Boxing News

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Boxing News

I tend to spend a lot of my mornings before work peering through news stories and Twitter, and often run into interesting tidbits about upcoming fights, boxer insights, promoting, etc. I figured I'd start a post and share the interesting ones I find, for anyone who may be interested.

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"Dave Allen has announced that he's agreed terms to face France's 2016 Olympic gold medallist Tony Yoka on June 23rd in Paris"

Big step up for Yoka, who I know was a pretty talented amateur, but makes me worry that Allen is taking this fight on such short notice, especially considering he has fought twice already this year(albeit short fights). He has fought 4 rounders two of the last three, with the third ending after one due to a headbutt. This would be a 10 rounder. Will Allen challenge this kid?

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"WITH the news George Groves will be in the final of the World Boxing Super Series to face Callum Smith, no one will be happier than the boxers, bar one man, Joe Gallagher.

Gallagher, trainer of Smith and his three brothers Paul, Liam and Stephen, told Boxing News of his joy when hearing Groves will be in the final, after recovering from a shoulder injury sustained in the final round of his semi-final triumph against Chris Eubank Jnr.

'I’m really pleased for Callum Smith, he entered this tournament because the best fighters were in it,' Gallagher said.

After victories over Erik Skoglund and surprise semi-final replacement, Dutch kickboxing world champion Nieky Holzken, the Liverpudlian has improved his record to 24-0.

But Smith’s determination to prove himself the best in the super-middleweight division rests on fighting George Groves. As it seemed like Eubank Jnr was becoming an increasingly likely contender to replace the injured Groves, it looked like Smith would have to wait yet again to test himself against the division leader.

'Obviously George Groves was in it and he’s got the world title,' Gallagher said. 'Chris Eubank Jnr was in it and there were lots of good domestic fights to be made and Callum Smith’s aim was to come out as a world champion.'

'When George injured his shoulder and there was talk of Chris Eubank in the final I felt sorry for Callum, it seemed like he was cursed.'

'It’s alright beating Chris Eubank in the final but he would still have come out of it without a world title.'

'Groves is recognised by everyone … as the number one in the world at that division so what a great opportunity for Callum Smith'.

'Callum Smith’s got a huge opportunity to become the number one in the world after the final and I’m so happy for him.'

Fortunately for Smith, with the announcement Groves will be in the final, he will get his chance to prove himself as the best in the 168lbs division, something that wouldn’t have been the case if Eubank Jnr did fill in as a replacement.

If it would have felt like an anti-climax for Smith had he not met the winner of the other semi-final in the final, Gallagher can certainly confirm this, and he believes the public have got what they wanted too.

'I don’t think I have to say much – you just have to look at social media and what the take on it was when there was the suggestion of Chris Eubank becoming a replacement, it was resounding that nobody wanted him in it,' he said.

'He had been beaten compressively by George Groves, I think everyone made their feelings known, and when it was confirmed Callum would fight Groves it was met with a great response.

'I’ve seen people tagging the Sauerlands [promoters Kalle and Nisse] and the WBSS and saying ‘finally you’ve seen sense and it should be them in the final’.

'We came in this tournament to become a world champion and fight for the world title and I feel if it hadn’t been someone with a title in the final the tournament would have lost a lot of credibility.'

'Especially if putting someone like Eubank in who had already been beaten comprehensively in the semi-final.'

Before it was confirmed Groves and his WBA world title would be present in the final, Gallagher revealed how important it was for Smith to fight for either a world championship or against a credible name, with the trainer even calling for Gennady Golovkin to move up eight pounds.

'I did say if it wasn’t going to be George Groves try and get another world champion, a [David] Benavidez, a Tyron Zeuge,' Joe said.

'At one point when the ‘Triple G’-Canelo fight fell apart I even said go and see if ‘GGG’ wants a place in the final. That’s how much we wanted a title on the line or a big name in the final.'

Smith booked his place in the final four months ago, and it seems he has been waiting on an opponent ever since.

This kind of inconvenience has led to a disruption in appropriate and detailed training, something Gallagher has actively dealt with up until the confirmation that Groves had recovered.

“We had been phoning around arranging sparring partners and it’s a case of we have this group of sparring partners for this opponent and this group for this opponent,” Gallagher said. “We don’t know when to book our flights, when to book hotels, is it the end of June, is it July, and we had all that going on.

“It looks now like it will be end of August, early September a week or two either side. We’re there now and we can plan and concentrate on George.”

Concentrate Joe will and his preparations for Groves are slightly helped by the fact the trainer has been in this position before.

In 2011 Gallagher and Paul Smith stood across the ring from a 24 -ear-old Groves at the Wembley Arena in London.

That night Groves retained his Commonwealth and British super-middleweight titles with a second round stoppage of Smith, leaving Gallagher more than respectful of the challenge ahead while recognising lessons can be learnt from the defeat.

“You’ve got to take on board the things we did for that fight but obviously Paul and Callum are different styles, but one thing we will do is respect George Groves’ boxing ability and his punching power,” he said.

