Two British Boxing prospects from the North-East of England Josh Kelly (6-0, 4KOs) and Lewis Ritson (15-0, 9KOs) headline at the Metro Arena in Newcastle on June 16.
Exciting welterweight Josh Kelly will challenge Australian Kris George (14-1, 8KOs) for the commonwealth title, while Lewis Ritson attempts to retain the Lonsdale lightweight strap outright if he defeats Belfast boy Paul Hyland Jnr (18-0, 7KOs).
‘Pretty Boy’ Kelly has been moved at a ridiculously fast rate and is on the back of an impressive win against Carlos Molina only last month. The 24-year-old from Sunderland will be determined to put on a show in front of his home crowd.
Newcastle-born Ritson 24, has continued to impress since turning pro in 2015 will face another tough challenge against undefeated Hyland. The ‘Sandman’ will look to keep his knockout streak going and will relish the chance to fight in front of his beloved fans.
Both young stars are being guided by Eddie Hearn who was very excited about his prospects and a night in Newcastle:
“June 16 we’re going to Newcastle and we’re going to have a party! That arena is going to be bouncing. What a time for North East boxing.”
“For Josh Kelly to do that to Carlos Molina after just six fights is tremendous. This boy has huge talent and huge potential. He is going all the way.
“Lewis Ritson is absolutely flying too, so June 16 these boys are coming home.”
Also on the card we have Gavin McDonnell (19-1-2, 5KOs) fresh from his excellent victory against Gamal Yafai defending his WBC international super-bantamweight title against veteran Stuart Hall (21-6-2, 7KOs).
Super-flyweight Charlie Edwards (12-1, 5KOs) takes on home fighter Anthony Nelson (11-1, 2KOs) and cruiserweight Afran Iqbal (12-0, 5KOs) defends his English title against Simon Vallily (13-1, 4KOs).
Carl Frampton (25-1, 14KOs) picked up the WBO interim featherweight title after a dominant display against Philippine veteran Nonito Donaire (38-5, 24KOs).
All three judges scored the fight exactly the same 117-111 all in favour of the hometown fighter.
The 31-year-old produced a performance that was somewhere near his old best. Frampton showed off his excellent boxing brain and outstanding footwork that left Donaire missing his target by wide margins at times. In particular the first five rounds were very impressive and made the rest of the featherweight division stand up and take notice.
I’m not normally one for the interim titles but if used in the correct manor then I’m all for them. The WBO title that Frampton picked up last night was created because their current champion Óscar Valdez is out with a broken jaw.
The plan is for the Irishman to now fight Valdez for the full title although rumour has it that the Mexican will move up to the 130lb division. If the rumours are true then Frampton will be upgraded to WBO champion without having to throw a punch.
If this does happen then a unification fight against the winner of Selby-Warrington at Windsor Park looks the most likely option.
Frampton does not care who he fights next just as long as he gets another world title shot.
“I’d love a Valdez fight but I don’t want to be picky,” said Frampton.
“I just want a world title fight and I want a big fight at Windsor Park. Valdez would be good, Santa Cruz, Selby would be good but whoever it is, I don’t care.”
After the fight a very happy Frank Warren said, “That was class tonight.”
“I will get him a world title fight – there are options, I will deliver. Carl and the city deserve it.”
This is exciting times for the 126lb division with so many top fighters jostling away to become the undisputed king.
World No.1 Leo Santa Cruz defends his WBA title against fellow Mexican compatriot Abner Mares in June 9. The WBC champion Gary Russell Jr puts his strap on the line against the featherweights rising star Joseph Diaz to decide who’s the best in the US on May 19. On the same night Welshman Lee Selby puts up his IBF title against Josh Warrington at Elland Road, Leeds.
Once again there are a lot of possibilities and we know that Frampton is not bothered who he fights just as long as it’s at Windsor Park. This narrows the pot down to Valdez, Selby or Warrington for me. Santa Cruz will not travel across the pond for a trilogy with Frampton if he wins and if Mares is victorious there will be a rematch. Chances would be slim for Russell Jr or Diaz to make the trip but not completely off the table.
