final round but couldn’t sustain it for long enough and Mizhitov claimed the shutout victory to leave the Lionhearts staring down the barrel at 3 nil down.
It was then on to the Middleweights (75kg) as Abilkhan Amankul faced Nikita Ababiy. Amankul, who has been one of the finds of this season’s tournament made a confident start and landed with the more telling blows in round 1. Ababiy showed good intent but Amankul remain composed and picked his man off in round 2. Ababiy continued to be aggressive in round 3 but Amankul’s extra size and strength was beginning to tell. Ababiy continued to press and maintained an excellent work rate in the penultimate round. Amankul had his opponent on the ropes for spots in the last round and despite Ababiy being on the front foot throughout the contest it was the Kazak who was declared the winner via unanimous decision to give the Arlans a 4 nil lead.
The final bout of the evening was at heavyweight (91kg) as Anton Pinchuk took on David Nyika. There wasn’t much to split them over the first 2 rounds with Pinchuk inching forward and Nyika aiming to keep the fight at range. Nyika used the jab to great effect in round 3 as Pinchuk was made to fall short with many of his attempted combinations. A point deduction and blood pouring from the nose added to Pinchuk’s issues in round 4 and by now Nyika was in full command. The home man needed a miracle to turn things around but that never looked likely and Nyika cruised to a wide point’s victory to give the Lionhearts a glimmer of hope going in to the second leg in London on Thursday.
Can’t get too excited over Miguel Cotto signing a multi-fight deal with Golden Boy and going straight into a fight for the vacant WBO super welter title. At 36 (Cotto not me unfortunately) I have to be honest and say I see the great Puerto Rican as yesterday’s man. In his last fight he lost a wide unanimous decision to Saul Alvarez by 10, 8 and 7 points on the three cards and is 18 months older now. The fight with his selected opponent Yoshihiro Kamegai will probably be an entertaining one as much for the Japanese fighter’s style as anything. The WBO’s manipulating of their ratings for this fight are a disgrace. Cotto’s last fight was his loss to Alvarez in November 2015 but despite 18 months of inactivity he has climbed to No 1 spot in the WBO ratings. For the Cotto fight to be a “big” fight Golden Boys’ s selected opponent Kamegai also needs to be rated. No problem after six months of not being in the WBO ratings Kamegai suddenly finds the magic ratings elevator and steps out at No 12 in March this year. Not enough. In the last WBO ratings in May he has climbed to No 5 and they have time to issue a couple more ratings before fight time on 26 August so who knows where Kamegai could rise to by then. Let me see now. Miguel Cotto comes from Puerto Rico and the WBO President Francisco Valcarcel comes from………..or is there an honest explanation?
The eventual aim is a Cotto vs. Juan Manuel Marquez fight perhaps in December. Marquez had a bout scheduled for July in Mexico with no opponent named yet and there is no contract in place for a Cotto fight. Added uncertainty was thrown into the mix with 43-year-old Marquez reporting a shoulder injury in training. The extent of the injury is not yet clear but it may delay his return which could throw the whole Cotto vs. Marquez schedule out.
Two world championships fight on the same bill in Sheffield. Two injured fighters two different decisions. Kell Brook suffered another orbital fracture and decided not to risk his vision. George Groves suffered a fractured jaw in the third round and knowing this could be his last chance to win a world title fought on despite the pain. For me both fighters made the right decision under the circumstances in which they found themselves. Both were courageous decisions in their own way. Yes Groves should be praised for the courage he showed in continuing but also Brook for the good sense he showed so good luck to them both. Groves will now face a lay-off for surgery and then hopefully will be back with a whole range of options waiting for him.
Errol Spence was very impressive in beating Brook. For many fans he was a champion in waiting and is now a major player in the welterweight division.
It is strange that American fighters such as Spence and Gervonta Davis never really reached the heights in the amateur world. Gervonta won a National Golden Gloves title but not much else. Spence won a hatful of titles at domestic level but his best in the wider world was quarter finalist at the World Championships and the 2012 Olympics and he failed to qualify for the Pan American Games. Neither Terrence Crawford , Gary Russell or Keith Thurman hit the heights as amateurs but now they are world class pros. Fighters such as Vasyl Lomachenko, Anthony Joshua, Andre Ward, Deontay Wilder, Olek Usyk have succeeded as both amateurs and professionals so I guess amateur credentials are important but they don’t tell the whole story.