“Groves has always been familiar to us we’ve watched many of his fights, and so with Chris Eubank, it’s not someone like Nieky Holzken, on last minute who you know nothing about, we have someone we can plan and prepare for.”

A domestic feud for Groves is a familiar thing, just like with Eubank Jnr the Londoner had heated pre-fight build ups with James DeGale and Carl Froch, but despite his track record, Gallagher doesn’t see a the WBSS final going the same way.

“I think both kids are hugely respectful of each other, they both acknowledge how talented each other are and it’s a final which involves two talented fighters and two gentlemen who carry themselves correctly as well outside the ring as they do inside,” he said. “Groves himself is absolutely delighted to be in the final and he wants to fight Callum Smith in the final, I think it’s great and we’re really looking forward to the fight.”

Groves showed mental strength in the final round of his encounter with Eubank Jnr, like he did to come back from three failed attempts at world title glory when he defeated Russian Fedor Chudinov on the fourth time of asking to capture his WBA strap.

This kind of attribute is something Gallagher recognises, but feels the public may not be aware of.

“I think a lot of people don’t give George enough credit for his mental toughness,” he said.

“The way he conducted himself in that last round [against Eubank Jnr] the way he man-managed himself and to be able to think on the spot and not complain to the referee, by doing that he would have brought pressure on himself.

“He’s had his jaw broken and come back in no time, he is a very mentally tough man and you need to, like Carl Froch did, nail George to the canvas to beat him because, George will keep coming.

“While George is in that ring in front of you he’s there to take you out and we are fully respectful of his achievements and what he brings to the fight and we need to work on the game plan to take care of that.”

Man, what a roller coaster Smith's team had to go through. Having GGG mentioned as a theoretical replacement is very interesting.

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I like Bellew, and I think this could be a fun fight if it happens. I don't know if he'd beat him, but he'd be a real second fight for Fury if it was to happen, and be a significant step up from Seferi.

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I'd like to see Bellew use his WBC Cruiserweight champion emeritus status he somehow has if Gassiev wins, not going to happen but I can wish. Doing these calculated business style moves is not interesting and doesn't endear himself to a lot of fans, people like when guys like Rungvisai take difficult fights and give rematches to difficult opponents.

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"For the second time, middleweight world titleholder Billy Joe Saunders said on Sunday that he has suffered an injury that has forced him to postpone a defense against British countryman Martin Murray.

Saunders was due to make his fourth defense against longtime contender Murray on June 23 at the O2 Arena in London in the main event of a card scheduled to stream live in the United States on ESPN+.

But on Sunday, Saunders said the fight was a no go, though he did not specify what kind of injury he had suffered.

"Apologies for any inconvenience, but due to the injury, I had to withdraw from the fight on June 23," Saunders said. "You have your ups in boxing, but for me, the last three months have been downs. Sorry to Martin and the fans. I'll be back soon."

Saunders and Murray were initially scheduled to fight on April 14, but Saunders said he suffered a hand injury in training and the bout was postponed until June 23.

Murray was disappointed once again.

"There's nothing I can do. I'm obviously gutted," Murray said. "My management team is working on alternatives, so hopefully I'll have a new date in the next couple of weeks. Thanks to everyone for their continued support."

Murray voiced serious displeasure in a video posted to his Instagram account.

"He's s--- out again. The first time it was his hand, now it's his hamstring," Murray said. "We know that he's trying to make a big money fight with [Gennady] Golovkin or Canelo [Alvarez] and I'm too risky to fight. He just don't want to fight me, but there's nothing I can do. This is the second time I've took myself away from my family, got my body in this condition -- ready to fight -- and I get told last minute it's canceled."

Promoter Frank Warren said he would announce the status of the card on Monday.

"Due to an injury suffered by Billy Joe Saunders, unfortunately he has had to withdraw from his June 23rd fight with Martin Murray at the O2 Arena. A full statement on the show will be made [Monday]," Warren said. "We apologize for any inconvenience."

The top two undercard bouts on the card are supposed to be heavyweight prospect Daniel Dubois (7-0, 7 KOs), 20, of England, in a 10-round fight against Tom Little (10-5, 3 KOs), 30, of England, and light heavyweight up-and-comer Anthony Yarde (15-0, 14 KOs), 26, of England, against an opponent to be determined also in a 10-rounder.

Saunders (26-0, 12 KOs), 28, a southpaw, is coming off the most impressive performance of his career. He traveled to Laval, Quebec, to face former world titlist David Lemieux in his home region on Dec. 16 and turned in a masterpiece as he easily outpointed Lemieux by scores of 120-108, 118-110 and 117-111.

Murray (36-4-1, 17 KOs), 35, has fought for world titles four times at middleweight and super middleweight but is 0-3-1. He was held to a controversial draw against then-middleweight titlist Felix Sturm in 2011 and lost middleweight world title fights to Sergio Martinez in 2013 and Gennady Golovkin in 2015 and a super middleweight title fight to Arthur Abraham later in 2015.