A lot will depend on what Valdez decides to do once he is back but it will cost Warren a substantial fee to get the Mexican over to Belfast. The most likely option will be Selby or Warrington as long as the winner comes through unscathed.
Whoever Frampton fights next I expect an incredible atmosphere inside Windsor Park with the Conlan brothers and Paddy Barnes also on a staked Irish card.
Amir Khan (31-4, 19KOs) makes his return to the ring after a 2-year absence against Canadian Phil Lo Greco (28-3, 15KOs) at the Echo Arena, Liverpool, England.
This will be the first of a three fight contract under the guidance of new promoter Eddie Hearn and the first time in five years since the Olympic silver medalist last fought on British soil.
There are so many talking points inside and outside the ring when it comes to Amir Khan that he’s more like a character from a reality TV show rather than a professional boxer. I only want to look at the boxer and not the guy that airs his dirty laundry on social media.
After the devastating knockout defeat against drug cheat Canelo Alvarez in 2016 and following corrective surgery to his right hand it will be intriguing to see how much of the old Khan is left.
Preparations for this fight have been affected by coach Virgil Hunter being hospitalised. Khan acted quickly when he realised that his trainer would not be well enough to get the 31-year-old fight ready by drafting in Joe Goosen. With the greatest of respect to Virgil Hunter I actually believe the arrival of Goosen could be a blessing in disguise. Not only is he a better coach but talk of working on Khan’s vulnerabilities on the inside could be exactly what Khan needs.
The former unified super-lightweight world champion has had 35 fights and accumulated 209 rounds with a 54% knockout ratio. His combined opponent record stands at 846-167-23 which shows how experienced the Englishman is but due to 2-years of inactivity he is not currently ranked.
When you look into Khan’s CV it is full of an abundance of talent compared to his opponents weak boxing record. I mean no disrespect to Lo Greco but on paper this fight should be a formality.
Names like the legendary Mexican Marco Antonio Barrera, Paul Malignaggi, Marcos Maidana, Zab Judah, Devon Alexander and Luis Collazo have all fallen short against ‘King Khan’. But loses against Breidis Prescott, Lamont Peterson which was very controversial, Danny Garcia and Canelo Álvarez show vulnerabilities.
His opponent from Canada is ranked 101 in the world and in 31 fights has accumulated 162 rounds with a 48% knockout ratio. He has a combined opponent record of 417-299-43. Eveytime the 33-year-old has attempted to step up in class he has been soundly beaten. Shawn Porter outpointed him and Errol Spence Jr got rid of him in 3 rounds.
In my opinion the only way Khan loses this fight is if he is to overconfident or allows the brash talking Canadian to get under his skin. This was evident in their press conference with the water-gate incident.
Khan is more experienced, possesses the faster hand speed and should be able to counter anything his opponent has to offer. The danger for Khan is if he is caught with a shot and what his reaction would be if he were to get wobbled.
I believe this will be an easy nights work for Khan. He will be nervous in the first few rounds so he needs to fight on the outside and find his rhythm. I wouldn’t be surprised if Khan was to stop his opponent in the late rounds but I think this will go the 12 round distance and Khan to win unanimously. For Lo Greco to stand a chance he will have to hope he connects with a big punch but I cannot see that happening.
With this fight being at a catchweight of 150lbs it opens the door for a Brook-Khan showdown later in the year or beginning of 2019. That is of course as long as Khan wins and doesn’t suffer any cuts or injuries that could keep him out of the ring for a long period of time. Khan will need to stay active with maybe one more fight in a few months before agreeing a deal to fight Brook.
Good luck to both fighters and happy viewing boxing fans!
Northern Ireland’s Carl Frampton (24-1, 14KOs) takes on Philippine hero Nonito Donaire (38-4, 24KOs) for the Interim WBO featherweight title at the SSE Arena in Belfast.