I think that Gilberto Mendoza’s response to the controversial scoring in the Hassan N’Dam N’Jikam vs. Ryota Murata fight was disgraceful. Putting the scoring to one side for a moment. Because of the furore and remembering the huge value in the form of sanction fees that Japan represents to the WBA he still owed a loyalty to his judges who the WBA themselves appointed. Instead he threw Gustavo Padilla and Hubert Earle to the dogs and stabbed them in the back-yes both-to appease the critics. He should have made it clear that he saw a need to review the scoring and would do it expediently and dealt with Padilla and Earl in private. But instead of giving them any chance to discuss their scores he effectively disowned them. What sort of message does that throw out to the other WBA judges about scoring against the home fighter and about how loyalty lies with those who pay the sanction fees and not with their own people. I personally scored Murata the winner but I had as much of a disagreement with the 117-110 for Murata as I did with the 115-112 for N’Jikam. So here’s the lesson for WBA judges-vote for the home guy or if you find that impossible at least make the scores close. I checked Padilla’s record of judging in various WBA title fights going back to 2014 and there was not a single instance where he was out of line with the scores of the other two judges. I also checked the record of Earle and there was not a single instance where his score stuck out from the others. The WBA expects loyalty from its judges and they have the right to be treated with respect.
Every positive test is a black eye for boxing and normally I would see no upside in that. Shannon Briggs positive test is the exception. His whole “comeback” has been a succession of farcical “action” in the ring and ridiculous posturing and disgraceful behaviour out of it. The great WBA elimination series has fallen apart but then I never took is seriously anyway. Now the WBA are left with Fres Oquendo seeking an opponent. He is No 4 in the last published WBA ratings, one behind Briggs. Oquendo is 44-year-old and has not had a fight since a disputed loss to Ruslan Chagaev in July 2014 but due his taking the WBA to court they can’t remove him.
Who says boxing is a young man’s game. The top four in those WBA ratings are Luis Ortiz 38, Alex Ustinov 40, Briggs 45 and Oquendo 40 and then Wlad Klitschko 41. In addition Lucas Browne, the former holder of the WBA secondary title returns to action this weekend after serving bans for two positive tests. He gets an easy one for his return facing Matt Greer ( age? 40 naturally) who has lost his last nine fights Browne is a mere lad at 38. Perhaps we need yet another division named either “The Zimmer frame division” or the “Where did I leave my teeth division”. Never mind weighing in just show us your pension book.
This month should see a great deal of clarity emerging in the light heavyweight division. As I write Adonis Stevenson is about to defend the WBC title against Andrzej Fonfara in Montreal and Eleider Alvarez and Jean Pascal fight each other on the same show. On 17 June in Las Vegas Andre Ward and Sergey Kovalev meet for the second time. For fans of boxing in Montreal Kovalev vs. Stevenson would probably be the preferred outcome but Ward will have something to say about that.
Good to see a resurgence of big time boxing in France. They had a class show topped by Cedric Vitu on 18 May featuring high class fights all the way down the card and as I write Olympic heavyweight champion Tony “The Artist” Yoka is due to have his first pro fight in Paris. His opponent Travis Clark is no threat but no one wants to take a chance with Yoka as Canal + has bought into him so he is the hottest property in French boxing right now. In addition to Yoka unbeaten bantam Nordine Oubaali, a 2008 and 2012 Olympian, fights Alejandro Hernandez for the WBC Silver bantamweight title and 2016 Olympian Souleymane Cissokho is also appearing.
On 10 June former WBA champion Souleymane M’Baye continues his comeback as he takes on Karim Aliliche for the French welter title. When you add Sweden’s welcome return to pro boxing, Norway about to have a pro show, Mikkel Kessler passing all his medical tests and ready to return and give an added boost to Danish boxing and Singapore dipping its toe in the water and above all the biggie of over 40,000 tickets sold for Manny Pacquiao vs. Jeff Horn in Brisbane, a place where synchronised swimming usually gets more coverage than boxing. the sport is alive and well.
Some bad news from Ghana-Floyd Mayweather Jr is visiting there this month. Only kidding. It will be a huge event for Ghana where boxing sits just behind football in popularity. Things have not been going as well as they might there so this should give the sport a boost.
It is possible that Roman Gonzalez will get his return with Thai Srisaket in California in 9 September. The Nicaraguan lost his WBC title to Srisaket on a majority decision in March. If that comes off then there is the possibility of the Japanese “Monster” Naoya Inoue defending his WBO super fly title against McWilliams Arroyo on the same show. If Gonzalez and Inoue win that would set up a great fight between Gonzalez and Inoue.