But Murray has won three fights in a row since a unanimous decision loss in June 2016 to George Groves, who went on to win a super middleweight world title."

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"BREAKING: Oscar De La Hoya told ESPN on Tuesday night that “the Canelo train has left the station” and that he is now negotiating with promoter Eddie Hearn for a Sept. 15 fight between Canelo Alvarez and Daniel Jacobs. De La Hoya said he has moved on from trying to finalize the rematch between Gennady Golovkin and Alvarez because GGG won’t come off his demand for a 50-50 revenue split and “it’s not going to happen.”

WTF Golden Boy? Where does GGG go from here? BJS seems like the most logical opponent, to unify, but other than that, taking on the young guys who aren't quite title shot worthy yet, before getting a chance to unify wouldn't be good business for him. Clenelo is a complete dope, and has hurt the sport so much with all of this, IMO.

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They are saying Jacobs but I bet it will be Spike O'Sullivan, it may very well be too difficult to reach an agreeable purse split with Jacobs camp. One thing that may make the bout more likely is that Jacobs's performances in his bouts after Golovkin haven't been outstanding so he may seem like a less risky opponent to Golden Boy. If they actually make Canelo vs. Jacobs/BJS those are live opponents who actually have a chance unlike O'Sullivan so I won't be complaining.

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I wouldn't be surprised if it ends up being Spike, but I'd hate to see it. GB is a joke for this whole debacle, and if they don't at least put Clen in against Danny, they really don't care about their fans or the sport at all, in my opinion. No one wants or is asking to see Alvarez-Spike, haha.

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Yeah, I'm sure Golden Boy is just looking out for keeping their big meal ticket in Canelo going. I just wonder how much the Mexican PPV market will stand by him. If they go ahead with Spike I think that will likely answer the question of how many PPV's Canelo can draw by himself after this drug testing scandal considering Spike has absolutely no drawing power.

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For sure, this will be a test, as at least Danny is a real opponent. You see what the IBF did to GGG? He potentially had a chance to set up a unification bout, nullifying the mandatory fight by my understanding. For them to strip him with all this in limbo is terrible. Hopefully, Derevyanchenko can win it against someone in a bout to fill the vacancy, GGG mops up BJS, then they can unify. If GGG can't work out a fight with BJS, I don't know what he should do next, maybe move up and pick off a DeGale, or give a younger fighter, like Charlo a shot, neither of which gets him the payday or chance at history he is looking for. He was just monumentally screwed with all of this.

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"Former heavyweight world titlist Joseph Parker and former title challenger Bryant Jennings have agreed to terms for an Aug. 18 fight, Top Rank vice president Carl Moretti told ESPN on Tuesday.

The fight, which will be scheduled for 12 rounds, will headline a Top Rank Boxing on ESPN card at the new Ocean Resort Casino, which opens on June 28 in Atlantic City, New Jersey, on the property previously occupied by the Revel.

"They've both agreed to the fight and the paperwork has been sent to both camps," Moretti said. "It's an interesting fight between two of the top heavyweights in the world. The winner really is positioning himself to be in a better position."

David Higgins of Duco Events, which co-promotes Parker with Top Rank, said they are working to finalize the fight but added "we have other options on the table, including (a fight with) Alexander Ustinov."

Parker (24-1, 18 KOs), 26, of New Zealand, will look to rebound from his first defeat, when he lost his world title belt by unanimous decision to England's Anthony Joshua on March 31 in a title unification fight before 78,000 at Principality Stadium in Cardiff, Wales.

Jennings (23-2 ,13 KOs), 33, of Philadelphia, lost a decision challenging then-heavyweight world champion Wladimir Klitschko in 2015, but he has won four fights in a row since signing with Top Rank and ending a 20-month layoff in mid-2017. Jennings is coming off a one-sided 10-round decision win over Philly rival Joey Dawejko on April 28.

The co-feature of the Aug. 18 card has not been determined, but Moretti said that Top Rank is looking at two possibilities, either a fight involving junior featherweight world titlist Isaac Dogboe (19-0, 13 KOs), 23, of Ghana, making his first defense, or one with Philadelphia super middleweight contender Jesse Hart (24-1, 20 KOs), 28.

In a fight of the year candidate, Dogboe rallied from a first-round knockdown to knock out Jessie Magdaleno to win a 122-pound world title on April 28 in Philadelphia in the main event of the card on which Jennings beat Dawejko.

Hart, who lost a hard-fought competitive decision challenging super middleweight world titlist Gilberto "Zurdo" Ramirez in September, has won two fights in a row by knockout since, including a seventh-round stoppage of Demond Nicholson on the April 28 card in Philadelphia."

What do you guys think of a Parker/Jennings matchup? I've always respected the grit of both, and think this would make for a good scrap.

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Not news, but an interesting video. Mikey and Robert Garcia talking the sport and bodybuilding with Big Boy from Street Cartel. Nothing crazy, but cool to see these guys laid back and comfortable, and talking the sport. Long-ish watch, but interesting for anyone with the time.