This will be Frampton’s second appearance in Belfast since his split with Shane and Barry McGuigan. In his last fight he took on a huge featherweight in Haracia Garcia and won by unanimous decision after going down in the seventh. It was the first time we got to see the relationship between Frampton and new coach Jamie Moore but this fight with Donaire will be a real test for both.
Former world champion in 4-weight classes Nonito Donaire may well be on the decline but Frampton will still need to be at his best if he is to claim victory.
At 35-years of age the Filipino-American will be keen to prove his doubters wrong and make one last assault on championship glory. A victory here would be enough to guarantee one last title shot which makes the ‘Filipino Fish’ a very dangerous customer.
The Jackal is currently ranked as the best in Britain and No.2 in the world in a staked featherweight division. After competing in 25 fights the Irishman has fought 162 rounds with a 56% knockout ratio and has an excellent combined opponent record of 471-79-18.
The former unified super-bantamweight champion was guided well during his time with Cyclone Promotions. After fighting decent opposition since his debut in 2009 he finally picked up the IBF super-bantamweight title in a rematch against Kiko Martinez.
Frampton defended his world title three times becoming the first man to stop Chris Avalos and recovered from being put down twice in a unanimous decision victory against Alejandro Gonzalez Jr in Texas. Then in a massive British unification fight with Scott Quigg the Irishman won by majority decision in a drab encounter that failed to get going until the middle rounds.
The 31-year-old then decided it was time to move up to the featherweight division and was given the chance to face undefeated Mexican and current world No.1 Leo Santa Cruz for the WBA title. In my 2016 fight of the year Frampton kept his undefeated record intact with a majority decision victory which could have gone either way. Many felt that Santa Cruz should have got the nod but personally I feel the right man won on the night. Santa Cruz was able to seek immediate revenge in a rematch with a comprehensive victory in 2017.
Nonito Donaire is considered to be the second best fighter to have come out of the Philippines only behind Manny Pacquiao. It is hard to put into words the admiration that the Philippine people feel towards their hero. Currently ranked at No.10 in the world and No.1 in his native country the four-weight former world champion has fought 255 rounds in 42 fights with a 57% knockout ratio and an impressive combined opponent record of 834-179-36.
After turning professional in 2001 Donaire picked up his first world titles at flyweight when he stopped Vic Darchinyan in the fifth round. A few defences later and Donaire opted to move into the super-flyweight division where he managed to collect a WBA interim title.
It wasn’t long before Donaire moved up to the 118lb division and went on to become the WBO and WBC unified world bantamweight champion when he stopped Fernando Montiel in the second round.
The ‘Filipino Fish’ then jumped into the 122lb division and picked up the WBO world super-bantamweight title against Wilfredo Vazquez. He then retained his belt and captured the IBF version when he outpointed Jeffery Mathebula.
A three round destruction of the Mexican legend Jorge Arce followed before Donaire defeated Japans Toshiaki Nishioka to become The Ring and Lineal super-bantamweight champion. The 12-year win streak came to an end at the hands of Guillermo Rigondeaux.
A short stint into the featherweight division see Donaire pick up the WBA super title before Jamaican Nicholas Walters became the first and only man to ever stop him in the sixth.
Nonito Donaire dropped back down to what I believe is his best weight in the super-bantamweight division and quickly picked up the vacant WBO title against Cesar Juarez. A year later and Jessie Magdaleno outpointed Donaire for his fourth professional loss.
After 17-years in the game Donaire has moved back into the 126lb division with the hope of pulling off a shock on Saturday night when he makes his first ever appearance on British soil.
Both fighters stand at 5’5” but Donaire has a 6 inch reach advantage. They each have the ability to box and scrap which makes this a fascinating encounter.
There will be a size difference that favours the Irishman but he will need to be mindful of Donaire’s trademark left hook. I’m not convinced that Donaire possesses the same amount of power in the 126lb division so it would be a shock if Frampton did get stopped.