Two former victims of Gonzalez fists will meet for the interim WBC super fly title with purse bids due for Carlos Cuadras vs. Juan Francisco Estrada on 8 June. That’s a tight division with unbeaten Khalid Yafai holding the WBA title, Jerwin Ancajas the IBF title and Johnriel Casimero, Kazuto Ioka, Juan Carlos Reveco and Rex Tso all in the mix.
Brit Billy Joe Saunders faces a tough title defence on 8 July in London. His challenger Avtandil Khurtsidze is a rough brawler who pressurises for 100% of the time and has lost only one fight since 2005. Saunders needs to win and win well. With Gennady Golovkin putting the WBA, IBF and IBO titles on the line against Saul Alvarez on 16 September (Alvarez has stated he has no interest in fighting for the WBC title although that will automatically be on the line for Golovkin) and his No 1 challenger Ryota Murata probably going for the mandated return fight with Hassan N’Dam N’Jikam for the secondary WBA title his options are shrinking. If the WBO moves Murata out of the No 1 spot then the logical replacement is No 2 David Lemieux although a win over mandatory challenger Khurtsidze would put Saunders in a voluntary position. The Khurtsidze fight is only his second in the last 19 months so he needs another fight this year.
On 17 June under the Tyrone Zeuge vs. Paul Smith fight for the secondary WBA super middle title unbeaten German Stefan Haertel takes on Patrick Mendy. This will be Haertel’s first fight under new trainer the 75-year-old legendary Ulli Wegner.
Heavyweights will top the bill in Gdansk on 24 June as Tomasz Adamek tries yet again to make an impact at heavy. Now 40, the former WBC light heavy and IBF cruiser champion takes on 41-year-old Solomon Haumona. This is Adamek’s first fight since being knocked out by Eric Molina in ten rounds in April last year. Haumona’s last fight was a fourth round stoppage defeat against Joseph Parker for the WBO heavy title in July. On the undercard Mateusz Masternak faces Ismayl Sillah at cruiser and former WBO cruiser champion Krzys Glowacki faces American Brian Howard in his first fight since losing his title to Olek Usyk in September.
Former IBF super lightweight champion Eduard Troyanovsky returns to action 1 July in Moscow against Italian Michele Di Riocco. It will be the Russians first fight since his shocking 40 second kayo by Namibian Julius Indongo in December which cost him his IBF title. Former undefeated European champion Di Riocco is having his second fight since losing to Ricky Burns for the vacant WBA title in May last year.
Also on 1 July a good match for the vacant European light heavyweight title sees unbeaten Dominic Boesel (24-0) tackle former IBF title challenger Karo Murat.
The proposed IBF final eliminator between Omar Narvaez and Puerto Rican Emmanuel Rodriguez has finally been consigned to the dustbin. After numerous postponements Narvaez will now face Russian Nikolai Potapov for the vacant interim WBO super fly title with the winner getting a shot at champion Zolani Tete. There is nothing wrong with Tete. He is fit and well but an interim title means another sanctioning fee for the WBO. Strangely for the WBO with this decision they have effectively screwed Puerto Rican Rodriguez who will now await the outcome of the IBF title fight between champion Lee Haskins and Ryan Burnett on 10 June.
Trust your mother to embarrass you in front of your friends. The mother of Jarrett Hurd, the IBF super welter champion has told her son you are a 26-year-old world champion isn’t it about time you moved out and had a place of your own. Come on Jarrett you are a big boy now make the leap.
I am going to set up a Ministry of Nicknames with stringent rules on the use of extravagant or misleading nicknames which to me amounts to misleading the public. You get guys with the nickname of “TNT”, “Power” , “KO Kid” ,”Dynamite” , “Assassin, Destroyer” etc. with kayo percentages of 2%. You get guys with the nickname of “Baby”, “Kid” “Junior” etc. who will never see 40 again. However it goes both ways. Guys with nicknames such as “Big Baby”, Bumblebee”, “Boo Boo”, “Chocolate Hills and “Mamma’s Boy” ( all true honest) just don’t seem to understand that a nickname is supposed to strike fear into the heart of an opponent. Come on get on board guys. Oh yes you can’t use the nickname “Sugar” under any circumstances unless you are Ray Robinson or Ray Leonard. I will be watching you and you can expect to get a severe reprimand and have to wear the protector cup version of a hair shirt if you break the rules. That should keep you all up to scratch (sorry I couldn’t resist it).
(We'd like to apologise for Eric for taking so long to put this up, wesimply didn't see the email until earlier today)
These articles are submitted by guest writers and sites. They aren't submitted by the usual folk behind Asian Boxing and don't fall in line with our editorial stance, giving a fresh view on various boxing issues from the Asian boxing scene.