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"Here we go!!!! Deontay Wilder has accepted the terms offered to him by Anthony Joshua promoter Eddie Hearn for them to meet in the United Kingdom for the undisputed heavyweight championship this fall, Shelly Finkel, Wilder’s co-manager, told ESPN on Monday night. “We have agreed to the terms that Eddie has put out to us for a fight in the U.K.. Deontay has accepted his terms to fight in the U.K. Deontay sent an email to Joshua (Sunday) night and I sent one today to Barry Hearn and Eddie telling them that we officially accept the offer to fight under the terms they gave us and to send us the contract,” Finkel said. Finkel said that the offer is a two-fight deal with terms also agreed to for a rematch that would take place in the United States."

It's happening this year guys!!! Who do you got? I got the Bomber by late KO!

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Since his world title win over Sadam Ali in May there has been somewhat of a Mungíamania surrounding the young Tijuana native.

The power punching World Boxing Organization [WBO] champion spoke to last week and said he relishes the change of lifestyle.

“There’s a bit more pressure now but it is nice to be recognised and have people tell you nice things,” he said via telephone.

“It’s a lot of responsibility now, not only being a world champion but also the eyes of the boxing world are on you, everyone wants to see you. It gives me the motivation to get better and train harder.”

Speculation as to whom Munguía will fight later this year is rife but it is likely that he will make the first defence of his belt next month against former champion Liam Smith. Should he be successful, the 21-year-old wants to begin a process of unifying the belts at junior middleweight.

“I want to unify in this division first, I want to fight Jarrett Hurd and Jermell Charlo but I will go up to middleweight maybe in a year or so. I’ll be at this weight as long as my body can handle it! It wouldn’t be impossible even to make welterweight, but it would be an unnecessary exertion on my body. We’re thinking about 154lbs and then after that 160lbs.”

Charlo, the World Boxing Council [WBC] champion recently made comments to the media that Munguía was too green and makes lots of mistakes, but Jaime was in no mood to bite back.

“I really respect Jermell Charlo, he’s a great champion. For me he’s one of the best in the weight class. What can I say about his comments? We’ll see in the ring, that’s where one speaks. I want to fight him, and it would be a great fight.

“The best at the weight are Charlo and Hurd,” he opined.

“You’ve also got Kell Brook and Brian Castaño, so there is a long list of good fighters at super welterweight. I want to fight one of them this year after the Smith fight, I’d love that. I want to unify all the titles really, all four belts.

“I think Kell Brook is a very good boxer, if I fought him it would be great - I can beat him and it would be a good experience for my career.”

Back in Mexico, talk is already brewing that Munguía could at some point face off with fellow countryman Saúl ‘Canelo’ Álvarez, but the level-headed newly crowned champion quelled that possibility from happening for the moment.

“I’m still very young and I can improve, I will maybe get a bit stronger. I don’t see myself fighting ‘Canelo’ this year or anytime soon but fights between two Mexicans are always attractive and it would be a big fight if it did happen. I don’t know him personally, but I have followed him of course.”

Not looking beyond next month’s reported bout against Liverpool’s Smith, Munguía promised that the watching public in the United Kingdom as well as around the world can expect another explosive performance.

“We’re going to be looking for the knockout again and put on a good show for the fans. That’s what I like the most, for the fans to enjoy it and like my style of fighting. Thanks to everyone who has been supporting me since the start and who are supporting me now. I promise the Liam Smith fight will be a great fight.”

After Liam, who do you guys think should be next. I think, from what I've seen, Munguia is the biggest puncher at 154, and I'd put my money on him against Hurd or Charlo right now. Thoughts?

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Regarding Munguia being the biggest puncher at 154, while I think Munguia has a good punch apparently Richard Commey (a lightweight) chinned Sadam Ali multiple times in the training camp for the Munguia fight. Ali was also seen as the clear weak link in the division which is why people like Kell Brook wanted the fight. Therefore, I am going to reserve some judgment for Munguia's power being greater than Hurd and Charlo until I see him versus more opponents. I think he will beat Liam Smith though, Smith likely really regrets not being able to fight Ali. I think he likely needs to be given a few bouts before we see him versus Hurd or Charlo, someone around the J-Rock Williams level would be a good opponent after Smith. If he can get Kell Brook I think that would be a good test as well for him but I'm not sure Kell wants that fight. If he blows Smith out though perhaps he is actually ready for the challenge versus Hurd or Charlo who will likely fight each other later this year or early next year.

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I know to take that Ali fight with a grain of salt. Having seen some other fights of his, including against Navarrete(which I know is just an opponent), the way he sets his shots up, and his natural size advantage over either of those guys, makes me think he could catch them easier than they'd catch him. I think Hurd would be the better fight of the 2. Charlo, I think, falls into lulls of activity, and a strong, young, aggressive guy like Munguia could take him in my eyes.