I am expecting the early exchanges to be close but I believe youth will prevail over experience and Frampton will take full control in the second half of the fight. Donaire won’t throw punches in bunches but he will pick his shots carefully and meaningfully. There could well be a round or two where they both throw caution to the wind and this is where the fight could go either way.
I am picking Carl Frampton to outpoint Nonito Donaire in a slick and skillful fight that has the potential to be a barnstormer. The legendary Filipino will be in buoyant mood with his wife in the corner and should not be overlooked but I think he’s taking on a tough opponent in the wrong division.
Good luck to both fighters!
Due to the quiet weekend of boxing we have gained financial experts across the globe as negotiations between team Joshua and team Wilder continue to develop.
I do work in finance five days a week and I could quite easily give you a breakdown of gate receipts and pay-per-view figures plus television rights which gives you a rough idea of what a fight between Anthony Joshua and Deontay Wilder could earn if the fight is ever agreed. But I really couldn’t give a monkeys toss quite frankly.
This is boxing and what a fighter earns is none of my business I just want to see good, clean and fair fights so percentage splits and flat rate offers is something I like to leave in the office. Any financial negotiations should be discussed behind closed doors anyway with the purpose of the fight being at the forefront of discussions.
As a fan of boxing all I ask is that the best fight the best for my viewing pleasure. The financial element is completely irrelevant to me apart from when I have to dip into my own pocket to watch a big PPV fight.
I want to see big Josh take on the repulsive American just as much as the next fan but instead we are getting into a ridiculous financial war on social media.
Wilder fans have been very vocal about what their man is worth and are disgusted with Eddie Hearn for offering a flat rate of $8.8 – $15m. In fact the figure has changed so many times that I have absolutely no idea what the exact figure is but it’s a lucrative deal for Wilder nonetheless.
One thing is for sure, Wilder did collect $2.5m against Ortiz which was his biggest pay day to date. It’s not Joshua’s fault that he earns that in endorsement deals alone. After 40 professional fights he has never been a PPV fighter in the States which indicates to me that he doesn’t have a large fan-base. So why reject such a handsome offer with the added incentive of fighting for 5 world title belts and a rematch in the US?
As the ‘Bronze Bomber’ quite clearly has a small band of followers that love to troll on social media and are now experts on percentages, I will lay it out on their terms. I’m guessing that only 50% of them would actually pay for the fight while the other half watch on illegal website streams.
I have seen some ridiculous statements throughout the years I have followed this great art of contact sport but never have I seen such utter ignorance before. It shouldn’t surprise me that a Wilder fan related the Hearn offer to child abuse – I know an unusual analogy to say the least – because their hero is being short changed in their eyes. I mean they are following a guy that openly said he wanted a dead body on his record on a morning breakfast show.
Could you imagine if Joshua said something like that on This Morning to Scoff? AJ would be looking at a 6 month ban by the BBBofC before the day was done.
Getting back to the point at hand, reports indicate that the fight will generate $100m hence why articles suggest Wilder only being offered 20%. If this fight can generate this sort of dosh then Joshua has already said he would take a $50m flat rate.
So how about Shelly Finkel and Al Haymon give AJ $50m and they take the rest? The reason why is because I can categorically say that this fight will not reach such heights. So the $40m that team Wilder suggest he deserves is just a smoke screen. They are asking for 40% of an over estimated figure.
I would say the more accurate projection would be somewhere around $50m mark. Then minus the sanctioning fee costs that the Russian will demand for not taking the mandatory defence which is probably in the region of £5-6m. The amount that Joseph Parker earned in his fight with AJ.
My conclusion on this whole saga is that Wilder and his cronies are nothing more than a bunch of money grabbing toss pots that are only interested in cash. They use social media to create a circus that some of their illiterate fans buy into hence we get this pathetic nonsense that is not only destroying boxing but any chance of successfully agreeing a deal.