I, too, would be interested in seeing him in any of those matchups. I just really enjoy his style. I know he has plans for 160 within 2 years, and I hear eventually getting to 168, so I wonder if him and his team try to accelerate the time table for him at 154. He has the frame to go up whenever he is ready. I love all of these potential fights from 154-168. I think we see a lot of these guys pick eachother off, and see the cream rise.

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Yeah, I don't think he is super green, he definitely has a good base and has good physical advantages like you said. A guy like J-Rock Williams would even be a step up compared Ali and Navarrete so thats why I think he would be a good opponent but I suppose Liam Smith is in a similar tier as J-Rock Williams. I agree Hurd would be a great fight stylistically for fans and a potential FOTY. Charlo could be a good stylistic fight for Munguia but Munguia would have to be diligent in watching out for Charlo's counters. In the Trout fight, I think he got too focused on loading up on his punches trying to get the KO which hopefully his trainer can get him away from.

I agree he has a great frame for moving up in weight, he could even get up to 168 as you mentioned. If he does really well at 154 I think he should chase the Mexican war versus Canelo, that would be a really good payday for him and would be an interesting bout if Munguia proves to be the real deal.

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Yep, I think that is a fight he should definitely look at, either at 160, or if Alvarez losses to GGG, I could see him going back to 154, as that special steak being gone may lead to Catchweight Canelo returning. I think Munguia should also look at JCC Jr., as that too would be a massive fight in both Mexico and in the Southwest US. Speaking of Alvarez/GGG, who you got?

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I don't think Canelo could even make 154 anymore to be honest, he is only 5'8 (a lot of people say he actually shorter than that too) but he has a really stocky build. Caneloweight returning would be a funny result of a Canelo loss. I think Chavez would be a good fight for Munguia, Chavez has ruined his reputation with Mexican fans but he is still a greater draw than anyone at 154 save for possibly Kell Brook. I think Munguia beats him anyways at this stage in their respective careers but Chavez can't even make Middleweight and plans on coming back as a Super Middleweight. Munguia is also too high risk and low reward for Chavez, to my knowledge Munguia isn't really a draw at this point but surely he could become one if he continues to succeed. So for those reasons I don't think that fight is realistic to make.

I think Golovkin will win by close decision but I'm not really sure in saying that. Golovkin is fighting father time but Canelo has a lot of question marks as well. It is counter to the traditional logic of boxers doing better than punchers in rematches but I think Golovkin actually left more on the table than Canelo did in the first fight which is why I think he can edge out the victory. What do you think?

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I wasn't talking the Munguia/Chavez now, but down the line, as both seem to be aiming at 168. Would be a huge Mexican domestic fight if both track right.

I think GGG wins by TKO late. Canelo I think will be affected by this "steak" issue, as I think this isn't something new for him, a la "Real Deal" and others who were able to skate. I, too, think GGG left more on the table, as he focused on head hunting. I think he looks to break Canelo down in the body early, to keep him from running. Canelo gave him his best shots last fight and never fazed GGG, so I don't think that changes, even with a year removed. I've never seen GGG in real trouble, so short of a Byrd card, I don't see GGG losing this one. Plus, you know he has to be motivated like no other, and the Terminator mode may step in. I'd love to see him press Alvarez from R1, and not try to feel him out. He has felt his power, no reason to dance early.

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"Frank Warren has revealed that Billy Joe Saunders' next fight could be against JAMES DEGALE. He has September 15th booked at the O2 Arena."

Would this be a catch, or BJS moving up? Interesting match up, but I wonder who is clamoring for this fight?

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I don't know. DuBois has a lot of talent, but I'm not sure I'd pick him to win this fight. Gorman has some talent, and can frustrate with his movement and the angles he can throw from. Slicker than you'd think looking at him. DuBois would have to move more, and use more head movement and feinting to get to him. Would definitely make DuBois show some evolution as a fighter.

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"The IBF ordered a purse bid Monday for its mandated super middleweight title bout between champion James DeGale and interim champion Jose Uzcategui.

Handlers for DeGale and Uzcategui were given 30 days from May 23 to come to an agreement on their own. Once they couldn’t compete a deal by Monday’s deadline, the IBF scheduled a purse bid for July 5 at the sanctioning organization’s headquarters in Springfield, New Jersey.

England’s DeGale regained the IBF 168-pound championship April 7, when he beat Minnesota’s Caleb Truax by unanimous decision in their immediate 12-round rematch in Las Vegas. Truax (29-4-2, 18 KOs) recorded one of boxing’s biggest upsets of 2017 when he traveled to London and defeated DeGale (24-2-1, 14 KOs) by majority decision December 9 to take the IBF super middleweight championship from him.

Venezuela’s Uzcategui (27-2, 23 KOs) won the IBF’s interim title from Andre Dirrell (26-3, 16 KOs) in their rematch March 3 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn. Uzcategui battered and bloodied Dirrell until Dirrell’s cut man, Jacob “Stitch” Duran, instructed a New York State Athletic Commission official to tell referee Ricky Gonzalez to stop their bout before the ninth round started.

Dirrell pleaded with Duran to allow him to continue. Duran, concerned for Dirrell’s health, still stopped the fight.

Dirrell defeated Uzcategui by disqualification in their first fight in May 2017.

Uzcategui was winning that bout on two of the three scorecards through eight rounds. Referee Bill Clancy disqualified him, though, because Uzcategui hit Dirrell after the bell sounded to end the eighth round.

Dirrell said he couldn’t continue once Uzcategui crushed him with a flush left hook to the jaw after the bell. That punch sent Dirrell to the canvas, face-first.

The situation worsened when Lawson sucker-punched Uzcategui in the ring following their fight. Felonious assault charges against Lawson were downgraded to a misdemeanor assault charge in Prince George’s County, Maryland."

This is a fight I've been waiting for. I think Uzi is the real deal, and could be a force at Super Middle. Hope this fight gets made.

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I would be surprised if James DeGale allowed for this fight to be made. Uzcategui is a high risk and low reward opponent, James DeGale should be a betting underdog as the champion if this fight is made. I think DeGale will likely try to pay step aside money if possible or drop the title if he can secure a rematch with Groves.

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I also heard Degale may fight BJS. Don't know if a catch or at Super Middle, but that fight would be a dud.

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DeGale dropped his title, almost certainly going to fight Groves or BJS now

Re: Boxing News Was just about to post about this. I keep hearing him and BJS, but don't know if at Middle, Super, or a catch. Again, outside of England, I don't know who is clamoring for this fight.

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I doubt DeGale would be able to make Middleweight but I could be wrong. The fight kind of loses its intrigue for me considering BJS won't be able to win a title from DeGale. I think the fight would sell well in the UK and it is in-house for Frank Warren so I'm sure he'd love to make that happen. I can't really see a way DeGale wins at this point in his career though.

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Yeah, I guess he should look for his biggest payday or two, then cash out. 168 is only getting younger. I saw that Gilberto says he is moving up to 175 within 2 years, as his team has expressed issues with him making weight. You think that is the right move? I think he needs to learn to fight taller and use his height before he moves up against even bigger, and stronger guys.

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Definitely don't think it is the right move, one of his best traits at 168 is his size and if he goes up to Light Heavyweight he's going to run into the problems you mentioned, it will be much harder for him to fight at his pace and box guys. He would also have to challenge for a belt and I don't think he can beat any of the belt holders at 175, even Beterbiev who in my view is the weakest of the four belt holders would probably beat him.

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I agree with that. Unfortunate for him that he would need to try to quickly unify, if he is the guy to do it, and do it while fighting against his body not wanting to cut as easy...Trouble looming for sure. I think Benavidez will have the same issues. Uzi seems like the only champ who is natural and easily makes 168, while also having the height, reach, power to be dangerous. I haven't seen or heard of the weight issues with him like I have the others. I hope he doesn't become the most avoided guy in that division, and not able to get a decent fight as a result. His first opponent I heard will be Caleb Plant. Sounds like dinner time for Uzi.

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"The WBO have stated that Demetrius Andrade will likely become Billy Joe Saunders' next mandatory challenger."

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I like this fight even though I am not high on Andrade. He ducked Lara when he was Lara's mandatory, but he was with a bum promoter who mismanaged him up until now. I think Andrade will at least devalue Billy Joe and has a chance to win, I would rate him as the best opponent Saunders has faced honestly. Saunders isn't going to be able to move and box consistently like he did versus Lemieux. What a trainwreck for Saunders though, he went from almost getting a big payday and opportunity versus Golovkin to having to fight Andrade who is not a draw at all as a mandatory.

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Seems like, whether through legit reasons or not, he found himself in the worst possible spot. Mandatory defense against a game, but older Murray, give that fight up for a big payday against GGG in a unification(which would have been a big payday at least for dumping the title), to now fighting a dangerous opponent in his prime, who is awkward, not a huge name, and will pay the least. Hopefully for him, his injury was legit, because if this was all business, he found himself in a real shitty spot. I wouldn't be surprised if he vacates, if he can secure a bigger payday against DeGale in a move up fight.

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Murray was a voluntary defense, the WBO wouldn't remove someone's mandatory status just because the champion "can't" make it in the ring with them. I definitely don't think he will vacate the title, his title is his big ticket versus Golovkin or Canelo which is a lot bigger payday than he would get versus DeGale. Who do you like to win, Saunders or Andrade?

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I meant to put voluntary, but was thinking of his mandatory in DA. I think that is the bigger fight, too. But by then, the winner of the IBF title fight could be the bigger payday compared to BJS, I'm not sure. I think BJS can be a slick fighter, but if you get in and rough him up, I think you can beat him. Can DA do that is the question?

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"Jarrell Miller's promoter Dmitry Salita revealed they have NOT been able to make a deal with Kubrat Pulev's backers for their IBF final eliminator to take place in neutral territory, therefore HUGHIE FURY will now likely be called to face Pulev."