All I advise is that you do not buy into the BS that numerous websites try to feed you when it comes to percentage splits. A lot of what is written will try to convince you that Joshua is ducking Wilder and this is so far from the truth it’s unbelievable.
If anything it’s Wilder pricing himself out of a great deal. I expect this drama to continue until it’s too late for a fight to be negotiated. Expect Wilder to continue fighting less then stellar opponents while Joshua continues to challenge himself.
Undefeated ‘Turbo’ Terry Flanagan (33-0, 13KOs) will face Maurice Hooker (23-0-3, 16KOs) on June 9 in the Manchester Arena for the vacant WBO super-lightweight title.
The fight was originally scheduled to take place on the Saunders-Murray undercard but was cancelled due to an injury that the WBO middleweight champion sustained in training.
Now the re-scheduled 140 pound bout has been added to the Tyson Fury comeback card which also includes young heavyweight prospect Nathan Gorman.
This is Flanagan’s first fight since moving up from the lightweight division and is confident that he can become a two-weight world champion against the undefeated American.
“Winning this fight will prove that I’m a legitimate 140 pound fighter,” said Flanagan. “I’ll be looking to unify all of the belts later in the year. I’m looking for the likes of Mikey Garcia after I win the WBO belt on June 9th. It’s a massive unification fight and I hope those are the fights Frank can make.
“He is a very good unbeaten fighter, he fights on the back foot and looks to catch you from distance. I’m not looking past Hooker but I’m very confident I’ll be able to deal with anything he throws at me to become a two-weight World Champion.”
His opponent from Dallas, Texas has been sparring with pound for pound king Terrence Crawford in preparation for Flanagan and did not hold back in his assessment of the Manchester-based fighter.
“I’m gonna wake him up,” said Hooker. “He’s weak and he’s soft. He hasn’t fought anybody. He fights little guys. I hit hard with both hands. He’s never fought anyone with skills like me. He runs a lot. He does that real good. Power? He hasn’t got any power. He pitty-pats!”
“I’ve been watching his fights. He holds a lot, he uses his forearm to the head. He does a lot of stuff dirty. I’m going to stop him and I’m going to show him who’s the best at 140! It could be the first round, second round or third round… but he’s going down!”
Fighting talk from the 28-year-old but stepping out in front of a strong pro-Mancunian crowd will not be easy. Flanagan will be pumped up for this one and so will his fans so let’s see if the American can back up his words come fight night.
Earlier this afternoon Tyson Fury (25-0, 18KOs) announced his official return to the ring under the guidance of Frank Warren.
The self proclaimed ‘Gypsy King’ has reunited with promoter Frank Warren and will make his long awaited return to the ring on June 9 in Manchester.
“The Heavyweight division should now be put on notice because the lineal Champion will be back on June 9th and will be looking to pick back up where he left off,” said Warren.
“I am thrilled that Tyson has entrusted us with the responsibility of recharging his career and to steer him back to where he once emphatically belonged.
“Were it not for his exploits in Dusseldorf on November 28th, 2015, the now thriving and fascinating Heavyweight scene might have remained stagnant, but Tyson’s comprehensive schooling of the long-standing Champion Wladimir Klitschko opened all sorts of doors from which others have ultimately benefitted.
“Now Tyson is back, in fantastic shape and full of beans, ready to take the first step on the road back towards World domination once again.”
The 29-year-old did not mince his words as you would expect from the flamboyant former unified champion.
“The King has returned,” said Fury. “I’m back to reclaim what is rightfully mine. This is going to be an interesting journey. There’s a lot of fascinating challenges out there for me and I’m looking forward to getting started. I can’t wait to get in the ring and put on a display for all of my fans.
“I’m the fittest that I’ve ever been. My timing and my reflexes are better than they’ve ever been. I’m coming into the prime of my career and I’m more confident than I’ve ever been. All of my focus is on my return at the Manchester Arena on June 9th.
“All of the current Heavyweight Champions out there are very vulnerable and very beatable.”