"Heavyweight contender Jarrell "Big Baby" Miller formally declined a world title elimination fight with Kubrat Pulev on Tuesday, opting instead to pursue a path with another organization.

On June 25, Epic Sports & Entertainment won an IBF purse bid to gain promotional rights for a fight meant to produce one of the mandatory challengers for unified world titleholder Anthony Joshua.

Epic Sports, which does not promote either fighter, bid a whopping $2,111,111 to beat the only other bidder, Team Sauerland, which bid $1,000,010. Team Sauerland promotes Pulev, but they are on the outs and Pulev's contract is soon to expire.

Miller would have earned a career-high purse of $527,777.75 (the 25 percent of the winning bid he was entitled to), but his co-promoters, Greg Cohen and Dmitry Salita, notified the IBF on Monday, which was the deadline to send the organization a signed contract, that Miller would not take part in the bout.

"On behalf of Jarrell Miller we are informing the IBF that we are turning down the fight offer to face Kubrat Pulev," the promoters wrote to sanctioning organization. "We greatly appreciate the opportunity the IBF has afforded us and look forward to continuing our close working relationship."

Epic Sports promoter John Wirt was disappointed Miller's camp rejected a high-stakes fight between two bona fide contenders.

"Miller lives up to his moniker, 'Big Baby,'" Wirt told ESPN.

Pulev (25-1, 13 KOs), 37, had already signed for the fight and returned the contract to the IBF. He is aiming to earn a second world title shot after suffering a fifth-round knockout loss to then-unified world champion Wladimir Klitschko in 2014. Pulev has won five fights in a row since and will be ordered to face another opponent by the IBF in the elimination bout. Dillian Whyte previously turned down the fight with Pulev after Epic Sports also won that purse bid in order to accept a better deal to face former titlist Joseph Parker on July 28.

Wirt tried to sell Pulev-Miller to HBO, which he said was not interested, so he planned to put the fight on Sept. 1 in Pulev's hometown of Sofia, Bulgaria, where is a superstar.

Cohen told ESPN that had the fight been set to take place in the United States, they may have accepted the bout.

"It didn't make sense to go over to Bulgaria. You know, overseas weird things happen. It wasn't meant to be," Cohen said. "So we are going the WBA route."

Cohen said Miller is already in position to be the mandatory challenger for the winner of the long overdue mandatory fight between Manuel Charr (31-4, 17 KOs), the WBA's secondary titlist, and Fres Oquendo (37-8, 24 KOs), who are scheduled to fight on Sept. 29 in Cologne, Germany.

"The winner of that fight must fight Jarrell Miller within 90 days," Cohen said. "We are considering a potential tune-up fight for sometime in September to early October for Jarrell. Dmitry and I are discussing some options, but the agenda now is to fight the winner of Charr and Oquendo for the WBA regular title."

Miller (21-0-1, 18 KOs), 29, of Brooklyn, New York, whose last two fights were televised by HBO, has defeated three consecutive former world title challengers: Gerald Washington by eighth-round knockout, Mariusz Wach by ninth-round stoppage and, on April 28, Johann Duhaupas by lopsided unanimous decision."

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"Earlier today, former unified heavyweight champion Tyson Fury, who has fought just once since defeating Wladimir Klitschko in 2015, revealed that a showdown with WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder is at an advanced stage of discussions.

Fury, 29, looked somewhat labored in his comeback fight, a fourth-round retirement of Sefer Seferi in June, in what was his first bout since the Klitchsko fight.

The Brit’s comeback continues on August 18 against Italian Francesco Pianeta at Northern Ireland’s Windsor Park, and if he comes through that unscathed, the focus will switch to Wilder later this year.

"I can confirm that me and Deontay Wilder are in negotiations and it's very close to being done,” Fury said via the Manchester Evening News.

“It's out there now and I can reveal that negotiations are very strong for December and we're almost done with this deal. I won't be overlooking Francesco Pianeta. He's going to give me the right fight and the right work to prepare me for Wilder."

“I'm going to flatten [Pianeta] first and then Wilder, let's dance. You've been dealing with Eddie Hearn and Anthony Joshua but I am a man of my word and if I say I'll fight you, I'll fight you. Prepare well, train hard and let's get the deal done. I will knock Pianeta into next week and then I'll knock you spark out too."

Representatives of Wilder confirmed Monday that they are negotiating a fight with Fury for the fall.

Wilder was last in action back in March, when he survived near disaster in a wild seventh round - to score a tenth round knockout over Luis Ortiz.

“Both teams want the biggest fight possible,” said Jay Deas, trainer and manager for Wilder, to the Tuscaloosa News.

“This would be an enormous fight, just enormous. One thing I can say for certain: If this can be worked out, Deontay Wilder would have been involved in the two biggest fights of 2018, Wilder-(Luis) Ortiz and Wilder-Fury. And if he were to win against Fury, as we fully expect, then Deontay would be an international superstar in control of the boxing world.

“This would be fight of the year. We’d have 13 feet, 4 inches (Fury is 6-foot-9, Wilder 6-7) and 500 pounds of hard-punching, trash-talking, knockout heavyweights.”"

It is somewhat hard to tell if this is just a part of negotiations for Joshua vs. Wilder and a way for Fury to get himself in the news or an actual negotiation. I think Fury may be crazy enough to do it, but I don't think he would have a good chance at this point in his comeback. I'd like to see him vs. Pianeta first though before I make a real prediction because it does look like he is getting more weight off. If it was right after Klitschko vs. Fury I'd predict Fury to win, but their styles really do clash heavily. Apparently, the WBC is okay with Wilder taking a voluntary defense, so it is possible for the Fury fight to happen instead of fighting Breazeale or Whyte.

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With talks of Jaime Munguia appearing on the GGG-Canelo undercard, who do you guys believe could be, or should be his next opponent? With his mandatory out of the way, and a unification looking unlikely to materialize in this short of time frame, it looks like he'll grab someone from the WBO top 10. I'm hearing WBO #2 contender Dennis Hogan is being looked at to fight on the card already, so he'd make an obvious, albeit noncompetitive fight, in my estimation, but his holding of 2 WBO trinkets might make this match-up happen. Only other obvious fights seem to be Julian Williams, who expressed interest last week in the fight. Thoughts?

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Hogan would make sense considering they likely want a showcase fight. I'd be surprised if they put him in there with Julian Williams because Williams will likely make it a competitive fight and has at least a shot at winning. Williams also has a promotional conflict as a PBC fighter. If Golden Boy can actually get Munguia as the co-main in a showcase, Lemieux vs. O'Sullivan and Chocolatito in a showcase that would be a massive improvement over the first Canelo vs. Golovkin undercard.

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Yeah, I thought the Williams fight was less likely, just looking into it, he was the only other guy who was a serious challenger to express any interest in that fight. I agree, that lines up to be a very good undercard. I wonder how Lemieux will look back down at 160, after struggling to make weight just over and over. I don't rate him or Spike very high, but I've seen Lemieux at a higher level at his peak, so would expect him to be able to pull that out, though I know they are featuring him with the expectation of feeding him to Spike. The return of Chocolito will be good, too, though his fight looks like it would be less competitive. I wonder if they try to make a fight for Ryan Garcia on that card, too. I figure Oscar wants to promote one of his young prospects as well, and Tanajara is scheduled to fight this coming Friday, so he won't be able to turn around that quick.

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Brandon Cook, WBO #4 contender, is emerging as the likely opponent for this fight, according to BoxingScene. This lines up to be a better fight than the briefly talked about bout with Hogan. Thoughts?

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Lets hope this happens for the health of the sport and the fighters.

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Saw two more upcoming bouts of interest. Abdukakhorov vs Jessie Vargas as an IBF eliminator for Spence's next mandatory, and Kavaliauskas vs Arriaza for Crawford's next mandatory from the WBO.

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I've never watched Abdukakhorov but he seems like a black box, only fought on a domestic level in Uzbekistan as an amateur, has fought nearly entirely in strange locations like Malaysia, Singapore and Uzbekistan. So it should be interesting to see how he does versus Vargas if Vargas takes that fight. Kavaliauskas is really the only legitimate challenger Top Rank has for Crawford other than Benavidez, so it could get pretty bad for Crawford after that if Arum can't/won't work cross promotionally. At least Arum is going to keep Crawford busy, even though PBC has so many relevant contenders Spence can't even get any of them in the ring for at least a year.

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Yeah, the only other quality guy he has for Crawford is Besputin, but again, you have to know the amateurs and prospect ranks to even know who he is.

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How far along is Besputin in his development?

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His biggest step up so far had been Breidis Prescott. He looked good, controlling 8 rounds and dropping him, fought through a cut. I've not seen him in a competitive fight yet, as he's been the better athlete, and more physically imposing guy in the ring against every opponent. He has some qualities that are very good, and remind me of a lot of those Eastern Euro guys. He is in the vein of a Lomachenko, without the dynamic footwork, but a bigger puncher. He can hurt you to the head and body with equal regularity. In terms of how long, hard to say. I think what Champ said is a reasonable timeline, but given that he's already 27, and with an extensive amateur background, they may accelerate his timeline a bit. I think he can physically impose his will on guys, and has power, but given how short he is, if you can weather the storm, and pick him from the outside, he's beatable, and I think Crawford would win if they fought now, or 2 years from now, but until he has a bigger step up, it's all conjecture.

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More upcoming bouts:

WBA, Nov 24th: Dmitry Bivol v Jean Pascal
WBC, Dec 1st: Adonis Stevenson v Oleksandr Gvozdyk
IBF, Dec 15th/22nd: Artur Beterbiev v Joe Smith Jr
WBO, Feb 2nd: Eleider Alvarez v Sergey Kovalev II

All 4 LHW belts on the line. Who do you guys got? I have Bivol, Gvozdyk, Beterbiev, and Alvarez.