As a boxing fan I am happy to see Fury back as he will add something different to a rejuvenated heavyweight division. It’s been over two years since he defeated Klitschko in Düsseldorf which opened up the division to be what it is today.
After all the hand shakes and pats on the backs during the official announcement today the obvious question was then asked about the current unified champion Anthony Joshua.
Fury answered in his normal colourful manor, “It’s going to be an easy fight, no contest.”
Fury continued, “He is looking for one punch all night. Anybody who can move a little bit, and throw feints, he struggles with. He can’t land.
“I’ve got a tip for him – get a handful of rice and throw it at me, if he wants to land anything. I’d outbox him for a few rounds then knock him out. He’s not the hardest man in the world to hit. He’s smaller than I am, and I don’t believe he holds the best shot.
Everything is still there – 29 years old, coming into the prime of my life, I’m stronger and faster, holding more muscle mass than ever. I’m more confident looking at the competition.”
Rumour has it that his return fight could be against Shannon Briggs (60-6-1, 53KOs) who has been trolling Fury for the best part of a year.
The 46-year-old from Brooklyn, New York wouldn’t be a bad choice for Fury’s first fight back if you take his amusing ability to sell a fight into consideration. Forget batman costumes their press conference would be more like Jekyll and Hyde.
Whoever Frank Warren matches Fury up with next, I would expect at least three fights before he is ready for AJ. One fight in particular that I would love to see is Fury-Haye. That is of course if he can get past Tony Bellew next month. The winner of that would be in a position to challenge for world honours.
One thing is for sure, it will be entertaining and sometimes cringeworthy when watching Fury’s rise back trough the ranks.
WBC number one contender Dillian Whyte (23-1, 17KOs) has been assessing his next move after the devastating knockout of Lucas Brown.
In my opinion ‘The Bodysnatcher’ is one of the most underrated heavyweights in world boxing at the moment. A lot of pundits and knowledgeable boxing fans do not give the Londoner a chance against Wilder outside of the U.K.
If ‘The Bronze Bomber’ is unable to turn his words into action when negotiating a unification fight with Anthony Joshua then for me he has to fight Whyte.
The 29-year-old from Brixton, London Tweeted last night after drawing up a shortlist with Sky Sports:
“When I was younger I didn’t understand my rage now with time and age I understand it and use it in a positive way now am in touching distance of a world tittle and these fighters wanna be silly and play ducking games with me but they can’t duck me for ever” #TEAMBODYSNACTHER
Dillian will never shy away from a fight and is a guy that doesn’t let politics in boxing get in the way of a potential showdown with anybody.
Here is ‘The Lone wolfs’ shortlist of potential opponents in his very own words.
Anthony Joshua (21-0, 20KOs)
Joshua is always No 1 on my list, simply because, we don’t like each other. There is a lot of needle, but we have a lot of respect for each other also, and we just do something to each other that makes each other want to fight.
We have fought twice and both fights have been battles at two different levels, and two different stages of our careers. The third time is going to be another battle.
I would like to fight AJ another two, three times over my career. I think it’s one of those fights where we always work hard, we’ll always be motivated, we’ll always want to beat each other up. We just have that chemistry.
Deontay Wilder (40-0, 39KOs)
Chicken legs is No 2. I’ve been chasing him for a while now. He calls me a peasant, but I can afford to pay more money [for him] to come over here, then him the champion can pay me to go to America. Who is the peasant, me or him?
He knows that I’m hot on his heels and I want to fight him. I’ve done everything I could [to get the fight]. I’ve had all the right fights, and I own three belts from the WBC. I’m basically WBC interim world champion. I would go to America. If Eddie [Hearn] came to me and said we’ve struck a deal, a good deal, here’s the fight, go to America. I would go to America to fight him.
If Wilder doesn’t fight Joshua, he has to fight me next. Hopefully the WBC will stand by me and back me, because I’ve been loyal to them, and enforce that rule. I’ll have to go and find him and show up and say: ‘I’m here, let’s go.’
Kubrat Pulev (25-1, 13KOs)
It’s a very good fight, but they are talking about possibly going to Bulgaria to fight. What for? The profile, the money, the revenue, everything is in England, so why would go and fight him in Bulgaria? But it’s a fight that I definitely want. It would secure me a place as mandatory challenger for the IBF. I believe I can beat Pulev all day long. At The O2, it’s a big fight.
He’s had some big fights, a top amateur, and at one stage he was meant to be a world beater. But for some reason something went wrong and he hasn’t really fulfilled his potential as a professional. I believe I have the beating of him. He is open to left hooks as we have seen in most of his fights, and in his first loss to Wladimir Klitschko he got dominated by the left hook and that’s one of my punches. I’m very confident of taking that fight and knocking him out.
Dominic Breazeale (19-1, 17KOs)
I think I’ve done enough, but if Wilder is going to carry on being a coward, then I’ll fight on. It’s an explosive fight, but I’ve got myself in a good position now. I want to fight for the world title. But if it doesn’t happen and Breazeale wants it, and it makes sense, then we’ll have it. You know me, I never shy away from a fight, and I’ll fight anyone.
I think Dominic Breazeale is a more dangerous fight than Deontay Wilder, to be honest. He’s a tough guy, he can take a dig, and he comes forward to fight. He’s actually got better boxing skills than what Deontay Wilder does. Deontay Wilder just has a bit more power than him. It’s a fight that is very attractive stylistically for me. Dominic Breazeale would have to come to The O2. He’s better off fighting here, it would be much bigger.
Alexander Povetkin (34-1, 24KOs)
David Price could have stopped him and should have stopped him. But you know David Price, one of his main problems is confidence, and that’s what let him down I believe. It was a devastating knockout, he landed the right punches, but I think he was pretty basic and open. He looked old and he was tired and gassing. I didn’t think he looked that good, but got the knockout.
We want Povetkin obviously. That’s who we want. I feel after that fight with David Price as British fighters, we need to redeem ourselves. David Price showed a lot of holes in his game and I believe that I can knock him out.
He’s a good fighter, a former Olympic gold medallist, a former world champion. He’s only lost to Wladimir Klitschko, so that’s a very, very attractive fight. A very, very good fight. That fight will get the public’s juices flowing and get everyone going crazy.
Tony Bellew (29-2-2, 19KOs) or David Haye (28-3, 28KOs) winner
If Haye gets past Bellew, he can come and see me. I don’t like either of them, but I have more respect for Tony Bellew than I do David Haye. Tony Bellew is a funny one, I’ve gained a lot of respect for him lately. Not because we are on the same promotional team, or anything like that.
I just dislike David Haye’s attitude, his behaviour, and his approach to people. He always talks down to people, and always tries to steal the limelight. Any question you ask him, he tries to make it about himself. David Haye is just a punk. Not a lot of people in boxing like David Haye, because he’s an ignorant, arrogant guy.
Dereck Chisora (28-8, 20KOs)
The donkey is loyal to the carrot. I chucked him a carrot on the undercard and he was loyal to me.
If Eddie gives me a big enough carrot to give the donkey, then we’ll see.
Terms not agreed for Joshua-Wilder
If Joshua-Wilder are unable to negotiate terms for a massive unification fight then I believe Whyte deserves his chance of a shot at the WBC title. Chances are that Wilder would rather face fellow American Breazeale which would stall a fight with Dillian.
In this instance it would mean that Joshua would have to take his mandatory defence against Povetkin so four of the eight names mentioned on this list would be unavailable.
That leaves only Pulev for me which would be an official elimination fight for the IBF title. As Whyte said a fight in Bulgaria is something that financially doesn’t make sense but no doubt team Pulev will push for the bout to be hosted on home turf to give their guy more of a chance. In this case I would expect the decision to go to purse bids.
Terms agreed for Joshua-Wilder
The other alternative if Joshua-Wilder was agreed would be Povetkin or Breazeale. In terms of rankings a fight with the Russian makes more sense plus there could be the added insensitive of the WBA title as Joshua may well be stripped if he does fight Wilder.
I don’t see this happening especially considering Povetkin is a convicted drug cheat and no organisation should bend over backwards to accommodate him and his team. Hopefully the WBA see sense and allow Joshua to keep their title. Matchroom and team-Wilder would then have the power to freeze out the Russians which I feel is just considering their track record not only in boxing but across all sports.
As a boxing fan I really like the Whyte-Breazeale fight. I think there would be fireworks in this one and would generate a lot of publicity in Britain and in the US.
You could even put this fight on the undercard of Joshua-Wilder at Wembley with a rematch clause depending on the result of the main event. One thing that would be for certain is the winner would get a chance to fight in a unification come 2019.
James DeGale (24-2-1, 14KOs) became a two time world champion after defeating Caleb Truax (29-4-2, 18KOs) by unanimous decision to regain the IBF super-middleweight title at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, Las Vegas, USA.
In a bloody and scrappy affair the 32-year-old Londoner came through another tricky night to regain his IBF title. Two judges had the fight close at 114-113 but the other had DeGale winning by a much wider margin of 117-110.
Once again DeGale failed to use his right hand jab beyond the first two rounds and instead opted to make the fight a lot harder than it needed to be. Fighting at close quarters and throwing pot shots rather than combinations made it a closer contest as reflected on two of the judges scorecards.
Chunky showed grit and determination after he had to come through the adversity of a cut to his right eye and a point deduction. Excessive use of his forearm was the reason for the deduction which was a really poor decision by the referee.
If anything the 34-year-old American was the main culprit for holding and leading with his head. Truax brought the same game plan as he did in the first encounter but he found DeGale harder to hit.
The former champion made it a close contest in the first half but really struggled in the second half. You could argue that he stayed on the front foot for pretty much all twelve rounds but when he closed the distance he didn’t do anything more than hold.
After the victory a delighted DeGale said:
“I’m just happy, I’m a two-time world champion, it feels great. Two-and-a-half years I had it and I lost it to Caleb. He embarrassed me, but we’re back.”
“I couldn’t see from my right eye, I couldn’t see. But I’m just glad I got through it. I showed some heart. In my last fight, I was like a weak little kid. I want to be busy, I have a couple years left in this sport.”
James DeGale will need to make adjustments again if he is to pursue those big unification fights in the next couple of years. To his credit Truax is a really awkward opponent that many would struggle to look good against.
The main event of the evening was a unification match-up between IBF super-welterweight champion ‘Swift’ Jarrett Hurd (22-0, 15KOs) verses WBA and IBO champion Erislandy Lara (25-3-2, 14KOs).
In twelve rounds of terrific action from both fighters Hurd came out the victor by a split decision. Two judges had it 114-113, 114-113 in favour of Swift and the other 113-114 to Lara.
You couldn’t argue too much about the scorecards but what makes it even more fascinating is that Hurd would have needed a knockdown in the final round to win and that’s exactly what he did.
A beautifully timed left hook caught Lara flush on the chin and dropped the veteran to the canvas. I always said that I consider the Cuban born fighter to be undefeated with two very controversial loses on his record. That is no longer the case as the new unified champion from Accokeek, Maryland defeated Lara without doubt for me.
The 27-year-old is not as technical as Lara but he was just a lot bigger and stronger. I mean let’s be honest he was enormous compared to his opponent, it looked like a middleweight verses a welterweight.
In fact, if we introduced same day weigh-ins we would not have such dramatic size differences when it comes to fight night but I will leave that one for another day. Billy C and Sal Cenicola will reflect on that matter in the post fight show on Monday I’m sure.
Congratulations to ‘Swift’ Jarrett Hurd on becoming a unified champion but Lara also needs massive credit for the part he played in the fight. I don’t see why we couldn’t have a rematch as I’m sure there will be more interest from the public after such a great fight.